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Thisara joins Gloucestershire for T20 Blast

June 29 (ITV) Gloucestershire Cricket have announced the signing of SL all-rounder Thisara Perera. 28-year-old will be joining Gloucestershire for the NatWest T20 Blast campaign this year. A T20 World Cup winner who has over 100 appearances for SL in ODIs and 56 Int'l T20 appearances, Perera will bring experience to the Gloucestershire team. Perera hit the winning runs in World Twenty 20 Final in 2014 and has played in T20 tournaments all around the globe. more..

Ceylinco General Insurance pays all flood claims at laudable speed

June 29 (Island) Speedy settlement of flood claims by Ceylinco General Insurance has enabled thousands of its customers to bounce back to normalcy in the shortest possible time, feedback received by the company reveals. Staff of Ceylinco General Insurance acted promptly to pay compensation to all of its policy holders with flood cover affected by the recent floods within 14 days, fulfilling its promise of swift settlement of claims, which is the hallmark of the company’s policy. more..

Sri Lanka-owned reforms key to drive economic growth: World Bank

June 29 (TF) Sri Lankan govt led reforms to improve competitiveness, maintain macro-fiscal stability and strengthen institutions, with broad support in the country, are key to robust economic growth, job creation and poverty reduction. The new SL Development Update (SLDU) of the World Bank launched on June 29 underscored these priorities. SLDU, which is a half-yearly report on the Sri Lankan economy and its future directions, more..

India-Sri Lanka: Reorienting the relationship?

June 29 (IPCS) In May 2014, the newly elected Indian PM Narendra Modi kickstarted his tenure by inviting the heads of all SAARC countries for his swearing-in ceremony, suggesting that contacts with neighbours should be made a matter of routine than treated as exception. This has held true most aptly for Sri Lanka, with seven bilateral state visits on record between the two sides in three years. Inheriting an unfortunate legacy of three difficult decades of mistrust between India and SL, more..

Dairy farmers in la-la land, says Harrison

June 29 (Island) Nowhere in the country did the dairy farmers protest to have their milk bought, Minister P. Harrison said. He said that there were 3,000 milk collection centres run by Milco and other dairy companies around the country to buy milk from dairy farmers and there was no need to throw away milk. Even during the two weeks of floods the state-owned Milco had purchased milk though it suffered a considerable loss owing to transport related problems. more..

Court orders progress report on Thajudeen case

June 29 (DN) Colombo Chief Magistrate's ordered the CID today to submit a report in court on July 27 regarding the progress of the investigation into Wasim Thajudeen murder case. When case came up before Colombo Additional Magistrate R.M.B.D.R. Weligodapitiya, two suspects former Western Province Senior DIG Anura Senanayake and former Narahenpita Crimes OIC Sumith Perera were present in Courts. more..

Sri Lanka considering purchase of Russian Gepard frigates

June 29 (SN) Russia is in talks with Sri Lanka on the credit purchase of Gepard-class Project 1166.1 frigates, Gepard 5.1, Russia's Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC) spokeswoman said. "The delivery of the project Gepard 5.1 to Sri Lanka is planned on the basis of an intergovernmental agreement on providing a state export credit for its financing," Maria Vorobyeva said. Issue is being addressed with govt bodies including Russian Finance Ministry. more..

JO forming new alliance under MR’s leadership to contest elections

June 29 (Island) Joint Opposition (JO) is forming a new alliance to contest local govt and provincial council elections under the leadership of former President Rajapaksa, according JO sources. Asked whether minority parties would join the alliance in the offing, a JO member said discussions were on and the new political movement would have minority representation. JO sources said the new alliance would be formed in time for local govt polls expected next September. more..

Govt to get help from foreign specialists to continue Uma Oya project

June 29 (PSL) President Sirisena says the govt expects to get the assistance of foreign specialists to seek the possibility to take forward the Uma Oya project by preventing the disturbance occurred for the people. “The people in the area have to face the bad effects of this project which had been operated only on the political decisions, neglecting the advice of the engineers. Though the groups who corrupted millions of rupees more..

Peacemaker takes brunt of scorned husband's wrath

June 29 (DM) An individual, who attempted to separate two bosom pals who were fighting over a woman, sustained injuries to his face and shoulder from the hand saw wielded by one of the men, who happened to be the husband of the woman in question. There were two friends who were bosom pals and lived in the Meegalawa Police division. One was married while the other was not. Both of them were so close that they even engaged in distilling illicit liquor (Kasippu) together. more..

