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Centuries for Mathews and Chandimal but India still on top

Dec 4 (CI) Having kept it locked up all through this tour, Sri Lanka finally reminded everyone of the batting quality they possess, as centuries from Dinesh Chandimal and, at long last, Angelo Mathews helped them avoid the follow-on at the Feroz Shah Kotla. Given how long they were kept on the field, India would probably not have enforced the follow-on anyway. The Chandimal-Mathews partnership alone consumed 79.1 overs. more..

Dalaputtuwa killing: Two Grama Niladharies arrested

Dec 4 (DM) Two Grama Niladharis were arrested on charges of being in possession of three ivory pendants during a raid on a house at Polpithigama. Polpithigama Police said the arrests were made on a tip off received by the Nikaweratiya Division Intelligence Unit. They said suspects, one of whom was 32 and the other 43, were residents of Ma-Eliya and Makulpotha and would be produced in the Mahawa Magistrate's Court shortly. The police said they launched investigations more..

Shocking parallels in abolishing slavery and protectionist exploitation in Sri Lanka

Dec 4 (EN) A story doing round in Colombo these days is that when SL's captains of rent - sorry industry - were asked about the possibility of freeing the people from high import duty exploitation at a finance ministry meeting, they asked for 10 years of gradual reduction. The modern-day resistance to economic emancipation is reminiscent of the calls of native slave-holders of Ceylon, and the challenges resistance faced by the British administrators when they set about abolishing slavery in Ceylon. more..

Fishermen asked not to go to sea from Dec 5-8

Dec 4 (AD) The Department of Meteorology requested fishing and naval communities to refrain from going out to sea from tomorrow (5) until Friday (8) due to strong wind conditions expected in sea areas. The low pressure area in the South-east Bay of Bengal sea area is now located nearly 1300km away from SL and is likely to develop in to a depression during next 24 hours. The system is likely to move west-northwest more..

A true messenger of God

Dec 4 (CT) Pope Francis on his first visit to Asia last week had opted to travel to one of the poorest countries in the world, Bangladesh and Myanmar, where the Rohingya Muslims were persecuted brutally and made to seek refuge in Bangladesh in the last few months. As the year 2017 has witnessed an enormous refugee crisis in its early part in Europe with the influx of refugees on a mega scale moving out from the Middle East as well as from Africa crossing the Mediterranean and more..

Chandimal and Mathews' Kotla marathon

Dec 4 (CI) 476: Balls faced by Mathews and Chandimal during their 181-run stand for the fourth wicket. It's the longest partnership between a visiting pair in India in the last five years, and the second-longest stand for Sri Lanka against India. Overall, this is the longest partnership for any pair at the Kotla, trumping the 433 balls Gautam Gambhir and VVS Laxman faced together against Australia in 2008-09. 10: Centuries for Dinesh Chandimal in 80 Test innings: fastest Lankan to the landmark. more..

Another Yahapalana scam?: Excess expenditure alleged in Cabinet proposal

Dec 4 (CT) Govt has decided to entrust the survey of State land to Trimble Inc, an American Company overlooking the Govt's Survey Department, by obtaining a massive loan of Rs 23.5 billion from that Company for the purpose. The relevant Cabinet Paper was tabled at the Cabinet meeting on 3 Oct by the Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka and approval was obtained. In the Cabinet Paper it was stated that with a view to expediting survey more..

CHEC Port City backs inaugural Best Sri Lankan Brands Awards

Dec 4 (FT) Port City Colombo, leading a major transformation of Colombo as a world class city for South Asia, has come forward to support the inaugural Best Sri Lankan Brands Awards scheduled for 11 Dec. Interbrand, the world’s largest and most influential brand consultancy, will introduce Best SL Brands, an extension of the former’s world renowned Best Brands list. The ranking, which identifies the most valuable brands in SL, is modelled on Interbrand’s prestigious Best more..

Over 33,000 Jaffna Youth apply for jobs

Dec 4 (CT) Over 33,000 job applications have been submitted by the unemployed youth of the Jaffna District over the last month, to the Jaffna District Secretariat. The collection of 33,204 job applications from the unemployed was organized as the next step of the President's Public Official Service Programme, in order to collect data and information from the Jaffna District. Among the applicants are graduates as well as those who have passed the GCE O/L and A/L Exams. more..

