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Sri Lanka A take stranglehold of 2nd Test

Oct 21 (JO) Left-arm spinner Malinda Pushpakumara and middle order batsman Roshen Silva excelled to help Sri Lanka A maintain their iron grip on the second 'Test' against West Indies A at the Trelawny Multi-Purpose Stadium here yesterday. Expertly exploiting worn spots on a pitch which dried out with extraordinary rapidity on the second day, Pushpakumara grabbed 6-52 as West Indies A resuming the day at 14-2 were bundled out shortly after Lunch giving the visitors a lead of 157. more..

Motorists voice concerns about new technology to monitor vehicles

Oct 21 (ST) Several vehicle-user associations raised concerns over the decision to use Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to monitor vehicles. Many of the associations said their awareness regarding the new technology is insufficient. All Island Three-wheeler Drivers & Owners Association President Sudil Jayaruk, while adding the project will be important for the security of both passengers and three-wheeler driver, said it should not be an additional burden for the poor people. more..

Public private partnerships not required for maintenance of highways: RDA Committee

Oct 21 (ST) SL’s expressways will generate enough revenue for the RDA to run, maintain and extend them for the next ten years. They do not require a public private partnership type financial model, a team appointed on the instructions of Cabinet Committee on Economic Management (CCEM) has said. Six-member group, comprising senior RDA officials, was set up in response to strong opposition by unions to a Ministry more..

Sangha’s guiding role in politics

Oct 22 (SO) The engagement of the Maha Sangha with the politics of society is a laudable demonstration of the role of spirituality actively contributing to the life of the community. It would be the same for any religion or for philosophical humanism. Ever since the Arahat Mahinda chose to engage with the monarchy of A'pura Kingdom for purposes of proselytization on a mass scale, the Maha Sangha has been given the recognition of intellectual guides in social and political management. more..

Follow the law, not the mob!

Oct 22 (SL) The Presidential Commission investigating the Central Bank Bond scam is distinctive in that it is a commission investigating into allegations that reflect on high ranking politicians of the govt itself. Previous presidential commissions were appointed to investigate alleged acts of corruption or violations of the law by political opponents of the govt in power. Although the appointment of such a commission cannot whitewash wrongdoings of govt politicians – more..

'Budget 2018: Need solutions for debt overhang’

Oct 22 (SO) Continuing the investment on development, as well as stabilizing the economy on the basis of sound fiscal management will be the main focus of Budget 2018. It is time to reform the Sri Lankan economy. The country had borrowed heavily and the debt overhang was distorting all budgetary activities. Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama said, one of the most important areas to stabilize the economy is to ensure that there is a regular flow of foreign funds to more..

Spotlight moves from bonds to constitution

Oct 22 (Island) The front pages of the daily newspapers have become duller with the conclusion of the recording of evidence by the bond scam commission. The emergence of all manner of sensational information and disclosures during proceedings had become the order of the day and this provided lunu ambul to news pages and the evening bulletins of the various television stations. Commission is on record saying that it had served some interrogatories on PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, more..

Producing Tradeable Graduates

Oct 22 (CT) The then Premier Chandrika Kumaratunga, soon after she was elected to power at the Aug 1994 Parliamentary Poll by trouncing the capitalist UNP which had been in power for 17 years, summoned the private sector for a meeting. This was before the Nov 1994 Presidential Election, where she consolidated her position by winning that poll too, convincingly. Nonetheless, with her not so surprising win at the Aug 1994 Parliamentary Poll, there was trepidation among the private sector more..

'Aloysius should have been arrested'

Oct 22 (CT) The UN should know that the incumbent govt is worse than the previous govt, UPFA MP Namal Rajapaksa said. He elaborated the incident that took place a fortnight ago during the Hambantota protest which he claimed was a peaceful one, where several protesters were assaulted by Police. Upon his arrest he tweeted to the UN stating that Police arrested peaceful protesters who were protesting against national assets being sold and is stifling opposition voices. more..

LNG and the President’s visit to Qatar

Oct 22 (ST) President leaves on a state visit to Qatar next Wednesday (25), a country diplomatically isolated by its Arab neighbours over accusations that it is funding terrorism in the region. Arguably, the richest country in the world per-capita-wise, Qatar’s Emir is the only West Asian Head of State to have visited Sri Lanka in recent years. There are some 130,000 Sri Lankans working in the Gulf peninsula-nation situated between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. more..

