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Women's World Cup: Sri Lanka targets 2013 repeat against host England

July 2 (SC) Back in 2013, Sri Lanka sent shockwaves around the cricketing world when they edged out defending Women’s World Cup champions England by one wicket in Mumbai to get their campaign off to a flyer. Four years on and the nations meet again at Taunton on Sunday in the league stage of the tournament. England skipper Heather Knight insists there is no way her side will be underestimating their opponents. “I actually saw the highlights briefly of the Sir Lanka game more..

Cricket made unlovely by the mandarins of SLC

July 2 (SO) Is it poor Malinga or is it bravo Malinga? Shame on you Malinga, or Congrats Malinga? Hero or villain? This cat is in a quandary since she is never quick to condemn anything the govt does and its Ministers, Wednesday June 28 newspaper sub-headlined in the Sports Page Malinga fined. A sort of token fine. The three-man Disciplinary Committee found the player guilty of breach of contract and the Executive Committee lowered its suspension of him from one year to six months and more..

Will much awaited resignation bring new dawn to yahapalanaya?

July 2 (CT) The day after the masses took to the streets of Bandarawela and staged a sathyagraha against Uma Oya project, the 125th Anniversary of Highlands College, Nuwara Eliya was held under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena in Hatton. He said govt expects to get the assistance of foreign specialists to seek the possibility to take forward the Uma Oya project by preventing the trouble caused to the people. more..

Changing hands in demanding times

July 2 (SO) Sri Lankans call changing times as these Sankranthi. Last week saw changes in the top defense hierarchy with Army Commander General A.W.J. Crishantha De Silva being promoted to Chief of Defence Staff. His old post is still vacant though General Mahesh Senenayake, currently acting Army Commander, is tipped to be promoted this week as the Commander. Defence Secretary, Karunasena Hettiarachchi is due take up position as Sri Lanka´s Ambassador to Germany. more..

Relay team finalized after trials yesterday

July 2 (CT) Two men's relay teams for Asian Athletics Championship 2017 - 4x400m and 4x100m - were finalized yesterday after trials held at Bhubaneshwar, which saw just one change in the men's 4x400m relay team. Kalinga Kumarage who finished 5th in 400m here in SL, got back into the team finishing 2nd in the trials, with Pradeep Kumara finishing third. Teenager Tharusha Dhananjaya won the trial in 47.1 seconds. First and second in 400, Dilip Ruwan and Ajith more..

Anura de Silva at the helm of Football

July 2 (ST) Incumbent President Anura de Silva overcame one of his biggest hurdles when he defeated his former boss Ranjith Rodrigo by a margin of 25 votes at the Annual Congress of the Football Federation of SL (FFSL) yesterday. It was held at the Ministry of Sports at Torrington under the observation of two representatives from FIFA and AFC, after which both main candidates termed the election results as fair and acceptable. more..

Demoralised Lankans looking for consolation

July 2 (ST) On Friday, Sri Lanka suffered one of their most embarrassing defeats in their opening game in a 5-match ODI series against Zimbabwe in Galle. However, today’s second game provides an opportunity for Sri Lanka to right the wrongs. The only hitch is, the team is badly equipped and demoralised. Their batting has clicked in recent times, but their bowling and fielding have been atrocious. “Today we were very poor. We have to address it quickly as we have only one day more..

What next for miserable Sri Lanka?

July 2 (Island) Beaten by Bangladesh at home and now beaten by Zimbabwe at home. What next for hapless Sri Lanka, you may wonder? Thank god there’s no series against Ireland or Afghanistan in the near future. Not even during the Flower days of Zimbabwean cricket, the heydays of their cricket, Zimbabwe were able to beat Sri Lanka in their own den. But that record was put to rest on Friday as Sri Lanka succumbed to a humiliating defeat, their first-ever defeat to 11th ranked team at home. more..

Interest rate shocker for credit cardholders

July 2 (ST) Sri Lankan credit card holders numbering over 1.3 million have been shocked and dismayed by the sudden interest rate hike by several commercial banks this week following Central Bank’s directive to lift the cap on credit card interest rates. CB also instructed commercial banks to charge competitive interest rates with effect from June 26 causing a ripple effect on credit card customers who have always paid minimum more..

