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244: lowest successfully-defended target at P Sara

Mar 18 (CI) 244: The lowest target successfully defended at P Sara Oval - by the hosts against West Indies in 2015-16. Sri Lanka are 139 runs ahead with two wickets in hand. The scoring rate on the fifth day in the last five Tests here has been an average of 3.00 runs an over, with a wicket falling every seven overs. 2: Number of hundreds by Sri Lanka openers in Tests at P Sara Oval before Dimuth Karunaratne. The previous hundred was made by Roshan Mahanama (151), more..

Attempt to smuggle drugs to Malaysia via Sri Lanka busted

Mar 18 (BM) A Tamil-speaking Malaysian national, aged 58, was arrested at Kempagowda International Airport late on Thursday night and 2.05 kg of ketamine worth Rs 40 lakh was seized from him. The man was identified as Gopal Ram. The zonal unit of the directorate of revenue intelligence (DRI) conducted the operation reportedly based on a specific tip-off that a ketamine consignment was to be smuggled to Kuala Lumpur via Bengaluru. Initial investigation suggests that more..

Pacific Partnership 2017 concludes on successful note in Hambantota

Mar 18 (SLN) Pacific Partnership 2017 made its initial mission stop in Hambantota, with the arrival of US Naval Ship Fall River on 07th March 2017. On successful completion of a string of community service and social responsibility projects, the mission of Pacific Partnership 2017 concluded on a successful note in Hambantota today (17). The event was graced by the Chief of Staff of the SL Navy, Rear Admiral Sirimevan Ranasinghe more..

Ex- UC member grilled

Mar 18 (CT) A former Kaduwela UC member and two others were grilled by the CID, in connection with the recent attack on the Black Maria, at Kalutara, which resulted in the death of noted underworld criminal Samayan and six others. Police sources said that the former Kaduwela UC member, who is alleged to have spoken at length on the phone with another gangster known as Angoda Lokka and his acolytes, both, before and after the killing of Samayan, had been released more..

SL, US navies conduct medical camp

Mar 18 (Island) SL Navy together with its US counterparts conducted a medical camp in Matara, on Thursday. The event was organised by Minister Mangala Samaraweera and US Ambassador to SL, Atul Keshap, with the participation of SL and US naval personnel under the Pacific Partnership 2017. The event was attended by a large number of people, who were able to consult SL and US Naval medical personnel on various health issues. Medicine was distributed among the patients more..

Sri Lanka general's book becomes war crime dossier: FM

Mar 18 (EN) Anti-SL activists have snapped up retired army general Kamal Gunaratne's tome to buttress their allegations of war crimes against govt forces, Minister Mangala Samaraweera said. 741-page Road to Nandikadal published by Gunaratne the day after he retired from the army, was a catalogue of atrocities committed by govt forces since early 1980s, he said. Setting fire to homes of Tamil civilians, killing innocent more..

H1N1 in Male: SriLankan to activate safety procedures

Mar 18 (DM) With the outbreak of the H1N1 flu in the Maldives, the SriLankan Airline has activated Communicable Disease Procedures on its flights that are being operating in and out of Male, Srilankan Airline today said. Concerning the advice issued to the general public by the Maldives’ Health Protection Agency (HPA) has restricted the travel movements to their country. While an official said that the crew would be wearing face masks and will provide a face mask to any passenger who more..

Sri Lankan products promoted in Brazil

Mar 18 (GDI) Sri Lanka Embassy in Brazil organized a series of promotional activities from 6th-9th March in Salvador, the Capital of the State of Bahia, Brazil with the intention of expanding the commercial relations. The State of Bahia is the seventh largest regional Economy of Brazil whose GDP is estimated to be over USD 95 billion. General Jagath Jayasuriya, SL Ambassador in Brazil and his team had an exclusive meeting with Rui Costa, Governor of Bahia & key officials of the State Govt more..

Flower cultivators given a boost

Mar 18 (CT) Deputy Minister of Sustainable Development and Wildlife Sumedha G. Jayasena said that about ten persons are engaged in growing flowers for their livelihood and in order to spread the cultivation of flowers, which can bring in a high income, across the island, the Department of National Botanical Gardens has launched several programmes. She was speaking at a function held at the Moneragala Cultural Centre recently. more..