Citizenry watch

Oct 22 (ST) My dear Citizen Silva, I thought I must write to you when I heard that you are initiating action in the courts of law against the postponement of provincial council elections. Now, anybody going to courts against postponing elections should be applauded, but in your case I am a bit confused which is why I thought of writing. Firstly, I hope you don’t mind me calling you Citizen Silva because that is what you are now even though you have been used to decades of being Your Lordship. more..

Adaraneeya Sri Lanka: Kilinochchi|

UNP offshoot party and Sirisena’s machinations

Oct 22 (Island) The offshoot of the UNP the United National Freedom Front which held its first press conference some days ago, after gaining recognition as a political party by the Elections Commission could have serious implications for the UNP at any elections held in the future. This new political party is a natural outgrowth of the kurundu polu clash that occurred in Matara in October 2014. This was to prevent a long march organized by Maithri Gunaratne and more..

Solving the SAITM issue

Oct 22 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena has pledged to put forward a solution to the long festering SAITM issue next week. The GMOA has regarded this latest announcement with skepticism as previous pledges given had not resulted in any significant change in the situation. The GMOA published a report on SAITM in 2010 and a five member committee appointed by the then Minister of Health (Maithripala Sirisena) put out a report on the matter in 2012. more..

Proposed constitution facing stillbirth?

Oct 22 (CT) Last Saturday President Maithripala Sirisena who was in Jaffna to inaugurate the National Tamil Language Day celebrations, took his security detail by surprise after he threw caution to the winds and abruptly alighted from his official vehicle to confront a group of protesters in Jaffna. President was in Jaffna to inaugurate the National Tamil Language Day celebrations at the Jaffna Hindu College when the incident took place. more..

Can January 8 Mandate be brushed under the carpet?

Oct 22 (SO) The PCoI into the Treasury bond issue, appointed by President Sirisena earlier this year, has now concluded hearing of evidence, leaving the Sri Lankan political sphere in suspense. It is still not clear when the Commission would present its report to the President. Although the Commission has concluded hearings, the commissioners have asked for an extension of its official term. This indicates that the additional time will be used to analyse evidence and more..

Great expectations

Oct 22 (ST) This Dickensian-connected headline was triggered by a casual remark on Thursday by Kussi Amma Sera on the forthcoming budget. Mahattayo, mey sarey, monawa thiyai-da, budget-eke? she asked sipping tea from her favourite mug inscribed with a smiling picture of the late Gamini Fonseka, a famous 1980s Sri Lankan actor who was also her favourite star. Ravi Karunanayake, mahattaya giyata passe, honda, honda dewal thiyai-da? she further queried. more..

Gung-ho Lankans freeze out top names

Oct 22 (ST) SLC has penalised national cricketers for, refusing to travel to Pakistan for the last T20 even as the team’s head coach and another member of the support staff backed down from the Lahore trip over security concerns. Head Coach Nic Pothas and Physiotherapist Nirmalan Dhanabalasingham have also pulled out, Team Manager Asanka Gurusinha confirmed. It was a decision that some other members of the team had also taken before the final Twenty20 squad was announced. more..

Are specialists appointed by allegiance or due to skill?

Oct 22 (Island) At the time of writing, SL has already lost the ongoing ODI series vs. Pakistan 0-3. Prognosis is that we could end up completely whitewashed by the time the series is over. How is it that a team that won the Test series 2-0 is now in this parlous predicament? Short answer is that Test and ODI cricket are two different kettles of fish. Specialist players are required for each format – as shown by the players the Pakistanis have picked for ODI games after Test series. more..

Lack of batting depth is hurting Sri Lanka

Oct 22 (Island) They may have narrowly qualified for the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2019, but SL’s ODI team is plagued with batting woes. Had they been relegated to play the qualifying round, the current team would have been tested by other teams likes Zimbabwe, Afghanistan and Ireland. SL needs to address several grey areas to be able to compete in cricket’s showpiece event which is less than two years away. SL have now failed to go past the 240-mark in their last 11 ODIs, more..