Govt ignored int'l storm warnings: JO

Dec 4 (DM) JO MP Dinesh Gunawardane asked in parliament why the govt had ignored the international warning about the recent tropical storm issued three days ahead of the impending disaster. He said the govt agencies had only issued an advisory to the fishing community. "This has not only dealt a severe blow to the people and the economy but had also tarnished the country's reputation among the tourist industry and more..

Successful development drive without Gota and iron boot: Champika

Dec 4 (FT) Commending the Yahapalanaya Govt’s development efforts, Minister Champika Ranawaka lashed out at the former regime and its iron boots tactic of utilising the armed forces in civilian matters. Taking part in yesterday’s Committee Stage debate Minister remarked that unlike the previous administration that had carried out a development drive through heavy loan-taking, the current Govt facilitated development through private sector direct investments. more..

Special Courts to clear backlog of 19,000 cases

Dec 4 (DN) Special Courts will be established to clear a backlog of around 19,000 cases related to violence against children and women, currently stuck at the Attorney General’s Department, Justice Minister Thalatha Athukorala said. Minister said she was planning to initiate this urgently and added that it will help government efforts at preventing and protecting children and women from all forms of violence, including sexual and physical abuse, neglect and exploitation. more..

Housemaids molested in Saudi: Returned Lankan woman’s horror story

Dec 4 (CT) A number of housemaids are subjected to molestation by their employers in Saudi Arabia, a local woman who managed to escape a worse fate claimed. "There are a number of women like me who are subjected to molestation by employers in Saudi Arabia. They are suffering. It is only thanks to the Mawbima newspaper and other media that I managed to return to Sri Lanka alive. Those who have a love for their lives please more..

Why India is buying the world’s emptiest airport

Dec 4 (LI) Geopolitical rivalry between big powers sometimes yields odd results. The latest development in growing strategic competition across the Indian Ocean region is India's purchase of what has become known as the world's emptiest international airport in Sri Lanka, maybe just to keep it empty. The small fishing town of Hambantota, near the southern tip of Sri Lanka, has long been Exhibit A for those who worry about the strategic impact of China's Belt and Road Initiative. more..

Canadian envoy visits Palaly

Dec 4 (CT) Canadian High Commissioner David Mckinnon and the Political and Economic Counselor of the Canadian HC, Jennifer Hart visited the Security Forces Headquarters in Palaly, Jaffna on Thursday. They had a discussion with Jaffna Security Forces Commander Major General Darshana Hettiarachchi on various issues in Jaffna. SF Commander welcomed the delegation and briefed them on the post-war humanitarian activities carried out by Security Forces in Jaffna more..

Expect heavy rain and strong winds

Dec 4 (DM) The low pressure area South-East of the Bay of Bengal was located nearly 1300km from Sri Lanka by this evening. The Meteorology Department warns of showers exceeding 75 mm particularly in the Northern, North-Central and Eastern and Uva Provinces and thundershowers in other areas with winds of up to 60 kmph particularly in the Northern and Southern & Eastern Provinces from tomorrow to Friday. more..

Liquor Tax: Beer vs. Kasippu

Dec 5 (CT) The Budget-2018 has proposed revision of liquor tax based on alcohol content and thus beer and Wine prices come down significantly against the hard liquor. Two schools of thoughts have arisen in this phenomenon. First one is that the well-known SL illegal brew Kasippu consumers would shift to beer which is good for health. The other is that the youngsters would become alcoholic due to cheap liquor like beer and wine avail. As each theory has its own merit and demerit the debate more..

Tale of a twisted tusker

Dec 5 (CT) The majestic tusker with its crossed tusks known by the freaky and funny name Dala Puttuwa has been slaughtered and carcass buried far away from its natural habitat. The logistics of the brutal deed and the attempted clandestine sale of its two tusks suggests that it was well planned deploying resources not readily available to the average poacher. The Wildlife Department awoke to the tragedy only after conservationists launched a hunt for the beast that nature endowed with more..

'SLFP confident of winning a majority of LG bodies'

Dec 5 (SO) UPFA Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said the talks between the two SLFP factions have turned futile, so there is no point in making further attempts to unite the two factions since the SLFP dissidents in the JO have already decided to contest the forthcoming LG elections separately. He said the JO representatives didn’t have a genuine desire to turn the talks into a success and most of the conditions put forward by them were not more..

Brickbats change to bouquets: LG polls - weather the Storm

Dec 5 (SO) In a democracy, elections are a necessary evil. Former President Rajapaksa made a virtue out of this necessity. He held elections to Provincial Councils on a staggered basis, in such a manner that there was always an election campaign going on. Of course, no one is saying that all those elections were conducted on a level playing field- but that is a discussion for another day. When there are no elections, it becomes a greater evil. That is what has happened now. more..

