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Preview: England v Sri Lanka, 1st Test

May 19 (CI) After a 3-month break, in which the upstart T20 has held court, Test cricket is back. We hope you have a good appetite. In late February, Brendon McCullum signed off his international career by slamming the fastest-ever Test century in Christchurch. What does Headingley, one of England's most-storied grounds, have in store? There was an almighty tale to be told the last time SL were in Yorkshire, England's cricketing heartland but not one which bestows easy favours on more..

Sri Sri offers to help with reconciliation in SL

May 19 (TOI) Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of Art of Living, has offered to help with reconciliation between Sinhalas and Tamils in Sri Lanka. On a two-day goodwill visit to the island nation, Sri Sri met President Sirisena, PM Ranil Wickramasinghe and former president Rajapaksa. "For reconciliation, you need to drop the past and move ahead. For that, you need inner strength and spirituality can give you that strength. That's what we promise to do," more..

Two boys drown trying to float on piece of rigifoam

May 19 (Island) Two schoolboys at Awarakotuwa, Hendala drowned in flood waters yesterday morning, while they were floating on a piece of rigifoam for fun. The victims were aged 16 and nine. Wattala police said the tragedy had occurred around 7.20 a.m. and the people in the neighbourhood had recovered the bodies by the time the police reached the scene. The bodies had been brought to the Colombo North Teaching Hospital, Ragama for the postmortem examination. more..

Distributive justice and Sri Lanka's transitional agenda

May 19 (OD) In Sri Lanka, the question of whether to emphasise truth and reconciliation—embracing a soft accountability path—or to lay equal stress on investigation and prosecution of grave human rights crimes looms over the transitional justice debate. It is increasingly clear that the country’s transitional justice landscape will be determined by the contestation between the relative weight or sequencing of restorative and retributive justice measures. more..

Inaugural Presidential Sports Awards: Sangakkara, Nimali most outstanding

May 19 (DN) Star cricketer Kumar Sangakkara and middle distance runner Nimali Liyanarachchi feted as the Sri Lanka’s Most Outstanding Sportsman and the Sportswoman Awards of the Year 2015 at the inaugural Presidential Sports Awards Ceremony held at the BMICH, yesterday. ICC Chief Match Referee Ranjan Madugalle was honoured as the Most Outstanding Sports Personality of the Year 2015. more..

NDB set on a firm trajectory for enhanced growth in 2016

May 19 (Island) The commendable growth in core banking income and the increase in the profit share of National Development Bank (NDB) PLC and its Group companies were negated by the comparatively larger increase in impairment charges. However, NDB is set on a firm trajectory for enhanced growth in 2016, pursuing a stringent process, NDB senior management told an Investor Forum held at Galadari Colombo on Tuesday. NDB CEO Rajendra Theagarajah and Group CFO more..

Ex-DIG’s wife granted bail

May 19 (Island) The Colombo High Court Judge, Manilal Waidyatillake, yesterday granted bail to Sharmali Priyadarshini Perera, wife of former DIG of police, Vass Gunewardena. Perera was prosecuted in the Magistrate’s Court of Colombo, on a charge of conspiracy to conceal unauthorized firearms. The quantum of bail was Rs. 100,000 cash and two sureties of Rs. 500,000 each. Her passport was impounded. She was required to appear before the CID on every Sunday in the morning. more..

It was a privilege to defeat LTTE: MR

May 19 (Island) Former President Rajapaksa, in a hard hitting statement blasted the authorities for releasing hardcore LTTEers numbering a few hundred, while armed forces personnel were being arrested and held continuously without bail. "My govt did not try to exact revenge from LTTE cadres captured at the end of the war. We rehabilitated and released more than 11,000 LTTE combatants. more..

Dialog TV introduces new pay-per-view Sri Lankan Cinema product

May 19 (ST) Dialog Television launched of its pay-per-view home theater innovation aimed at providing Sri Lankan movie and theatre producers with a platform to reach over 700,000 Sri Lankan homes. Branded as the 7th Circuit, Dialog Television’s latest channel will carry pre-cinema movie premiers to homes across Sri Lanka based on a pay–per–view model. The platform will also carry theatre and movie re-runs to match the appetite of Sri Lankan viewers for the best of indigenous creations, more..