Govt taps informal sector to widen tax base

Oct 22 (ST) In the face of dwindling revenue, low tax compliance and a narrow tax base, the govt is to introduce a progressive tax structure for the informal sector while strengthening the income tax collection mechanism. This is through the 2018 ‘Designer’ Budget shifting from the stance of the ‘Robin Hood’ budget 2015, Finance Ministry sources disclosed. Treasury officials are ‘burning the midnight oil’ in devising 2018 budget proposals on the directions of more..

Lipton scales operations to remain on top

Oct 22 (ST) Unilever-owned, Lipton is handing over its local operations – auctioning, evaluation and buying of its tea – to Finlays as part of ensuring cost efficiency. Lipton seems to be constantly moving out its operations, outsourcing its business to some of the other companies in a bid to ensure cost efficiency and in the wake of the UK tea market itself reducing its consumption of the brew. Currently one of the biggest tea brands in the UK, Lipton had also closed more..

Kingfisher Beer Europe to distribute 2 Lion Brewery brands

Oct 22 (ST) The European arm of United Breweries in September has tied up with Sri Lanka’s Lion Brewery, in which Carlsberg holds a stake, to launch two of its beer brands across Europe. Kingfisher, bought by Heineken is now carrying out distributing and marketing duties for Lion Lager and Lion Stout in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. “Kingfisher spotted an opportunity with Lion Brewery for customers interested in discovery beers,” more..

Special committee to probe SLT irregularities

Oct 22 (ST) Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) has appointed a 3- member committee headed by retired Appeal Court judge, Sunil Rajapaksha to inquire into alleged malpractices and irregularities at the company since 2008, union sources said.This follows continuing protests from workers over alleged corruption who launched a work to rule and sick note campaign three weeks ago. The other members of the committee are Sri J'pura Vice Chancellor Prof. Sampath Amarathunga and more..

Gamlath bags a hat-trick of meet records

Oct 22 (ST) Indika Gamlath of Colombo Dockyard obtained a hat-trick of meet records at the conclusion of the second day of the 34th Mercantile Athletics Championships at Rajapaksa Complex Diyagama, yesterday. They were in the men’s over 40, 100 mtrs, 200 mtrs and 400 mtrs. Sri Lal Alahakone of Vee Power Solutions had set up two new records in the 200 metrs and 400 metrs events. Another two records were lowered in the women’s novices by H.A.H. Erandi of SriLankan Airlines. more..

SL’s new Forex Act in force on Nov.1

Oct 22 (ST) Though SL’s new Foreign Exchange Act got a second, new operational date – Nov 1, 2017 – it is unlikely to come into force since the relevant regulations are yet to be gazetted, informed official sources said. The limits and conditions under which the related foreign exchange rules will apply should also be published in the gazette for the law to become valid, a senior official said. This week, the govt an earlier date of Oct 15 for SL’s new Foreign Exchange Act, more..

Arrest of Gotabaya imminent

Oct 22 (SL) The arrest of former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa is imminent, well informed sources said. Sources said that a discussion had been held last week between govt officials from the legal and security establishments on taking Rajapaksa into custody to face charges against him. Rajapaksa returned from the United States last week following a private visit and according to sources he was to be arrested at the airport. more..

Govt yet to earn a cent from Hambantota deal

Oct 22 (SL) The government is yet to earn a cent from the Hambantota Port agreement, sources told The Sunday Leader. Sources said that as per the agreement there is more to be done on the part of Sri Lanka before it can start making money. Sources at the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) said that both Sri Lanka and the Chinese company, with whom Sri Lanka signed the agreement on the port, are looking to meet their part of the deal over the next few months. more..

President visits Vithya’s mother

Oct 22 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena visited the home of Vithya Sivaloganathan, who was brutally murdered and met her family. He inquired from them about their wellbeing. The President had earlier met Vithya's mother and promised to visit her home and see how she was getting on. The President promised Vithya's mother that he would provide all possible assistance for the higher education of Vithya's elder sister and for the future of the family. more..