Suspects brutally assaulted in prison

July 2 (SL) Suspects being held at A'pura and Vavuniya prisons are being brutally assaulted, Kilinochchi District Court was informed last week. One of five suspects arrested over the attempt to assassinate TNA MP M. A. Sumanthiran informed Kilinochchi District Court judge that he was assaulted by six jail guards. The suspect reportedly suffered serious injuries to his legs while being kept in remand in A'pura, judge was told when the case over the attempted murder of MP was heard. more..

Biscuit, coin to mark Ceylon Tea’s 150 years

July 2 (Hindu) Sri Lanka, the fourth-largest producer of tea, celebrates the sesquicentennial of its tea industry this month with a globally synchronised tasting session on July 6. Accompanying the cuppa would be a biscuit specially crafted for the occasion by one of Sri Lanka’s oldest biscuit makers Maliban Biscuit Manufactories Pvt. Ltd. A Scotsman named James Taylor is reputed to have developed the first commercial plantation on Loolcondera Estate, Hewaheta in 1867. more..

Did Dharmadasa accept his own resignation?

July 2 (ST) It all points to a turbulent exit of vice president of SLC Jayantha Dharmadasa from his position, thus bringing an end to all speculation. It is reported that he is serious and has taken a firm decision this time and he will not return. A very senior SLC official said “He has handed over his resignation and has not attended any of the executive committee meetings of late, so when it came to Media conference of more..

Two ad industry professionals launch Ad Lab

July 2 (ST) Lilamani Benson and Sandya Salgado, two talented professionals and veterans in the advertising industry space, are making headlines again. The duo has launched an Advertising Education brand called Ad Lab. “Ad very simply because it’s our world,” said Ms. Benson, “and Lab because that’s where exploration begins. Where invention happens. And curiosity is celebrated.” To celebrate the launch of AdLab, Lilamani and Sandya have crafted a structured study curriculum more..

John Keells Hotels post record profit

July 2 (Island) John Keells Hotels, with a portfolio of 1,337 four and five star rooms in 11 hotels across Sri Lanka and the Maldives, has posted strong results in the year ended March 31, 2017, growing revenue 6% to Rs. 12.3 billion and operating profits 8% to Rs. 2.25 billion. Occupancy in the SL resorts stood at 80% during the year while that in the Maldives at 89% enabling a superior result with the group profit after tax up to Rs. 1.86 billion from Rs. 1.75 billion a year earlier. more..

FIU campaigns hard against black cash

July 2 (ST) Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) has cottoned on to some major money laundering rackets and has stepped up vigilance on black money circulating in the island, senior officials say. FIU, an arm Central Bank has been following black money trails for some time now, officials said. This week it ran advertisements targeting Designated Non-Finance Businesses (DNFBs) on their obligation to report any transaction where more..

District Level Reconciliation Committees to address inter-religious tensions

July 2 (Islnad) Based on a Memorandum submitted by President Maithiripala Sirisena in his capacity as a Minister of National Integration and Reconciliation, the Cabinet of Ministers has granted approval to establish District Level Reconciliation Committees to address the incidence of inter-religious and inter-ethnic tensions and  promote national integration and reconciliation in all districts. District Level Reconciliation Committee would be convened by the District Secretary of the relevant District more..

Ananda College student dies after falling off train

July 2 (ST) A student of Ananda College Colombo was killed when he fell off a train at Dematagoda, a coroner’s court inquiry was told yesterday. An O/Level student, Jayasekara Adikari, Isuru Yoshitha from Veyangoda was returning home after school on Friday with friends when the accident occurred. He was rushed to the National Hospital. The student’s father Appuhamilage Sujith told the inquiry that his son usually travelled by bus but had recently started travelling by train. more..

Time to go home, maybe, but is home Sri Lanka or Tamil Nadu?

July 2 (Hindu) 8 years after end of the war, SL Tamil refugees, who have been in the State for decades, are still stateless persons. There are suggestions that the camps should be shut and refugees who are willing to stay back should be absorbed fully in TN while others can return to start afresh in SL. Ramesh was barely eight years old in 1990 when his parents, living in Vavuniya, had to flee to India along with him. more..

Colombo to become transshipment hub for Bangladeshi imports, exports

July 2 (Island) A coastal shipping agreement connecting the  Dhaka and Colombo ports is scheduled to  be signed during President Sirisena’s official visit to Bangladesh from June 13 to 16. The Bangladesh High Commissioner, Riaz Hamidullah said that 15 agreements and MoU between the two countries would be ratified. "The highlights would be the Coastal Shipping  Agreement that will initially connect the ports of Dhaka and Colombo and thereafter all ports in Bangladesh and SL. more..