President opens new solar power unit at Abhayarama temple

June 29 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena opened the micro  solar  power  unit installed at the Abhayarama temple under the sponsorship of Takima Tech Lanka (Pvt.) Ltd , yesterday. This project has been implemented under the  Govt’s  new  community  based  power  generation  project Soorya  Bala  Sangramaya  (Battle  for  Solar  Energy) which is aimed at establishing  micro  solar  power  units  in  one  million  houses  throughout  the  country. more..

Sri Lanka has a very friendly image in the eyes of Pakistani people: Pak Envoy

June 29 (PHC) Export Development Board (EDB) of Sri Lanka with the collaboration of the High Commission of Pakistan, organized a well attended seminar on Business Opportunities with Pakistan, recently. Acting High Commissioner of Pakistan in SL, Dr. Sarfraz Sipra was the chief guest on the occasion. The seminar was attended by Commercial Secretary of the High Commission, Mr. Adnan Younis, President SL-Pakistan more..

Dual Citizenship Saga: Names of MPs to be released

June 29 (DN) Department of Immigration and Emigration has informed PAFFREL that they would be able to provide the names of Members of Parliament who are holders of dual citizenship and the relevant details of such citizenships within next two three weeks, Executive Director of PAFFREL Rohana Hettiarachchi said. He said that the PAFFREL asked the Department of Immigration and Emigration to provide the names of Members of Parliament who are holding dual citizenship. more..

SL expected to visit Pakistan later this year

June 29 (AFP) With the security situation improving in the country, Pakistani cricket fans having something to cheer for — as the Sri Lankan cricket team is expected to tour here at the end of this year. A Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official confirmed that the Sri Lankan cricket team is expected to tour Pakistan in November or December. “Our Sri Lankan counterpart have expressed willingness in sending their team to Pakistan as the security situation is improving in the country,” he said. more..

'50% of TN’s catch from SL’s waters'

June 29 (CT) A former SL Navy Commander accused Tamil Nadu (TN) of taking 50% of their fish catch by poaching in Sri Lankan waters. Admiral Jayanath Colombage at a forum in Colombo yesterday said that TN has some 600 fish processing plants. Their main export is shrimp, catering to market demand in the West, he said. Former Commander said these fish exporters have powerful connections to politicos in TN. more..

Taming that lunatic fringe

June 30 (CT) Dr Dayan Jayatilleka in his reply to my column last week points out certain ontological, ideological, and factual errors I made. In particular, he takes me to task over my categorising him as a nationalist and a moderate federalist, though I placed those terms in a certain context which, yes, can be mischievously reconfigured by someone against him. Point taken, point conceded. I apologise and I sincerely hope he wasn’t inconvenienced by those errors. more..

From baby steps to giant strides

June 30 (DN) Holy Family Convent has the brains when it comes to drama. The girls are in the process of reviving drama at the Inter-House and Inter-school level. Outfit holds great promise as a team in transition. Dramatic Moves features the girls of HFC who certainly have what it takes to win the hearts and minds of Sri Lanka. “English drama has to a great extent always functioned under the English Literary Union of the school. However theatre productions have been produced by more..

Kôpi Kâle: When Coffee was King

June 30 (Roar) The Ethiopians cultivated coffee from about the 8th century. Iranian philosopher and physician Abu Bakr Muhammed ibn Zakariya al-Raz (Rhazes) first recorded the infusion about 900 AD. It appears to have been grown in Yemen from about 300 years later, the Red Sea port of Mocha becoming the exclusive entrepôt for its export. Following the conquest of Arabia by the Ottomans, coffee became established in more..

Water, water everywhere …

June 30 (DN) Water comprises 71% of the Earth’s surface. Yet only three percent of it is freshwater. Out of this 3%, much is in a frozen state. Actually, only 0.5% of the above 3% is available for the sustenance of life of humans, animals and plants. These figures, however, do not show the magnitude of the true scarcity of water in the world. By 2025, half the population of the world would be subjected to water -based vulnerability. By 2030, demand for water would increase more..