PMB stores overflowing with paddy: NE officials a boost

Mar 18 (ST) Despite the govt’s rush to import rice, the Govt Agents and officials in the Northern and Eastern province claim that there are millions of kilos of paddy being hoarded in stores belonging to the Paddy Marketing Board (PMB). The highest is reported to be in the Ampara district with 12 million kilos being stocked followed by Kilinochchi where five million kilos of paddy is being hoarded. In Mullaitivu 4.2 million kilos of paddy is being held while in Vavuniya it is 2.8 million kilos more..

Tree planted by Che in Horana saved by a whisker

Mar 18 (Island) Kalutara District Crime Division sleuths’ timely intervention last week saved a valuable mahogany tree, planted on the Yahala Kele rubber estate in Moragahahena, Horana, by Argentinean revolutionary Ernesto Che Guevara when he visited Sri Lanka 58 years ago. Suspects had been able to fell several mahogany trees near the valuable tree which is in records as the only surviving tree in the world, planted by Che Guevara. Suspects had used chainsaws for illicit felling. more..

Govt amends H'tota Port Project Agreement

Mar 18 (DM) the govt is reported to have amended the agreement with China Merchants International Ltd. on Hambantota Port Development Project with the inclusion of a proposal, among others, for a 60% equity swap instead of 80% as proposed in the initial agreement. Cabinet Committee on Economic Management is said to have discussed amended version at its meeting this week. more..

Stop landfilling and building on reservation land: Farmers in Kataragama

Mar 18 (ST) Farmers’ Associations in Kataragama have petitioned the Environmental Unit of the Presidential Secretariat alleging that their cultivation plots adjacent to traditional irrigation tanks are being indiscriminately destroyed to make way for the fast expanding tourism industry. They allege marshy wetlands are being filled to build hotels, rest houses and restaurants and that around 1000 acres of irrigation land would be destroyed if this landfill continued. more..

Norwegian Embassy and UNDP provide support to resettled communities in Palaly

Mar 18 (Island) Knut Nyfløt, the First Secretary to the Royal Norwegian Embassy to Sri Lanka, Mohamed Muzain, the Programme Manager of the UNDP Sri Lanka Governance of Local Economic Programme and Vethanayahan, the District Secretary of Jaffna, recently visited the resettled areas of Palaly North of Tellipalai DS division to hand over completed infrastructure facilities to the families in the area, a press release issued by the UNDP said yesterday. more..

NPC resolution sent to UN human rights chief

Mar 18 (AD) The Chairman of the Northern Provincial Council, C.V.K. Sivagnanam, has forwarded the resolution adopted by the NPC with regard to the UNHRC Resolution 30/1 Co-sponsored by Sri Lanka in 2015, to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein. The Resolution, which was sponsored by TNA council member M.K. Shivajilingam, was adopted by the Northern Provincial Council more..

Success in Geneva

Mar 19 (SO) While much of the govt and Sri Lankan society is increasingly focussing on our post-war future with its prospect for prosperity and stability, certain groups are focussed on what is going on in Geneva, Switzerland, where the UNHRC currently sits in its 34th session. At this meeting last week, Sri Lanka successfully collaborated with its supporting countries to present the draft for a new resolution on the country that will provide for another two years to implement the country’s commitments more..

Politicos & Medicos are servants of People

Mar 19 (SL) The recent rumpus in parliament about senior parliamentarian Dinesh Gunawardena defying orders of the Speaker Karu Jayasuriya and being suspended from attending sessions of parliament and a section of the medical profession not observing normal procedures following an order made by courts and contesting it in covert ways have focused public attention on their impact on two vital institutions of democracy, parliament and the courts. more..

'One of the worst mudslinging campaign in the history of Association elections'

Mar 19 (SO) The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) recently concluded its election with Attorney at Law, Udaya Rohana de Silva emerging victorious. The Sunday Observer sat down with the newly elected President of BASL to seek his plans for ameliorating the Bar. De Silva, a student of Ananda College, was subsequently called to the Bar in 1983. He has held office as Treasurer (2001-2003) and Secretary (2008-2010) more..

PM argues for greater naval role in Indian Ocean

Mar 19 (CT) With Somali pirates seizing a Comoros-flagged oil tanker which had eight Sri Lankan crew members on board, the first hijacking since 2012 has once again revived the necessity in ensuring maritime security in the Indian Ocean, and other regions. Foreign Ministry, in the immediate aftermath of the release of the Sri Lankan crew on board the oil-tanker Aris 13, without demanding any ransom, an extremely unusual phenomenon, noted that international military together with more..

