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Scool Rugby season was very competitive this year

July 9 (SO) This year’s school rugby season was closely followed by many rugby fans due to the fact that the competition was very close and very competitive. Some of the teams although they could not reach the top they were good as the ultimate winners. For example, Dharmaraja and St. Anthony’s Kandy had very balance teams. But, it is rather unfortunate that they could not reach the top due to the competition was so intensive and there were no chance for any team to miss out on more..

Sri Lanka cricket on road to recovery

July 9 (CT) After possibly the darkest day in the history of the game in Sri Lanka, the National team under Mathews appear to be coming into their own against the Lowly Zimbabweans. What surprised most people was not about Sri Lanka winning but about their loss in the opening game where the Zimbabweans swept the Sri Lankan bowling out of sight. The credit that is due to Angelo Mathews and the team is on how they recovered by regrouping. It was obvious that Zimbabwe had unleashed more..

Nimali, Gayanthika, Indunil and Dhanuka advance to finals

July 9 (CT) Two women's 800m runners Nimali Liyanarachchi and Gayanthika Abeyrathne, together with men's 800m runner Indunil Herath advanced to the finals at the 22nd Asian Athletics Championship continued at Bhuwaneswar yesterday. Gayanthika clocked 2 minutes 06.95 seconds to finish first in her heat, while Indunil Herath clocked 1 minute 51.70 seconds to finish second in his heat. more..

Sri Lanka to tour India later this year

July 9 (ST) Sri Lanka will travel to India to play three Tests, three ODIs and two T20 in their first series involving all three formats of the game since 2009, Sri Lanka Cricket confirmed yesterday. “We are yet to confirm the scheduled but the tour is confirmed,” board Secretary Mohan de Silva said. Though the tour schedule is yet to be finalized, a board official says, it will probably be after Sri Lanka’s tour of UAE to play Pakistan starting from Oct 17. BCCI has lined up SL and NZ for Nov and Dec. more..

Slip sliding away

July 9 (SO) News was not good to the government this week, with Transparency International´s Corruption Perceptions Index and the World Bank´s Ease of Doing Business Index both indicating that Sri Lanka has slipped down from the previous year´s rankings. Credibility is hard to gain once lost and perception is hard to change, once formed. The country lost its credibility within the international community when former President Rajapaksa let go of an excellent opportunity to more..

Weedicides: Decision this week

July 9 (SO) The weedicide issue will be sorted out next week, Minister of Plantation Industries, Navin Dissanayake told guests at the Global Ceylon Tea Party held in Colombo last week to mark 150 years of Ceylon Tea. The Global Ceylon Tea Party was held across all Sri Lankan embassies and High Commissions at 5 p.m. on July 6. It was organised by the Sri Lanka Tea Board, Colombo Tea Traders’ Association (CTTA) in collaboration with the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. more..

Twenty police officers transferred

July 9 (GDI) 20 Police officers have been transferred on the recommendation of the IGP and under the approval of the National Police Commission with immediate effect. Transfers have been made considering the service requirement. Senior Superintendent of Police R.M.S.S.B. Ratnayake has been transferred from Panadura Division to Kurunegala Division. Superintendent of Police P.R.P. Senanayake have been transferred from Police Headquarters (Deputy Director) to Panadura Division (OIC). more..

Ex-envoy does it again!

July 9 (DM) A certain person who once played the country’s envoy in a red country is said to be moving from one country to another without returning home as a court warrant is out for his arrest. However, whenever the former strongman visits a foreign country, this fugitive would rush to his side and pictures showing him in the company of the distinguished visitor would soon appear on the newspapers as well as on the Facebook and other social media web sites.  more..

Champika warns of another 88'-89' period

July 9 (SL) Cabinet Minister and JHU General Secretary, Champika Ranawaka warned that the country may face a repeat of the 1988 ¨C 1989 period. He has told a Govt group meeting that the SAITM must be abolished. Ranawaka told the Govt at the meeting that if SAITM is not abolished, violence may erupt in the country like what was seen during the 1988-1989 period, sources said. Ranawaka has also proposed that a separate paying system more..

Getting used to their right to know

July 9 (Hindu) When President Maithripala Sirisena promised to introduce a Right to Information Act in his manifesto prior to the Jan 2015 elections, it sounded distant to most Sri Lankans. Like millions of citizens in the region, they had resigned to their govt’s opaque administration and its aversion to accountability. When the Act became a reality in 2016, citizens suddenly found a new dynamic with the govt. They could ask more questions and, significantly, be entitled to answers. more..