Remarks on Jude Ratnam’s movie screened at Cannes

June 30 (CT) This evening at the ICES Colombo we saw a very powerful movie: Demons in Paradise, directed by Jude Ratnam. I am so very grateful that the director invited us to attend its first screening in Sri Lanka. I hope it gets shown and discussed everywhere. Dayan Jayatilleka always said that the healing process and reconciliation will start not with accountability hearings a la Geneva, but with the arts. This movie holds a mirror before us all. It forces one to look squarely at the violence more..

'GMOA ready to fire next salvo Insists on nationalization of SAITM'

June 30 (CT) GMOA Central Committee meeting was held yesterday and it decided to embark on a stoppage of work in protest over the govt's failure to provide an agreeable solution to their demands with regard to the nationalizing of SAITM. GMOA's Assistant Secretary, Dr. Naveen De Soysa stated that Executive Committee of the GMOA will decide on the date of strike and protest. He added that many new methods will be adopted more..

Peraheras face elephant shortage

June 30 (NS) Elephants are a part of Sri Lankan culture, over the years, this majestic animal has become a symbol of Sri Lanka’s traditional values. Elephants are considered one of the species that has the longest association with people in their cultural and religious activities. The religious processions, namely the Buddhist peraheras, are never complete without the elephants adorned in majestic outfits. But today, there is a shortage of elephants. more..

Jewel in the Indian Ocean

June 30 (NS) Yala National Park, a 130,000 hectare wilderness on the southeastern tip of Sri Lanka, is home to 44 varieties of mammal and 215 bird species. It is regarded as one of the best places in the world to see leopards. There are hundreds of us. All jostling for space on the white sand. I don’t know which way to look. I’m sitting among hundreds of tiny turtles, all clambering over each other racing to be the first one to make it to the sea. Some are barely three days old. more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Women's World Cup: Lanning 152* trumps Atapattu 178*

June 30 (CI) This was a mismatch on paper. Sri Lanka were ranked eighth. They had never beaten Australia, the defending champions, in eight previous meetings. Chamari Atapattu, however, showed cricket isn't played on paper, but out on the field. By smashing the third-highest score in women's ODIs - an unbeaten 178, two more than Sri Lanka's previous highest of 176 against Australia - she gave them more than a shout of pulling off a mighty upset with a score of 257 for 9. more..

Threats to freedom of speech

June 30 (Island) The fundamental right to the freedom of speech and expression including publication in Article 14. (1) (a) of SL’s Constitution, as well as the First Amendment to US Constitution, and other UN instruments, is being seriously undermined by the spate of hate speech prevalent in several countries including SL. As a consequence, communities in these countries are being polarized on racial, religious and other distinctions causing tensions among communities more..

Best time for reforms: World Bank

June 30 (FT) World Bank (WB) described Sri Lanka’s economic performance as satisfactory, predicting it would end the year with 4.7% growth, but stressed Govt should fast-track reforms to improve competitiveness and attract investment to sustain development.   Releasing the latest Sri Lanka Development Update (SLDU), WB said 2017 is the best time to kick-start reforms but warned delays in implementing more..

Chamari Atapattu's one-woman effort

June 30 (CI) All the records Chamari Atapattu broke on her way to scoring 178* off 143 balls against Australia women in Bristol. 178* Chamari Atapattu's score - the third-highest in the history of Women's ODIs. Australia's Belinda Clark occupies the top spot with unbeaten 229 against Denmark Women in the 1997 Women's World Cup. Last month India's Deepti Sharma had scored 188 against Ireland Women. 69.26% Percentage of SL's runs that came from Atapattu's bat - highest, by a distance, more..

Editorial: Keep doors open

June 30 (Island) There won’t be any more powwows between the yahapalana administration and the GMOA on SAITM issue, Minister Rajitha Senaratne has declared. He would have us believe that the warring doctors are advancing a political agenda and, therefore, having further discussions with them is an exercise in futility. We thought the present administration believed in the Licchavi method of solving problems. PM keeps telling us that his govt follows the Buddha’s counsel to the Licchavis more..

Mathews wants clean sweep to improve ranking

June 30 (Island) Skipper Angelo Mathews stressed that his side will be keen for a 5-0 whitewash against 11th ranked Zimbabwe in a bid to boost his team’s dismal rankings. SL are ranked 8th in ODI cricket but a 5-0 series win will enable them to secure the 7th spot over Bangladesh. "We don’t want to take them lightly. If we can win 5-0 it will be good, but we are not thinking too far ahead but taking one game at a time. more..