JVP urges govt to declare emergency to tackle disasters ravaging country

May 19 (Island) The JVP called on the govt yesterday to declare a state of emergency in the country to expedite the process of providing relief to disaster hit people. JVP MP Vijitha Herath said in parliament that various bureaucratic hurdles, including administrative and financial regulations and circulars had prevented authorities from providing immediate relief to people affected by floods, landslides and earthslips that had ravaged the country during the last several days. more..

Video: 'Govt will remove Cabinet moles'

May 19 (DM) Reshuffle or not, the Govt would remove a few Ministers from the Cabinet for sabotaging the anti-corruption drive of the Govt, inefficiency and treachery before long. Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne told the weekly Cabinet news briefing that not only the members of the Joint Opposition, the Mahinda Rajapaksa camp and public sector officials and senior Police officers, who benefitted from the Rajapaksa govt, more..

'SLC should demand compensation from ICC'

May 19 (Island) Former Minister Prof. Tissa Vitharana said SLC should demand compensation from the ICC for making unverified charges against national player Kusal Janith Perera who was later cleared by the ICC itself from the said charges. He stressed due to the doping charges Perera missed the T20 World Cup and it was an immense loss to the national team.Perera had been even banned from training with squads that came under SLC’s purview due to the ICC ban imposed on him. more..

Tri forces continuously attends on relief and rescue operations

May 19 (MoD) Due to the prevailing severe weather situation in the country, tri forces are continuously committed towards relief and rescue Operations Island wide since 15th May 2016. Presently, more than 300 army troops belonging to the 58 Division (4 Sinha Regiment and 8 Vijaybahu Infantry Regiment) and Commandos are engaged in rescue and relief operations in Aranayake area which was severely affected by landslides. More than 53 troops of the SL National Guard troops are also more..

Rs. 600 mn for PM's two vehicles, Rs. 150 mn for disaster relief: JO

May 19 (Island) The govt should allocate more funds for disaster affected people without delay even at the expense of the bombproof vehicles for the PM, the Joint Opposition said. MP Wimal Weerawansa said the govt had allocated Rs. 600 million to import bullet proof vehicles for PM Ranil Wickremesinghe whereas only Rs. 150 million had been allocated for the welfare of disaster affected people. more..

Additional Magistrate Thilina Gamage ordered to give a statement to CID

May 19 (CT) Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya ordered Colombo Additional Magistrate Thilina Gamage to give a statement to the CID on 25 May regarding the alleged possession of an elephant calf at his residence. The Magistrate issued notice on the Colombo Additional Magistrate when a case pertaining to the possession of an elephant calf at his residence through forged documents and license was taken up for hearing at the Colombo Chief 's Court yesterday. more..

Sri Lankan Crickers to honour landslide victims with black armbands

May 19 (Island) Sri Lanka will pay tribute to all those who have lost their lives in landslides that have rocked the nation when they face England in the first Test at Headingley starting Thursday. Rescue workers on Wednesday recovered the bodies of 17 villagers buried in landslides in SL after three days of torrential rain. The disaster hit two small villages in Kegalle, a mountainous area northeast of Colombo, and takes the overall death toll from flooding and landslides in recent days to 36. more..

War Heroes remembrance ceremony held

May 19 (MoD) The annual War Hero remembrance ceremony was held under the patronage of the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, President Maithripala Sirisena at the War Hero Cenotaph in Sri J'pura, Kotte today evening (18). PM Ranil Wickremesinghe was also present at the occasion. On arrival, President Sirisena was accorded a guard of honour and was warmly received by the Secretary to more..

LSE Group opens in TRACE City

May 19 (DN) London Stock Exchange Group (LSE) will be setting up their biggest service centre in Sri Lanka at the TRACE Expert City in Tripoli Market, Maradana. Named as London Stock Exchange Business Services Ltd, the company will offer 400 direct employment opportunities to SL from the project. Group Head of Shared Services Martin Ryan said they have been planning this centre for 2 years and it will provide all support services for their entire business spread all over the world. more..