‘Free wi-fi hurts leisure sector’

July 9 (SO) Over 90% of hotel guests demand free wi-fi and around 60% of the hotels, the world over, offer it free, statistics reveal. Research shows that around 80% of guests, access video content and over 50% review online before booking a hotel. Over 80% do not return due to bad tech experience. Better internet reviews results in more repeat business. Hotels to malls across the globe bear the cost, however, much it may be to attract guests & maintain higher occupancy rates. more..

Sri Lanka’s first ever heart transplant

July 9 (ST) Sri Lanka’s first-ever heart transplant was performed on Friday night at the Kandy Teaching Hospital, launching the country’s urgently-needed Heart and Lung Transplantation Programme. A 40-year-old woman who was in the throes of end-stage heart failure was the pioneer to be transplanted with a heart from a 29-year-old man who was declared brain-dead after an accident. The heart transplant which was begun at around 7 more..

Moves to form an alternative GMOA

July 9 (SL) Moves are underway to form an alternative govt doctors’ association to counter the pressure faced by the govt from GMOA. The GMOA has in the recent past launched strikes which has affected activities at all govt hospitals. Minister Rajitha Senaratne has told President Sirisena that govt doctors from the North and East and other parts of the country have backed forming an alternative GMOA. He said that he had discussions with some of the doctors and they did not fully back more..

Sri Lankan Athletes continue to struggle

July 9 (ST) Sri Lankan athletes continued with their struggle for a medal without any success on the third day of the 22nd Asian Athletics Championship which continued at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, yesterday. SL took part in four finals including in the Men’s 4X100 metres relay but none of them were able to produce any medal winning performances for the country. In fact tragedy struck in the very first final of the day as Nimali Rathnayake pulled out from Women’s 3,000 metres steeplechase more..

Airbus dispute: Govt seeks solution

July 9 (ST) Cabinet Committee on Economic Management (CCEM) has been asked to come up with recommendations on how to resolve a dispute with Airbus S.A.S over the purchase of four Airbus A 350-900 aircraft. Directive has gone from the Cabinet after Minister Kabir Hashim asked whether the deal be cancelled or any other measures were necessary. CCEM, chaired by PM, has been told to make its recommendations more..

German Ambassador at NCCSL

July 9 (SO) The Ambassador of Germany Joern Rhode will be the Guest Speaker at a session on Bilateral Trade between Sri Lanka and Germany organized by the National Chamber of Commerce on July 20 from 3pm to 4.30 pm at the Chamber Auditorium No 450 D.R. Wijewardena Mawatha, Colombo-10. Germany is the second largest Importer and also the second largest Exporter in the world and is the most populated country in Europe with around 81.7 million people. more..

Greater Kandy: Eight ministers on board

July 9 (ST) A Central Development Board comprising eight Cabinet Ministers has been appointed to coordinate the Greater Kandy urban development plan. Its main tasks will include the re-development of the Bogambara Prison area, Kandy suburban railway, a traffic bypass tunnel through the town area and Mahaveli riverfront development. Chaired by Minister Sarath Amunugama, tcommittee includes Ministers Lakshman Kiriella, Champika Ranawaka, Malik Samarawickrema, more..

SriLankan director quits in disgust after humiliating meeting

July 9 (ST) Colonel (Rtd.) Sunil D. Peiris, board director and Director of Human Resources at SriLankan Airlines, resigned from his position on Friday after he says a humiliating meeting with the President and some ministers. The first casualty in the under-fire board of the national carrier, Col. Pieiris said that he sent in his resignation to airline chairman Ajit Dias. “We were humiliated. It was a load of diabolical lies dished out by some ministers,” more..

Why Sri Lanka is the ultimate destination for surfers and safari-seekers alike

July 9 (DM) The word paradise is bandied around endlessly by travellers: it's used to describe every stretch of white-sand beach or rainforest they see. But while modern tourists might write #paradise alongside each snap they post on Instagram, there's a genuine case for Sri Lanka's identification as Paradise on Earth, thanks to a series of literary references. In his 1891 book Palms And Pearls: Or Scenes In Ceylon, Alan Walters highlights a 14th Century Icelandic work which names more..