Ratnapura urban economy hit by Rs 1bn flood loss

June 30 (Island) Recent floods have inflicted heavy damages on Ratnapura’s urban economy-with initial estimates showing more than Rs one billion losses from its damaged industries, businesses and SMEs. "Almost 1294 businesses and industries have been damaged" said Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen on June 27. Ratnapura electorate’s relief and recovery efforts were led by Minister Bathiudeen who initially visited the area on June 3 and inspected the status. more..

Zimbabwe looking to do damage with spin

June 30 (DN) Zimbabwe will be looking to do some damage to Sri Lanka’s batting through their spinners during the five-match ODI series against Sri Lanka starting at Galle today. “We rely heavily on our spin department which we hope if there is a bit of spin in Sri Lanka we can exploit that. With our spin dominant team we can do some damage tomorrow,” said Zimbabwe skipper Graeme Cremer at the pre-match press conference. Leg-break and googly bowler Cremer leads the group of spinners more..

Postal strike called off

June 30 (DM) The postal strike which had dragged on for three days had been temporarily called off last night following a written assurance given by the sub-committee set up to resolve issues faced by the postal employees headed by ministry secretaries, Post Master General Rohana Abeyratne announced. During a discussion held with the United Postal Trade Union’s Front yesterday the committee members had agreed to find solutions to more..

Tharanga back to middle order

June 30 (CT) Vice-captain Upul Tharanga will go down to the middle order again with two explosive batsmen, Danushka Gunathilaka and Niroshan Dickwella set to open the innings against Zimbabwe in the first ODI of the five match series to be played in Galle today. "Danushka and Dickwella will open the batting because we don't want to meddle with the batting order too much so unfortunately Upul will have to drop down to the middle order and myself will be playing in the middle order," more..

Global tea party to mark SL’s tea industry

June 30 (TS) Sip it or take a swig, it’s time for Ceylon tea. A global tea party to mark the birth of Sri Lanka’s tea industry 150 years ago will be held next Thursday throughout the world. Malaysia will also mark the occasion with an event in Kuala Lumpur. “The tea party will be held at 67 venues around the world next Thursday at exactly 5pm in their respective time zone over a 24-hour period,” said Tea Trade Association of Malaysia executive secretary Wong Yee Chen. more..

SriLankan wins right to run its own duty free operation

June 30 (Island) Ruwan Fernando, Judge of the Commercial High Court, Colombo, refused the Interim Injunctions sought by DFP Canada Ltd (DFP) against SriLankan Airlines Ltd. Court also dissolved the enjoining orders previously issued. DFP filed action claiming that DFP was the actual company behind the highly controversial Phoenix Duty Free Services and that DFP had a right of first refusal & right to match an offer more..

CCC appoints Rajendra Theagarajah as new Chairman

June 30 (FT) Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) appointed Rajendra Theagarajah as its new Chairman during its AGM yesterday.  Veteran banker Theagarajah succeeds outgoing Chairman Samantha Ranatunga, who led the chamber during the past 2 years. He functioned as the Vice Chairman, Deputy Vice Chairman and Board Member and also served as a member of the Chamber Committee for several years. Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya was appointed as Vice Chairman more..

‘Govt committed to add more solar, wind energy to national grid’

June 30 (DN) The govt is committed towards adding more solar and wind energy to the national grid, and has promised to make the national grid a smart grid in another five years time, said Deputy Minister Ajith C Perera. SL is to call tenders to purchase 875 megawatts of power shortly. He made these commitments speaking at the launch of the Green Energy 2017 Champion Campaign, organized by German Federal Foreign Office together with the Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy, more..

'New anti-terror measures in West worse than PTA'

June 30 (Island) Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakse, said those demanding a new lenient Counter Terrorism Law to replace the Prevention of the Terrorist Act (PTA), however in the wake of attacks in the West had adopted stringent measures which were even tougher than the PTA. Minister was responding to The Island at a media conference. He was flanked by Foreign Secretary Esala Weerakoon, more..

Sri Lanka enforces minimum public float rule

June 30 (EN) Sri Lanka’s capital markets regulator said it will enforce rules for listed companies to maintain a continuous public float of 20% from 1 July 2017, after giving a grace period of six months as many firms were non-compliant and several delisted. The SEC said firms found non-compliant with the new minimum public holding thresholds would be transferred to the Watch List of the Colombo bourse on 1st July 2018 unless due compliance is achieved before that date. more..