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Labrooy to shed one of his hats on Dec11

Nov 5 (ST) National Cricket Selection Committee Chairman Graeme Labrooy says he will step down from the post of Sri Lankan Cricket Players Association where he wears the hat as its President. There were huge uproars from a section of past cricketers against Labrooy performing the job of National Cricket Selector while performing the duties of the President of the Sri Lankan Cricket Players Association. The past cricketers termed it as a direct conflict of interest. more..

'It’s my dream to win a Test match in India'

Nov 5 (Island) When Sri Lanka won a Test match in South Africa for the first time six years ago, Rangana Herath was their hero. Herath took nine wickets in the memorable Durban win and in the upcoming 3-match series against India, the Sri Lankans will be banking on their reliable left-arm spinner to give them that elusive win in India. India and Australia are the only places that Sri Lanka have not won a Test match and more..

Two new records established by Haren

Nov 5 (ST) Haren Nugawela of Wycherly International was the star of the first day as he established two new records at the 23rd Inter-International Schools’ Swimming Championship 2017 commenced yesterday at the Sugathadasa Swimming Complex. A total of nine new records were established on Saturday. Haren who won the boys 16 and over 100m backstroke with a record time of 1:00.39mts, clocked 53.15secs in the boys 16 and over 100m freestyle. more..

Renuka Hotel to be quoted on CSE shortly

Nov 5 (Island) One of the country’s best known and best-run family hotels, the 40-roomed Renuka Hotel well known for the Jaffna cuisine it offers at its Palmyrah Restaurant will be quoted on the CSE within the next couple of weeks. CSE announced that it had approved in principle the application submitted by Renuka Hotels Ltd., the owning company of the hotel by that name at Galle Road, Kollupitiya to list nearly 40.3 million of its ordinary voting shares by way of an introduction. more..

Recapping Bond Commission proceedings: Cake is almost baked!

Nov 5 (CT) As any preface to a trilogy of a world class movie, the Treasury bond debacle saw its prequel this week, right before the PCoI investigating into the issuance of Treasury bonds resumed its public hearings. That prequel however, turned out to be a false prophet at the end and would have flopped at the box office, like a fish out of water. The reference is to the much publicized Voice Against Corruption's decision to more..

LGBTIQ note concerns over human rights action plan

Nov 5 (SL) Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Questioning community in Sri Lanka have raised concerns over being ignored in the Govt’s National Human Rights Action Plan. Govt published the much-anticipated National Human Rights Action Plan for 2017-2021 this week. EQUAL GROUND commended the Govt of Sri Lanka’s attempts to advancing the rights of Sri Lankan citizens. “We are especially happy to see that Govt has taken measures to protect the rights of more..

TNA to meet SLMC

Nov 5 (NS) TNA and SLMC are likely to engage in crucial discussions pertaining to Constitutional reforms and Tamil-Muslim issues in the East mid November. General Secretary of TNA and Leader of the ITAK, Mawai Senathirajah said the discussions would focus on their respective demands pertaining to power devolution and separate administrative unit in the East. He said they hoped to hold the discussions soon after the Budget presentations during which all MPs would be in Colombo. more..

Ravi takes on Yasantha Kodagoda

Nov 5 (SL) Former Minister Ravi Karunanayake’s lawyers have written to the PCoI investigating bond scam with regards to the allegations made by ASG Yasantha Kodagoda, linking Shanil Nethicumara with the former Minister. Nethicumara was accused of threatening the family of Anika Wijesuriya for giving evidence at PCoI against Karunanayake. Ravi’s lawyers insist that their client is not related to Shanil Nethicumara. more..

'We know that India will be under pressure'

Nov 5 (Island) Prolific opener Dimuth Karunaratne is set to post 1,000 runs in a calender year and Sri Lanka will be looking to him to give them those steady starts in the three-match Test series against India that gets underway in a fortnight’s time. Sri Lanka will take wings to Calcutta on Wednesday and Karunaratne, the third highest run-getter in Test cricket in 2017, behind Hashim Amla and Dean Elgar, needs another 60 runs to complete 1,000 runs this year. " more..

Beware of fake high-value stamps

Nov 5 (ST) The Post Master General has warned the people to be alert of fake high-value stamps being issued mainly for land and legal transaction documents. There was information that some groups were printing stamps overseas and selling them for a lower price here. He said only the Postal department had authority to print stamps and issue them to the public. Any other stamp was not valid. Recently, Central Mail Exchange officials detected a parcel containing high-value stamps more..