Marapana keeps an ace up his sleeve

Dec 5 (ST) The public of SL need not worry. Those who seem concerned that our foreign policy is like a rudderless boat with nobody at the tiller, better think afresh. It is in safe hands whatever the loquacious members of the opposition might say. Only the other day the Foreign Minister (the third under the yahapalana administration) told our legislators that he is armed with an ace. Never mind where he keeps it — whether up the sleeve or under the pillow — he will play it when the time is ripe. more..

Documenting Sri Lanka’s Ethnic Minorities

Dec 5 (Roar) In our last segment, we featured eight SL ethnic minorities who lived here for generations but whose ethno-religious identities are unacknowledged in the national census. Constituting 2% of the local population, these ethnicities are merely categorised as other. This March, for the first time in history, the govt has finally released a booklet titled People of SL, including both the majority and minority ethnicities. more..

Missile-salute and grand welcome

Dec 5 (CT) "Yes Your Excellency, we have gone to the extent of arranging a Missile fire to salute you instead of the mere gun salute," quipped a South Korean VVIP, when President Maithripala Sirisena thanked the Koreans for the grand welcome and warm hospitality accorded to him during the 3-day State visit. Sirisena and others burst into laughter at the VVIP's not so subtle reference to North Korean missile test carried out when the Sri Lankan President was in Seoul. more..

Editorial: State as estate

Dec 5 (Island) Dr. Usvatte-aratchi, in his article on this page today, demolishes some long-held myths and misconceptions about state revenue, taxes, free education and free healthcare among other things. Referring to a recent statement made by President Maithripala Sirisena, he points out that it is wrong for the head of state to use the term, mage rajaya (my state) as the President does not own the state. President Sirisena has recently gone on record as saying that my state won’t allow anyone who more..

Face the Nation

Balancing between free market & social justice: Lessons from China

Dec 5 (CT) Without superficially imitating other countries, drawing lessons from any country would be useful for a developing country like SL given the common nature of many challenges that developing or transforming countries are faced with. It is not only because of the ancient historical links, dating back to Fa Hein’s visit to the island in the 5 century AD, that China is important to Sri Lanka, in this endeavour, but also because of the contemporary commonalities or more precisely, more..

Lankans win Asian Schools Cross Country C'ships despite step motherly treatment

Dec 5 (Island) SL’s Schools Cross Country teams who were refused funds by the Ministry of Education to participate in the Asian Schools Cross Country Championship in Hong Kong won the boys’ and girls’ team championships at the third edition of the event in Hong Kong on Monday. SL girls’ team members stunned fancied counterparts to make a clean sweep, while the boys’ secured team championship by vertue of their members finishing 3rd, 4th, 6th, 8th, 12th, 17th in boys’ category. more..

A day of bloody-minded cricket Sri Lanka badly needed

Dec 5 (CI) Dinesh Chandimal's debut Test was perhaps Sri Lanka's best Test win, in Durban in the last week of 2011. It was no coincidence, though. Chandimal debuted into 30,989 runs. Angelo Mathews, who contributed a thousand of his own to those batting riches at that time, himself debuted into a side that had Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, Thilan Samaraweera and Tillakaratne Dilshan. more..

Not the kind of pitches we wanted: Shami

Dec 5 (CI) For long periods in the Delhi Test, it will have seemed India are not getting what they wanted from it - preparation for the South Africa tour - but there also would have been satisfaction that they could put in long spells in testing conditions and come back with rewards towards the end of the day. "The kind of wickets we wanted to prepare on before going to South Africa, we haven't been provided with those kind of wickets," Mohammed Shami, India's big hope for away tours, said. more..

Windies to host SL for Tests in June 2018

Dec 5 (CB) After a decade-long gap, Windies are set to host Sri Lanka for a three-match Test series in June in 2018, Cricket West Indies announced on Monday. With the second match of the series scheduled at the iconic Kensington Oval in Barbados, Sri Lanka will make their Test debut at the venue on June 14. The Test series is slated to begin from June 6 at the Queen's Park Oval in Trinidad, while the final match will be held in St Lucia from June 23. more..