Ruffling feathers

Mar 19 (Island) Whether public interest activist Nagananda Kodituwakku will succeed or not in his attempt to end the long-running practice of enriching legislators by the issue of duty free permits must await the determination of a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court headed by CJ Priyasath Dep. However that be, Kodituwakku’s efforts certainly enjoy the support of public opinion which successive govts have totally ignored in continuing to bestow this benefit on the political class. more..

No one is scared of Rajapaksa now

Mar 19 (SL) The govt wants to standardise the education system in the country. Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said that it is better to set up high quality private universities in Sri Lanka as that would save foreign exchange for the country and will also generate new opportunities. Kariyawasam said the govt has plans to implement several projects to develop the education system in the country. more..

Sri Lanka and the born-again Commonwealth

Mar 19 (ST) Interestingly, if not ironically, the British Govt having voted to exit the European Union (EU) in accordance with the wishes of a majority of its people, is now looking forward – or maybe looking back – at the Commonwealth once again. The 53-nation Commonwealth, the third largest global grouping, next only to the UN and the Non-Aligned Movement, was often contemptuously dismissed as a club living in the somewhat inglorious past of the British Empire serving neither man nor beast. more..

Tamils: The deficit of trust

Mar 19 (CT) The crisis of modern democracy is profound. It is also one that is relevant to the Lankan experience of the Judiciary and the concept of justice as we have known them over the past 15 years or more in this country. Free elections, a free press and an independent judiciary mean little says Arundati Roy, adding that the crisis factor appears when "the free market has reduced them to commodities available on sale to the highest bidder". Before this government came to power more..

Face the Nation

Battle lines drawn at BASL election, according to political preferences

Mar 19 (SO) Sri Lanka Bar Association, Sri Lanka’s largest and the most prominent body of lawyers, elected its new President this week: U.R. de Silva, the new Bar Association President is a senior criminal practitioner who has appeared in high-profile cases. An Old Boy of Ananda College, de Silva was called to the Bar in 1983. He has since engaged in criminal practice island-wide and appeared in numerous sensational trials and Trial-at-Bar proceedings. more..

Late show helps Richmond force a draw

Mar 19 (ST) The weather was perfect but luck favoured Mahinda College who did well to hold the star studded Richmond team to a draw at their 112th big match which ended at the Galle International Cricket Stadium last evening. Richmond proved their superiority in the second innings posting 205/1 at the end of the day. The only consolation for Richmond was that Dhananjaya Lakshan accomplished his big match ton and that they took a four run lead in the first innings. more..

Shuffle the pack, get rid of the jokers

Mar 19 (ST) My dear Maithri, I thought I must write to you when I heard that you had spoken about what seemed like a Cabinet reshuffle — giving a better portfolio for Mahinda from the south, not the Mahinda that we all talk about but the other Mahinda, also from Hambantota who switched his loyalties and is now with you. You had said that the Ministry of Fisheries was not good enough for Mahinda & you were thinking of changing that more..

That debate on Chandi’s batting position

Mar 19 (Island) There’s an interesting debate building up in cricket circles these days as to where the immensely talented Dinesh Chandimal should bat. A carefree stroke maker, Chandimal has been pushed up to bat at number four during the current series against Bangladesh. When the selectors suggested Chandimal to move up the order in the absence of Angelo Mathews and take up more responsibility, he had wanted to be relieved of wicket keeping duties. When Mathews returns, more..

Umpire Dar's head-nod confuses Bangladesh

Mar 19 (CI) The last ball of the fourth day's play at P Sara Oval was eventful. Bangladesh appealed confidently for a bat-pad catch against the no. 10 Suranga Lakmal, hoping to end the day with their ninth Sri Lankan scalp. Umpire Aleem Dar nodded more than once, and even brought out his hand to his side, but eventually gave it not out. Mosaddek Hossain, the bowler off whom Sabbir Rahman had caught Lakmal at short leg, said after play that Bangladesh reviewed the decision because more..

Sri Lanka's fix-it men left to do the job again

Mar 19 (CI) Having had a rough time in South Africa, SL thought they were coming back to the comforts of home and to play a team they have nearly always crushed. They had endured Newlands' seam movement, suffered on a hard Port Elizabeth pitch, and been lavishly flogged at the Bullring, but oh, at last, the sweaty embrace of Mother Lanka. See how her tawny tracks gleam a glorious amber at sunset. more..