US$ 12 mln interim terminal at BIA

Nov 5 (ST) SL is set to establish an interim departure terminal at Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) at a cost of approximately US$12 million in line with proposed targeted tourist arrival figures following promotions campaigns set to take off early next year. An interim terminal costing around $10-12 million will be established at the BIA since the second phase of the expansion at the airport would be completed only by end 2021, more..

'Red tape & bureaucracy hamper progress'

Nov 5 (SO) Sri Lanka needs specialist skills to grow faster and employ more people to gain socio economic development in the long run, Finance State Minister Eran Wickramaratne said. He said that the govt will cut red tape in issuing visas to fill critical skills gaps and this is a welcome development as it will help Sri Lankan businesses grow faster, win bigger contracts and employ more people. “Though, we have performed below standard in the ease of doing business index, more..

Premier FTZ union sets up Northern office

Nov 5 (ST) The Free Trade Zones and General Services Employees Union earlier this week opened its first office in the North at No. 39, Vairava Kovil Road, Vairavapuliyamkulam, Vavuniya. More than 150 workers from newly established garment factories in the North took part in the event. The office was ceremonially declared open by Assistant Commissioner of Labour, Vavuniya Ms. Siva Ranjanee and union Joint Secretary Anton Marcus with other union officials. more..

SAITM: TUs unhappy with GMOA decision

Nov 5 (CT) A dispute has arisen between the Executive Committee of GMOA and a majority of trade unions. According to sources, the reason behind this dispute is the GMOA Executive Committee welcoming the Govt's most recent proposals regarding the SAITM. Govt on 29 October announced that it had decided to abolish the SAITM and convert it into a non-profit entity under the purview of the UGC. more..

Questions of Nuski’s visit to ICC meeting

Nov 5 (ST) Is the ICC working on SL’s corruption probe? According informed sources, it is so and that is why SLC President Thilanga Sumathipala skipped attending the last ICC meeting held in NZ. SL was represented at the meeting by SLC CEO Ashley de Silva and former treasurer Nuski Mohammed who is not even an SLC executive committee member. When Mohammed was asked as to why he attended the meeting instead of Sumathipala, he said “I was given the ticket to go there and more..

Five drowned, four missing bathing in stream

Nov 5 (ST) At least five people were drowned and four others reported missing while bathing in a stream at Laggala in Matale last evening, police said. Police rescue teams were rushed to the area for search operations amidst heavy rains, but were called off around 6 p.m. The navy has also dispatched a team which is due to reach the area this morning. Two bodies of children and three bodies of adults were retrieved. The rest had been washed downstream and therefore search more..

Looters as Rulers: PTL’s Rs. 10.5 billion frozen in Central Bank

Nov 5 (ST) Perpetual Treasuries Ltd (PTL)’s two bank accounts amounting to Rs. 10.5 billion — containing its profits from the questionable bond transactions — will remain frozen till January 2018 after the Supreme Court this week rejected PTL’s Fundamental Rights petition challenging the Monetary Board’s suspension of its primary dealer licence and the blocking of its accounts. Aggregate of Rs 10.5 bil in cash more..

Saudi Arabia arrests 11 Princes, including Billionaire Alwaleed bin Talal

Nov 5 (NYT) Saudi Arabia announced the arrest on Saturday night of the prominent billionaire investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, plus at least 10 other princes, four ministers and tens of former ministers. The announcement of the arrests was made over Al Arabiya, the Saudi-owned satellite network whose broadcasts are officially approved. The reports in Al Arabiya and from other sources that Prince Alwaleed was among those arrested were sure to send shock waves both through the Kingdom more..

Petrol crisis: CPC makes emergency purchases in spot market

Nov 5 (ST) Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) went into making emergency purchases in the spot market as the country was crippled without fuel and rationing introduced until the situation was normalised. Fuel crisis broke out after a shipment of petrol imported by Lanka Indian Oil Company (LIOC) failed to meet the required specifications and was rejected by the CPC. A shipment that arrived at the Colombo harbour on Oct 17 had been tested for a second time and rejected on a quality test. more..

Local polls: SLFP going it alone despite risky prospects

Nov 5 (ST) Any prospects for immediate re-unity between feuding factions of the SLFP appeared dim on Friday but seemingly desperate behind- the-scenes moves continue. Prez Sirisena chaired a meeting of SLFP MPs and ministers loyal to him at Prez Secretariat & it exuded a conciliatory mood. Those loyal to former President Rajapaksa did not turn up. He counts them as 55 MPs, more than the SLFP MPs loyal to Sirisena. more..