Gammanpila claims 9 more Parliamentarians with dual citizenship

July 2 (Island) There are nine other MPs who are dual citizens, Opposition MP Udaya Gammanpila asserted. "I have ways of proving that these MPs have already obtained citizenship in a foreign country as well and are, therefore, dual citizens", he said. "I will reveal their names in due course", he said. Earlier, case of Geetha Kumarasinghe, a UPFA MP from the Galle district, came to the fore with assertions that the MP who backs the joint opposition, held Swiss citizenship. more..

Yahapalanaya or Horapalanaya?: Information Dept. stops release of Cabinet papers

July 2 (ST) Information Department has halted the practice of releasing to the media Cabinet papers submitted by ministers after they are approved by the Cabinet. The move comes despite the Cabinet in April approving a note submitted by the informing all ministries that Cabinet decisions and memoranda not falling within excepted categories under Right to Information (RTI) Act have to be made available to a citizen upon request. more..

New image for Colombo Port

July 2 (SO) Colombo Port will be rebranded to position it better as a key port in the region, SLPA Chairman Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake told a gathering of chartered transport and logisticians. He said steps have been taken to develop a national marketing plan for the rebranding of the port and that all key stake holders will be consulted in drafting the national master plan. The East Terminal of the Colombo Port will be developed to handle lager vessels which require a deeper draft. more..

Exchange rate down Rs 6.27-6.35

July 2 (CT) Exchange rate (ER) in interbank foreign exchange (FX) trading continued to weaken amidst demand led by Central Bank purchases of US dollars from the market at Friday's trading as well, market sources told this reporter. Such purchases are done to strengthen the country's foreign reserves, as generally SL's annual multibillion dollar debt servicing commitments are met from its reserves and not from the market in order to prevent further depreciative pressure on the rupee. more..

SAITM controversy

July 2 (CT) In response to the action of university students and doctors launching a strike in protest over the SAITM the authorities stated that steps would be taken to stop fresh enrollment and the awarding of degrees at this medical facility. General Secretary of UNP Kabir Hashim and SLFP General Secretary Duminda Dissanayake declared that govt will implement President Sirisena's recommendations more..

Releases Rs 19.62B in lieu

July 2 (CT) Central Bank swelled the country's foreign reserves by US$ 127.84 million (Rs 19,616.51 m) at Friday's trading, led by buying part of the US$ 515 million SL Development Bond (SLDB) proceeds which were settled by the weekend, interpretation of official data showed. Conversions are based on spot, which average value, was Rs 153.45 to US dollar as at Wednesday. Spot trades are settled after two market days from the date of transaction. CB deals in spot. more..

SL loses $380 mln annually from disasters

July 2 (ST) Sri Lanka’s annual average cost from natural disasters is US$ 380 million over a period of 15-20 years, a World Bank study on fiscal disaster risk assessment conducted last year, shows. According to the post disaster needs assessment conducted by the Ministry of Disaster Management with the help of the UN, World Bank and the EU, the estimated direct damage from May 2016 (year ago) disaster was US$ 572 million (this is excluding economic losses & informal sector impact). more..

Waste and inaction: Govt with begging bowl

July 2 (ST) Official business listed in the agenda for last Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting was over when Minister Rajitha Senaratne made a revelation. He declared that he was in possession of documentary evidence that a previous govt VVIP remitted money to an account in a Dubai bank. He said he would soon reveal details of the transaction and added they were alleged spin offs from funds meant for Gin Ganga-Nilwala Ganga project. more..

A political muddle looms in 2020

July 2 (Island) Unless one is a head in the sand ostrich it is possible to discern the contours of the emerging 2020 landscape. I am no soothsayer and know predictions go awry, but when a configuration is taking shape one is obliged to sketch it. I am aware that protagonists on both sides will challenge me, alleging I am biased against their side; I have faced this in many conversations. By sides I mean what you may call govt supporters of various hues (green, purple, pink), on one side, more..