'Loss to Bangladesh could scar SL cricket'

Mar 19 (CI) A home loss to Bangladesh will be a blemish on Sri Lankan cricket, said Dimuth Karunaratne, while his side hung precariously in the Test at the P Sara Oval. Having lost five top-order wickets for 47 runs in the middle session, Sri Lanka are in danger of losing their first Test at home in seven matches. They are 139 runs ahead, with two wickets in hand. The lowest target successfully defended at this venue is 244 - in the last Test Sri Lanka played here, in 2015. more..

Alagaratnam’s attempt to tarnish Sripavan’s legacy

Mar 19 (Island) The crisis in the judiciary caused by the irregular appointment of Ramanathan Kannan as a High Court judge still remains unresolved. Judges of the District Courts wait for long years to be promoted to the High Court as do Senior State Counsel in the Attorney General’s Department. If a member of the private bar is brought into the High Court over the heads of those awaiting promotion, that not only causes an immediate disturbance in the order of promotion but also skews more..

SriLankan delays zero commission plan on travel agents

Mar 19 (ST) SriLankan Airlines has postponed earlier plans to enforce on April 1, zero commissions on ticket sales by travel agents. The new enforcement date now is July 1. The carrier made this announcement following a meeting with the Travel Agents Association of Sri Lanka (TAASL) and International Air Transport Association-Sri Lanka (IATA-SL) on Monday at the SriLankan Airlines office. Travel industry was also due to meet more..

School vehicle tracking system

Mar 19 (SO) Safety is of utmost importance when you are entrusting your child’s commute to and from school. Increasing traffic situation and sudden road closures would mean that the school bus or van would take an alternative route to bring you child home safe and sound. Despite these concerns we tend to panic for the slightest delay and start calling the driver in frenzy. Understanding your frustrations, Etisalat Business Solutions is ready to launch a School Vehicle Tracking system. more..

Transition at Dhammika’s Rocell smooth

Mar 19 (ST) The transition at Dhammika Perera-controlled Royal Ceramics PLC (Rocell) was smooth last week as the relationship between the main shareholder and its former Managing Director Nimal Perera had been more or less been strained almost two years ago, sources close to both parties said. On the back of stepping down from Chairman / Non Executive Director at Dhammika Perera led firms – Horana Plantations, Vallibel One and his resignation as a director of other Perera controlled more..

Changes to Electronic Transactions Act soon

Mar 19 (SO) Amendments to the Electronic Transactions Act of 2006 that are to be gazetted shortly will boost online as well as cross-border trade by providing greater clarity for e-commerce, according to Director at the ICTA, Jayantha Fernando. “After the amendment is through in the latter part of April, we’ll have a more sophisticated and a more certain legal environment for e-commerce to take off in SL,” more..

Corneas from Sri Lanka brighten up 10 lives

Mar 19 (TN) SL Pakistan Trade Association has sent 10 corneas as a gift to Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, which were received by Vice Chancellor of King Edward Medical University and Institute of Ophthalmology, Mayo Hospital, Prof. Dr. Asad Aslam at Lahore airport. Prof. Asad Aslam and his team, immediately after receiving the gift, operated ten blind persons in Mayo Hospital for cornea transplantation. Aslam said that it was a precious gift which enlightened the lives of 10 people. more..

‘Retrieval of Katchatheevu will help find a lasting solution to fishermen issue’

Mar 19 (Hindu) Asserting that retrieval of Katchatheevu islet alone would help find a lasting solution to the fishermen issue, PMK leader and former Union Minister Anbumani Ramadoss faulted the AIADMK govt for failing to exert pressure on the Centre to protect the livelihood of the fishing community. He said AIADMK, which had as many as 37 MPs in the Lok Sabha could pressurise Modi govt on a number of issues affecting the State but it was more interested in protecting its leaders more..

Concern over tenders awarded for BIA duty free shops

Mar 19 (AD) The decision to award the main five-year major duty free concession at BIA to Flemingo over World Duty Free and the latter being asked to vacate their space in short notice has reportedly resulted in a problematic situation. World Duty Free, which is owned by Swiss group Dufry and is one the world’ biggest travel retailers, was asked to vacate on Tuesday (14) after it had failed to secure the space they were operating in at more..

Mahinda S. refutes Geetha’s allegation of dual citizenship

Mar 19 (ST) Skills Development and Vocational Training Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe strongly refuted MP Geetha Kumarasinghe’s claim that he too held Swiss dual citizenship. Minister insisted that throughout his life, he had only held Sri Lankan citizenship and accused Ms Kumarasinghe who is facing a court verdict on her eligibility to remain as an MP, of lying to the media. As per the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, a person holding dual nationality is ineligible to be an MP. more..