Malinga, Chandimal set to be overlooked for India ODI series

Dec 5 (CI) Lasith Malinga and Dinesh Chandimal aren't likely to be picked for the limited-overs leg of the India tour. Asela Gunaratne and Nuwan Pradeep are set to make a comeback in the squad that will be announced on today. Malinga's poor run has been well documented and he failed to inspire much confidence during his Bangladesh Premier League 2017 stint with Rangpur Riders. Malinga has played seven matches so far more..

Mathews glad he didn’t repeat mistakes of Bombay in 2009

Dec 5 (Island) A 22-year-old Angelo Mathews was a surprise selection when Sri Lanka toured India in 2009. Kumar Sangakkara was the captain then and he had this knack of picking fine talents. Mathews proved his worth in the third Test against India in Bombay and was nearing his maiden Test hundred. Batting with last man Muttiah Muralitharan, Mathews pulled S. Sreeshanth and chanced Sachin Tendulkar’s arm and was run out for 99. He was left in tears and had to be consoled by the team’s more..

Sri Lanka slump to lowest ever FIFA ranking

Dec 5 (CT) Sri Lanka have slumped to their lowest-ever position in their football history and are in 200th place in the latest FIFA ranking published last week. President of Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL) Anura de Silva said, "Our team has not participated in any international matches recently and without playing any matches we automatically slipped in the rankings based on the points." "After the new committee took over FFSL we drafted a proposal to play more friendly international matches, more..

H’tota Port tax cuts before Cabinet

Dec 5 (FT) As the days tick down for the official handover of the Hambantota Port to Chinese investors on Saturday, the Govt is likely to rush through a crucial gazette detailing tax concessions granted to the divested Hambantota Port by seeking approval from both the Cabinet and Parliament over the next four days. Party leaders yesterday decided to debate the gazette notification issued by Minister Malik Samarawickrama under more..

Hoax of free education & free health services

Dec 5 (Island) On 11 November in the evening news, President Maithripala Sirisena claimed that his state (mage rajaya) would not permit anyone who fought in the war against LTTE to be brought to court for his conduct in battle. Leave aside the legality and morality of that statement, no President can claim ownership of this state. Nor can Xi Jining claim that Chong Guo is his state. Sri Lanka is not the President’s state. A few years ago, there was a President who acted as if more..

LVL Energy Fund announces Rs. 1.2 b IPO

Dec 5 (FT) Energy company and subsidiary of Lanka Ventures, the LVL Energy Fund Ltd. yesterday announced a Rs. 1.2 billion Initial Public Offering (lPO) to fund its strategic expansion and growth in the renewable energy sector. The IPO is billed as the largest IPO listing since 2015. With 120 million shares being made available at Rs. 10 per share, the IPO will aim to raise Rs. 1.2 billion, the company said. The IPO price is backed up by an independent valuation carried out by C more..

Final 17 reports on large-scale corruption ready: PRECIFAC

Dec 5 (FT) While packing its bags after its mandate ended in November, presidential anti-corruption commission is awaiting an appointment from President Sirisena to hand over 17 final reports and a final overall report on large-scale corruption, fraud, abuse of power and state funds. Secretary of PRECIFAC H.W. Gunadasa said that during its tenure it had investigated 34 major cases of large-scale fraud and corruption. more..

Budget allocations for teacher training: Is Sri Lanka playing its cards right?

Dec 5 (IPS) The 2018 budget proposals has correctly recognized the importance of good quality teachers for improving education in the country. The budget has allocated Rs. 50 Mn to increase the allowance given to teacher trainees to Rs.5,000 a month and allocated another Rs. 50 Mn for the establishment of a center for training English teachers. Highly qualified teachers in all classrooms are necessary for implementing education reforms aimed at modernizing & improving education more..

Walkers Colombo Shipyard secures US$ 4 mn from ADB

Dec 5 (DN) Walkers Colombo Shipyard (Pvt) Limited, a subsidiary of MTD Walkers PLC secured a US$ 4 million loan from the Asian Development Bank to be utilized for the development of the Shipyard of Walkers Colombo Shipyard featuring a state of the art Shiplift and Transfer System which will accommodate vessels up to 70 metres in length and 1,250 tonnes. The proposed loan will be the first ADB non-sovereign infrastructure loan in Sri Lanka since 2000. more..

'CID and AG in two minds over Ekneligoda case'

Dec 5 (CT) CID and the Attorney General's Department are debating whether the journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda disappearance case should proceed as a murder or abduction, Minister of Law and Order Sagala Ratnayake said. Intervening during a discussion on violence against journalists in Sri Lanka, at a UNESCOU-sponsored conference in Colombo, Ratnayake said, Attorney General wants to more..