Govt, JO MPs call one another corrupt

May 19 (Island) Both govt and opposition MPs staged protests inside Parliament chamber yesterday accusing each side of corruption. Opposition MPs protested against the govt MPs who staged a protest displaying posters during a debate at the time of adjournment of the House on the losses of SriLankan Airline. While UPFA MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage was participating in the debate, the government MPs shouted at him. MP Aluthgamage continued his speech. more..

Sri Lanka laments landslides loss

May 19 (FT) Flood struck and reeling from devastating landslides, nearly 400,000 Sri Lankans were displaced from their homes after heavy rains over three days wreaked havoc across the island. Fatalities from the flash floods and landslides climbed steadily throughout the day, ending at 37 dead and 362,000 affected by the inclement weather conditions caused by a low pressure area moving across the island. more..

Let us protect our biodiversity

May 19 (DM) On May 22, the international community marks an important day but unfortunately not many people are aware of its deep significance. The UN has proclaimed May 22 as the International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. In December 2000, the UN General Assembly adopted May 22 as IDB, to mark the adoption of the text of the Convention held on May 22, 1992 by the Nairobi Final Act of the Conference. more..

The menace of a clannish herd

May 19 (DM) People had a raw deal always compared to what politicians had won for themselves after independence. Prior to 1970s, MPs spent time in the Parliament Library in order to equip themselves with the knowledge and necessary skills because such knowledge was vital to be skilful debaters, negotiators and to perform their varying roles as efficient politicians. After 70s, everything has changed. How? They have created a social order where legislators and even average more..

If we don’t kill corruption, it will kill Sri Lanka

May 19 (DM) It is time we stopped talking about corruption and started taking some serious action. Commissions and committees have outlived their usefulness. The people are tired and sick of the pace at which these various bodies, whether they are armed with judicial powers or not, proceeding against whom allegations are dragging on. The public ire and wrath is greatly amplified by the fact that one of the critical issues more..

SriLankan issue in Parliament menu

May 19 (DM) As the debate on the restructuring plan of SriLankan Airlines got underway in Parliament last Tuesday, it afforded the opportunity for the public to experience a classic case of political paradox in the country. The country’s national career initially known as Air Ceylon was re-established as Air Lanka in 1979 with no links to the former. It took its inaugural flight in that year. more..

Story behind Kusal Janith Drama

May 19 (DM) There were various conspiracy theories. Some even said interested parties wanted to keep Kusal out of World Cup. Others claimed that he was fixed by a match fixing agent, after Kusal had refused an offer to throw a match. But Ravi knew nothing could save the player unless they established how the substance came to be in his body. After a one-to-one meeting, Ranatuga was convinced that Kusal had done no wrong. more..

Criminals able to strike at will, brazen burglary shows

May 19 (ST) The brazen burglary of the house of former IGP Victor Perera in Panadura this week showed that thieves can strike even places that are generally regarded as safe. The thieves made off with jewellery and cash valued at nearly Rs. 1 million despite the house being guarded by security. Such incidents have raised concerns that the crime rate is on the increase and no one anywhere is safe. more..

UK’s main opposition backs self-determination for Tamils

May 19 (CG) Britain’s main opposition Labour Party says it supports the right to self-determination for Tamils in Sri Lanka. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn vowed to stand with the Tamil community “in the search for truth, justice, accountability and reconciliation. In a video message and written statement released to coincide with Mullivaikal Remembrance Day, the leader of the Labour Party also reiterated his more..

Canadian PM notes foreign judges must be involved in Sri Lanka

May 19 (CG) The Canadian PM, Justin Trudeau says foreign judges must be involved in the investigations on the war in Sri Lanka. He said this in a statement issued on the seventh anniversary of the end of the war in Sri Lanka. “Today, we mark the anniversary of the end of the war in Sri Lanka in 2009. It is a time to honour, remember, and reflect on the victims of this 26-year war. more..

More rain in Sri Lanka likely, depression turns to storm: Met Dept

May 19 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s Met Department says the deep depression in the Bay of Bengal has intensified into a cyclonic storm ROANU which is moving away from the island. Nevertheless, an increase of rainfall in parts of the island is likely. “There is a high possibility to sudden increase of rain in the South-western part of the country,” the latest forecast for 20th May, released at noon, said. more..