Nov 5 (Island) I was approached some months ago by staff of Office of National Unity & Reconciliation (ONUR) to help with a photography project. Idea was to celebrate 70 yrs of SL’s independence by asking citizens to submit photos that, to them, framed hope and reconciliation. After sharing some ideas around the theme and related technical aspects, I forgot about the project until I was invited to be part of the jury that selected winning entries which would go on public display. more..

The Portuguese Burghers and Kaffirs

Nov 5 (Island) Ethnic groups are disappearing and thus the research interest on these endangered human groups, their language and culture. One such research that is on-going is on the Portuguese Burghers by the Universidade de Lisboa with funding from the Endangered Languages Documentation Programme of SOAS, University of London. Int'l Centre for Ethnic Studies (ICES) which is collaborating with the research, facilitated a discussion on SL Portuguese Burghers more..

FCID hunts for former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s chief of staff

Nov 5 (ST) The FCID is on the lookout for Gamini Senarath, Chief of Staff of the then President Mahinda Rajapaksa, and three others over a string of alleged fraudulent acts. The three others are Piyadasa Kudabalage, Neil Bandara Hapuwinne and Mohan de Alwis. FCID detectives said yesterday that the four were evading arrest and hence, they had obtained a court order impounding the passport of the main suspect, Gamini more..

CPA Strongly Rejects Statement By Bellanwila Wimalaratne Thero

Nov 5 (SL) The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) strongly rejected claims made by the Venerable Bellanwila Wimalaratne Thero. The Venerable Thero stated that CPA and its Executive Director Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu are behind constitutional courts and are pumping the constitutional reform process with NGO money. A report to this effect was also published in the Lankadeepa newspaper on 1st Nov 2017. more..

Meethotamulla dumpsite: Vacillation for two years and Rs. 4 billion unused: Report

Nov 5 (ST) Inefficiencies in selecting an acceptable landfill site led to garbage continuing to be deposited at the Meethotamulla dumpsite throughout 2015 and 2016 until it collapsed in April this year, documents seen by the Sunday Times reveal. The Treasury allocated four billion rupees in 2015 and 2016 to the Megapolis and Western Development Ministry for a solid waste management project for Metro Colombo. more..

Suresh P says he will not support ITAK anymore

Nov 5 (CT) Leader of the EPRLF Suresh Premachandran announced that he has pulled out his Party from the ITAK, main constituent party of the TNA, because ITAK had betrayed the Tamil people by backing the constitutional proposal that do not meet the People's demands. He said that ITAK has not adhered to Tamils' mandate and so he will not support ITAK in the future. "ITAK is supporting interim report on proposed new Constitution, more..

Sri Lanka’s post-war poverty trap

Nov 5 (Hindu) Recently-released findings of Sri Lanka’s Household Income and Expenditure Survey has revealed that eight years after the civil war ended, people in the war-hit north and east are gripped by poverty. Kilinochchi, the former rebel stronghold, has the highest level of poverty headcount at 18.2%, over four times the national average. Coastal district of Mullaitivu, which witnessed the gore of the final offensive that more..

IPU assures to look into grievances: JO

Nov 5 (DM) The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Secretary-General had assured to look into the concerns raised by the Joint Opposition (JO) MPs over violation of rights of MPs and democratic value in Sri Lanka, MP Dullas Alahapperuma said yesterday. A team of three JO MPs led by its National Organiser MP Alahapperuma met the Secretary-General Martin Chungong and Rogier Huizenga, Head of more..

Auditor General wants NAC scrapped

Nov 5 (CT) Auditor General Gamini Wijesinghe has written to President Maithripala Sirisena and Speaker Karu Jayasuriya last Wednesday requesting them to do away with the National Audit Commission (NAC), which was established under the 19th Amendment, sources said. The reason is that the Yahapalana Govt, which came to power on the promise that the National Audit Bill would be adopted in March 2015, more..

Geetha judgement to rock parliament

Nov 5 (SO) The Supreme Court’s decision unseating Geetha Kumarasinghe after declaring that she was unqualified to contest the 2015 parliamentary elections could have serious consequences for at least five other MPs, legal experts said. The five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Priyasath Dep upheld the May 3 Court of Appeal decision to remove film-star-turned politician, because she was disqualified to be a more..