A hidden design

July 2 (Island) Last week I wrote and warned against a creeping saffronisation of mainstream politics and the tacit embrace of what the Bodu Bala Sena and its head, Gnanasara Thero stand for, by the sangha writ large. There has been pushback. Several senior monks have publicly disassociated themselves from the Asgiriya Chapter’s explosive statement, providing a rare but telling insight into what is a complex and enduring power-play between and within each nikaya. more..

Sirisena in bid to salvage Nuwara Eliya President’s House

July 2 (ST) A British mansion, once known as Queen’s Cottage (and also as The Lodge), was the home of colonial governors responsible for Ceylon, now Sri Lanka. Located at Bambarakele in Nuwara Eliya, also known then as Little England, the mansion, a protected monument under the Antiquities Ordinance, may go into rack and ruin if not repaired immediately. Moving into arrest the situation is President Maithripala Sirisena. more..

‘New constitution will address Tamils’ issues’

July 2 (SO) The govt should publish the interim reports on the proposed new constitution soon, TNA MP M. A. Sumanthiran said at a press conference last evening. Commenting on the new constitution, he stated that the term unitary state should not be removed from the new constitution. He said that he has full confidence that the new constitution will address the national issues faced by the Tamil people. more..

Court summons Fort Station protestors

July 2 (SO) The Medical Faculty Parents Union will seek leave from the Courts to continue their Satyagraha opposing the SAITM, opposite the Fort Railway Station. According to the Vice President of the Union, Dr. Sunimal Jayakody, the group will make an application to Courts tomorrow when they present themselves before the Colombo Fort Magistrate’s court as requested of them. Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne more..

Cabinet to decide energy policy

July 2 (SO) Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy will forward a Cabinet paper this week seeking the govt’s approval to decide which option is most suitable for the CEB’s Long Term Generation Expansion Plan (LTGEP), Secretary to the Ministry Dr. Suren Batagoda said. The decision comes in the wake of Public Utilities Commission’s (PUCSL) negative response to the plan’s proposals, gathered through a public forum where more..

Chilling details emerge in Vithya murder case

July 2 (SL) Chilling details emerged last week over the rape and murder of Sivaloganathan Vithya when the case was heard in the Jaffna High Court. A Trial-at-Bar heard from AG’s Department, the suspects and the family of Pungudutivu student Vithya Sivaloganathan who was killed in 2015. It was revealed in court that the main suspect Swiss Kumar had arrived in SL with the intension of video recording the rape & murder of the girl. more..

Govt seeks world aid for flood relief

July 2 (ST) A four-member ministerial team has been set up to make preparations for the upcoming donor conference to seek funding to rehabilitate the areas devastated by recent floods. Team is headed by Minister Mangala Samaraweera and includes Minister Sarath Amunugama, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa and Ravi Karunanayake. Finance Ministry Secretary R.H.S. Samaratunga will act as secretary to the committee. more..

Sandakan, Hasaranga crush Zimbabwe

July 2 (CI) Two days after Sri Lanka's slow bowlers were crashed around at Galle, two fresh spinners trussed up Zimbabwe's middle order, before Sri Lanka's batsmen completed a largely unflustered chase of 156. The heft of this seven-wicket victory - achieved with 19.5 overs remaining in the innings - will put some confidence back to into the SL side, following their shock defeat on Friday. 19-year-old legspinner Wanidu Hasaranga more..

Is Justice in a state of shock?

July 2 (CT) The powerful's political and personal ills of the past, such as hate speech, attacks and torching of religious places, have embraced the Yahapalanaya govt, and that high profile man of responsibility, Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe has been of late treading a rather awkward path. He has been endorsing the BBS extremisms against Islamists and denying facts on the attacks against Evangelical churches. more..

SL deploys troops to tackle dengue crisis

July 2 (AFP) Sri Lanka deployed hundreds of soldiers to destroy mosquito breeding grounds as the country battles the spread of deadly dengue fever that has killed a record 215 people this year, officials said Sunday. Humid monsoon weather, stagnant water from recent flooding, as well as mounting piles of rotting garbage accumulating in the capital, have combined to create abundant areas for mosquitoes to multiply. more..

Uma Oya project may be suspended

July 2 (ST) The Govt is to consider the suspension of the controversial Uma Oya multi-purpose Development project in the Uva Province. The decision is to be taken based on recommendations by a joint team consisting of Sri Lankan and foreign experts who will be assigned to study the extent of the damage and the possible remedial action. Govt’s position regarding the future of the project was conveyed by President more..