Vizag-Colombo flight launched

July 9 (Hindu) The inaugural flight of SriLankan Airlines from Visakhapatnam to Colombo was flagged off by Union Minister of Civil Aviation P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju at Visakhapatnam International Airport here on Saturday. The new flight leaves Colombo at 7.10 a.m. (local time) and arrives in Visakhapatnam at 9.10 a.m. (local time). It leaves Vizag at 10.10 a.m. and reaches Colombo at 12.15 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. more..

'Colombo’s garbage mounds cleared'

July 9 (SO) Colombo has been cleared of all its festering garbage mounds, declared Minister Champika Ranawaka. 3-day program carried out last week to rid the city of its growing trash heaps, following the collapse of the Meethotamulla garbage dump, has been completed successfully. “There are no piles of trash in Colombo now,” claimed Minister. Around 3,000 metric tons of garbage was cleared within the past 3 days. more..

Universities only want autonomy: Prof.

July 9 (CT) University of Colombo Vice Chancellor Prof. Lakshman Dissanayake emphasized that the administration of the University does not want to necessarily administer it as a profit generating option but wants autonomy. Professor Dissanayake's observation came in response to being asked by Ceylon Today for his comments on media reports that the govt is attempting to convert the Universities of Colombo and Peradeniya into profit generating institutions. more..

Carlo’s appointment valid for 5 years: GMOA

July 9 (CT) Govt Medical Officers' Association (GMOA) wants Prof. Carlo Fonseka to continue holding the Chairmanship of the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) for the next five years. GMOA members are expected to meet Prof. Fonseka today. GMOA Assistant Secretary Dr. Naveen de Soysa said that Minister Rajitha Senaratne was trying to remove Prof. Fonseka from the chairmanship at a time when there are serious concerns regarding medical education in the country. more..

Tax files, IDs for all above 18

July 9 (CT) Minister Mangala Samaraweera stated that Ministry of Finance is working on a plan to introduce a Taxpayer Identification Number and a Tax File to be opened for all citizens of SL who are above 18 years of age. "Every person who is an income earner will be taxed, based on his income under this mechanism. Although we plan to open a Tax File and to provide a Taxpayer Identification Number to all citizens above 18 more..

TNA delegation to meet Mahanayakes

July 9 (ST) TNA leader Rajavarothayam Sampanthan is to lead a delegation to meet prelates of leading Buddhist chapters. They will meet the Mahanayakes of the Malwatte and Asgiriya chapters. The move follows a call by the Mahanayakes urging President Maithripala Sirisena not to go ahead with a new Constitution. President Sirisena who met a delegation of the leading prelates told them that they would be consulted first whenever a new Constitution was formulated. more..

Bottom trawling: Sri Lanka rejects TN chief minster’s protest

July 9 (ST) Sri Lanka rejected opposition by the TN Chief Minister to Govt’s new regulations banning bottom trawling in SL’s territorial waters. Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said the new laws were passed in Parliament for the benefit of SL’s fisheries industry. “We have to look after our interests and we cannot be too concerned about fishermen of other countries,” he said. He was responding to reports that TN Chief Minister Edappadi Plananiswami had written to PM Narendra Modi calling on India more..

Partners in Crime: President claims UNP delaying major probes to save Rajapaksas

July 9 (ST) First real sign that the two and half year old coalition — once dubbed harmoniously as the National Unity Govt — is cracking emerged last Tuesday. It surfaced at the weekly Cabinet meeting. In a no-holds-barred speech, an angry President Sirisena did not mince his words. He pointedly accused his partner in governance, the UNP, of stalling investigations into allegations of bribery, corruption and other acts of fraud more..

Policies must be pragmatic

July 9 (Island) Finance Minister Managala Samaraweera’s recent parliamentary speech advocating pragmatism in the country’s alcohol and poya day policies obviously has its detractors. As we said in this space two weeks ago when we opined that he was talking sense, he would not have been oblivious to the fact that he was walking on tricky ground. The big question that arises is do we opt for pragmatism or do we aim for perhaps unattainable idealism? Can we afford that luxury? more..

ULF can ride on social democratic resurgence

July 9 (Island) The division of the LSSP into two factions, a majority led by Dr Jayampathy Wickramaratne (MP), Attorney Lal Wijenayake (Party Secretary) and Professor Vijaya Kumar, and left-behind formal faction led by Dr Tissa Vitarana, is unfortunate and was avoidable. It is aggravated by permanent suspension without inquiry of those who later emerged as the Majority Group (MG) from party positions and membership. Their offence was to have opposed the Rajapaksa Presidency more..