Bribery Commission files action against Johnston

May 19 (CG) The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption today filed action against former Minister Johnston Fernando for causing a loss of Rs. 40.1 million to the govt. According to the commission, the losses were incurred due to the former minister using public servants for political and personal reasons. It is suspected that Johnston Fernando had employed 45 workers of the Sathosa for his more..

Tackling worsening air quality top priority for Sri Lanka: WHO

May 19 (EN) Improving air quality must be a top health and development priority in countries of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) South-East Asia Region including Sri Lanka as increasing air pollution levels are putting the health of billions of people at risk. A new global report on trends in air quality shows that the levels of urban air pollution in the region have increased by over 5% in more than two-thirds of our cities, more..

Video: Death toll rises to 41

May 19 (AD) The death toll from the country’s flash floods and landslides rose to 41 while over 400,000 people have been affected. 302,997 persons who were displaced as a result of the prevailing adverse weather condition have been placed at 610 temporary shelters in several districts. Meanwhile rescue operations in search of persons missing due to landslides in Bulathkohupitiya and Aranayaka in Kegalle are still continuing, more..

Seven years after the end of SL’s civil war

May 19 (CT) When the civil war came to an end in May 2009 I was still a final year undergraduate at the University of Peradeniya. Peradeniya was miles away from the war zone. The only venues that supplied us with details about the happenings in the war theatre were the television channels stationed in the South, self-censoring the civilian casualties incurred and feeding to the Sinhala nationalist jubilation of the times. And on the other side were websites like Tamilnet and Puthinam more..

Sri Lankan shares fall to over one-week low amid foreign outflows

May 19 (Reuters) Shares fell on Thursday to an over one-week low, led by heavyweights amid foreign selling along with sluggish business activity after floods and landslides dented general business sentiment. Hopes faded on Thursday for the survival of about 150 people trapped under the mud and rubble of two landslides in Sri Lanka, as heavy rain hampered rescue operations and the death toll from the disaster rose to 43 as of 0630 GMT. Investors also awaited some cues on the interest rates more..


Modi, Sampur and Indian Security Policies

May 19 (CT) Close observers heard distant but nevertheless clear ringing of the bells of warning about a pre-arranged Indo-Lanka plan to forge closer and shared Indo-Lanka maritime ties judging by the apparently easy acceptance by Indian PM Narendra Modi of President Sirisena's proposals to convert Sampur into a Natural Liquefied Gas project. Back of this proposal which obviously would have been preceded by numerous top level closed door discussions on the issue between more..

CID to probe miscreant

May 19 (CT) The CID has been ordered to immediately probe how formal invitations have gone out supposedly under the hand of the Chief Govt Whip, on letterheads of the Leader of the House. Parliamentary sources said the invitations had been for the Govt Parliamentary Group meeting held on Monday sent out by the Chief Govt Whip Gayantha Karunatilake, written on letterheads of the Leader of the House, Minister Lakshman Kiriella. The Chief Opposition Whip had received a copy of more..

Video: All schools closed tomorrow

May 19 (AD) All schools in the island will be closed tomorrow due to the inclement weather prevailing in the country, Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam announced. “Tomorrow has been declared a holiday for all schools in the country,” he said. He said that they have received reports of govt-provided text books being washed away by floods in certain areas and that the Ministry will take necessary steps to redistribute them. more..

Sri Lanka loses last French missionary

May 19 (Island) The last French missionary to serve Sri Lanka Rev. Fr. Andre Didon OMI was laid to rest at Kanatta yesterday. Rev. Fr. Didon was 91 years old. Sixty six of those 91 years, Fr. Didon spent as a missionary in Sri Lanka working for the poorest of the poor. The passing away of Rev. Fr. Didon marked the end of an era as European missionaries, mainly from France played a pivotal role in building the Catholic church in Sri Lanka. Rev. Fr. Didon was born in Champagne, France in 1925. more..

FNO says govt insulted and dishonoured war heroes

May 19 (Island) Ven Bengamuwe Nalaka Thera said the govt had insulted and dishonoured members of the security forces by cancelling the Victory Day celebrations at the behest of the international community and the pro-LTTE groups and by allowing dead terrorists to be commemorated. The Thera addressing journalists at a news conference said, the govt is giving lame excuses claiming it was a commemoration of the civilians who died during the civil war." more..