Lord Nasbey defends Sri Lanka in wake of botched statistics by UN commission

Nov 5 (AD) Providing an exclusive interview to media mogul WION, British Parliamentarian Lord Michael Morris, Baron Naseby stated that upon the research of classified military documents of the British govt, he discovered that the casualty figure of 40,000 civilians killed during the latter stage of the civil war in Sri Lanka was a guess made by the Darusman commission set up by the UN to probe the civil war.  more..

Industrialisation of Ruhuna: PM opens Sino-Lanka trade office

Nov 5 (SO) Industrialization of Ruhuna through the Hambantota Free Trade Zone will begin to materialize with the opening of the office to streamline Sri Lanka- China free trade complex, said PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. The opening of the office took place yesterday in Hambantota under the patronage of the Premier. Chinese Ambassador Yi Xianliang, other representatives from China, Senior Ministers, more..

More about the Bombastic Bomber

Nov 6 (SO) This cat reclined on her sofa licking her lips and salivating in anticipation of getting down to writing her weekly column. Why all this drooling you may well ask. Did she get to the cream? Sort of. She got the journalistic inspiration to deride further her bête-noir anti-hero, namely Wimal Wee, just one of its kind as cheap, loud mouthed pontificating showman. Yes. She wrote about his latest antic last Sunday but mercifully for such as this feline who thrives on malice, more..

Tamilstan, Muslimstan or Federalism?

Nov 6 (CT) Any conversation or discussion about Sri Lanka that involves Sinhalese, Tamils, and Muslims is incendiary; add Buddhism, it will explode. So, curb your desire to curse before you read this article. I am not suggesting a solution to our eternal ethnic problems, just asking some irrational questions. Can we avoid a Three-State Solution? Stan is a Persian word that means inhabitant or living place. Thus, Tamilstan means the land of the Tamil people. Each ethnic group in SL is fighting over issues more..

'Federalism, separatism nowhere near new Constitution'

Nov 6 (SO) UNP General Secretary and Minister, Kabir Hashim commenting on the ongoing process to introduce a new Constitution, said, for the first time in the country’s history, the two major political parties are working together as a National Unity Govt, and if the majority community is being represented by these two parties and there is consensus among them means a broader cross section of society abides by it. more..

A tale of twin tragedies: Tamil tragedy within the Lankan tragedy

Nov 6 (CT) SWRD Bandaranaike famously used Mathew Arnold’s phrase a time of transition which he said contained a problem within a problem. SWRD defined this problem within a problem as transforming a colonial economy to a national economy against the backdrop of a changing world. Since that brilliant definition, Sri Lanka/Ceylon has experienced not merely a problem within a problem, but has been living a tragedy within a tragedy. What is that twin tragedy and what lies at its root? more..

Geetha’s Swiss choc turns bitter in the Supreme Court’s alpine air

Nov 6 (ST) Geetha Kumarasinghe’s Swiss dairy milk chocolate refused to melt in her mouth this Thursday but turned hard and bitter when the Supreme Court held that her dual Swiss citizenship rendered her ineligible to be a member of SL’s Parliament. Ever since she was first elected to Parliament in August 2015 — coming one before the last of the six seats the UPFA had won in the Galle district — the question whether the 19th Amendment which added a new addition to Article 91 of Constitution, more..

'Tamils must decide their political destiny through a Referendum'

Nov 6 (CT) The self-proclaimed Transnational Govt of Tamil Eelam-United States of America (TGTE) constitutes, for most, what is popularly described as the LTTE rump, a fringe element within the Tamil Diaspora, or perhaps not a microcosm at all. We interviewed the so-called Prime Minister of TGTE, lawyer Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran via email. Q: In light of the present political situation in the country, including more..

Editorial: When ineptitude fuels panic

Nov 6 (Island) The country is experiencing a petrol shortage, which the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) has attributed to panic buying owing to the recent rejection of a substandard fuel shipment. Winding queues near fuel stations remind us of the ubiquitous paan polim (bread queues) under the SLFP-led United Front govt (1970-77). The CPC has rejected several fuel shipments on similar grounds during the past decade or so but such action did not trigger panic buying of this scale. more..

Tweedledum and Tweedledee of SL politics

Nov 6 (SO) They say, politics makes strange bedfellows. We have seen that many times in this country of ours. Joining that group are the latest pair of unlikely partners: Wimal Weerawansa and Susil Premajayantha. And, judging by what they have said, they must surely be the Tweedledum and Tweedledee of Sri Lankan politics. Weerawansa says, Parliament should be bombed if it approves the new Constitution (which, by the way, is still only a draft), by a two-thirds majority. more..