Ajith, Suren combination rashes SriLankan Airlines

July 9 (SL) Another trade union action is looming due to an unprecedented decision taken by the Chairman, SriLankan Airlines to bring crew rostering under the Head of Human Resources in violation of aviation safety laws regulated by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). This decision has compromised the safety of the national carrier and is putting the lives of travellers at a risk. more..

Champika handling hi-tech projects to deal with garbage

July 9 (ST) The Govt is to make a call for Request for Proposals (RFP) for design, build and finance a waste disposal project to deal with garbage. Colombo-based diplomatic missions will be asked to request firms specialising in this task in their countries to make proposals. This is after the Cabinet of Ministers approved that such a project be sited at Aruwakkaru in the Puttalam area. It was also noted at a recent meeting of the CCEM more..

Welikada prison riot: CID to probe further

July 9 (SO) The IGP, Pujith Jayasundara has ordered the CID to conduct a further investigation into the 2012 Welikada Prison riot. The order was given following the recommendations of the three-member committee appointed by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. The committee, headed by former High Court Judge Nimal Nambuwasamge presented its report to the PM in June 2015. Committee also recommended that a further investigation more..

Reduction in rate of new cases

July 9 (SO) There has been a reduction in the rate of new dengue cases reported during the past few days, an official of the National Dengue Control Unit said. Consultant Community Specialist at the National Dengue Control Unit, Dr. Presila Samaraweera said they cannot say the spread of dengue is on the decline, but there is a visible reduction in the ‘rate’ of new cases being reported in the past couple of days. more..

Private hospitals ignore govt appeal to reduce blood test charges

July 9 (ST) Several private hospitals are ignoring the Govt’s call to lower charges for blood reports in the light of the raging dengue. They have arbitrarily reverted to the earlier rates charged for blood reports as of this week. Recently, private hospitals slashed the fee charged for a full blood count, essential in the management of dengue, to about half (Rs 250) following a Health Ministry request to help the country overcome crisis. more..

Drivers turn crossings into death zones for hundreds of pedestrians

July 9 (ST) Mohammed Haneefa, 69, who lives in Hendala, Wattala, was full of anticipation on June 25 not only because it was the day before Ramazan, but he was also awaiting his son who was visiting him. He stood by the side of the Negombo-Colombo main road that evening for his son who was not too familiar with the area, according to neighbours. At about 8:10 p.m., Mr. Haneefa stepped on to a pedestrian crossing and more..

TNA pressures Govt on new Constitution

July 9 (CT) The TNA in Parliament this week urged the Govt to hold a referendum on the new draft Constitution. TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran, while taking part in a debate in the House, called on the govt to fulfil its mandate of completing the task of formulating a new Constitution and to hold a referendum to seek the opinion of the people. "Overcome all obstacles and go ahead with enacting of a new Constitution more..

Yahapalanaya spying on the nation?

July 9 (CT) It is learnt that the Govt has imported hi-tech equipment from Israel and the USA to monitor Facebook accounts and for eavesdropping into telephone conversations. MP Udaya Gammanpila said that the equipment has cost over Rs 400 million. He said no one was yet aware of the fact that they are under close Govt surveillance via their Facebook accounts. He said the Govt keeps tabs on each and every private & confidential more..

Former Army Chief Gen Daya Ratnayake says OMP Bill suspicious

July 9 (CT) Breaking a rather long silence following the regime change back in 2015, former Army Chief General Daya Ratnayake officially adopted a stance against the current administration, after he voiced his opposition against the proposed Bill for the Office of Missing Persons (OMP). Back in 2016, the proposal to establish the controversial OMP was given the green light by the Cabinet, as announced by Ministry of Foreign Affairs. more..

Tampering with witness a criminal offence- CoI orders legal action

July 9 (ST) An attempt to coerce a witness who testified before the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the Treasury Bond issue, came to light during this week’s proceedings, prompting the Bench to direct the AG Dept to take legal action against those who attempted to tamper with a witness. Deputy General Manager of Pan Asia Bank (PAB), Aruna Dias, told the CoI that former PAB Chairman Nimal Perera and Arjun Aloysius more..