SAARC on verge of collapse: Sri Lanka offers to play honest broker

Oct 22 (Island) Amidst heightening tensions between India and Pakistan and the future of the SAARC being at stake, Sri Lanka has  offered to play the role of honest broker. The assurance was given by President Maithripala Sirisena when Pakistan Foreign Secretary  Tehmina Janjua  called on him in Colombo last week, diplomatic sources said. Regretting the cancellation of the 19th SAARC Summit which was to be held in Islamabad last November, more..

LIOC says price increase issue still unresolved, but no restriction on supplies

Oct 22 (Island) In the backdrop of a clamor for a price revision in fuel, Lanka IOC dismissed claims that the company has restricted supplies of 92 Octane petrol and diesel to dealers to cut down on losses, and insisted that it’s "business as usual". "We have not in any way reduced fuel supply volumes", Shyam Bohra, Lanka IOC’s Managing Director, asserted. However, industry sources claimed that Lanka IOC is adopting a "pressure tactic" by restricting supplies more..

'Anika was out of the country when alleged threats were made'

Oct 22 (Island) Lawyers for former Minister Ravi Karunanayake have communicated with the Presidential Commission on the Central Bank Bond Issues with regard to allegations made to it that a close relative of the former minister had made a phone call to the brother of Ms. Anika Wijesuriya on Oct. 14 threatening to cause her harm and/or death compelling her to leave the country. They have said their client had investigated the statement made by Additional Solicitor General more..

Bankrupting SL: Govt debt passes Rs 10 Trillion

Oct 22 (CT) The Government's total outstanding debt increased by Rs 776.6 billion (8.3 per cent) to Rs 10,163.9 billion, as at the end of June 2017 from Rs 9,387.3 billion, as at the end of 2016, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) said. This comprised a total domestic debt stock of Rs 5,666.5 billion, a Rs 325 billion (6.1 per cent) increase, and foreign debt, a sharper Rs 451.6 billion (11.2 per cent) to Rs 4,497.4 billion increase. more..

Environmental Group Takes Port City To International Court

Oct 22 (SL) An environmental group is taking the Colombo Port City project to the international court. Tilak Kariyawasam, Chairman and Executive Director of Sri Lanka Nature Group said that a Swiss legal firm has agreed to appear on their behalf against the Port City project. Kariyawasam said that they had two rounds of talks with a Swiss legal firm and will continue the discussion following the outcome of a case filed locally against the project. more..

MR Likely To Be Removed

Oct 22 (SL) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa is likely to be removed from his posts in the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA). General Secretary of the SLFP, Duminda Dissanayake said that any party member who does not attend SLFP meetings to discuss the elections will lose their posts in the party. The SLFP had recently replaced some joint opposition members who held SLFP Organiser posts after they failed to work for the SLFP. more..

China’s loan delayed: Central Expressway at roadblock

Oct 22 (ST) A continuing delay by China’s Exim Bank to extend a loan of US$ 1.1 billion (Rs 158 billion) to Sri Lanka has put on hold the first phase of the Central Expressway project. The project covers 37.09 kilometres and links up to the rest of the Central Expressway from Mirigama. “If we don’t receive the loan by February or March next year, we will have to look for other options,” Road Development Authority (RDA) Chairman Nihal Suriyaarachchi said. more..

Bond Commission: AG names PM among witnesses

Oct 22 (ST) Twenty witnesses, including PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, are on a list submitted by the Attorney General’s Department to the Commission of Inquiry probing the Central Bank bond issue. The AG has requested that they be summoned before the commission. The Sunday Times learns that the request has been made to clarify certain statements and issues that had arisen before the commission. The commission this week declared that it had ended its public sittings, more..

SLBFE still holds on to Rs. 3.2 billion in unpaid Kuwait war compensation

Oct 22 (ST) The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) is still holding on to a balance of more than Rs 3.2 billion from money remitted by the United Nations Compensation Commission (UNCC) to pay Sri Lankans who were employed in Kuwait during that country’s invasion by Iraq in 1990, the Auditor General’s Department states. The amount in US dollars at the prevailing exchange rate is more than US$ 20mn. The payments are yet to be made because the bureau “had not implemented a more..

Local council polls also may be put off till March or later

Oct 22 (ST) Local Govt elections, seen to be close on hand only just days earlier, have become yet so far now. The expected January 20, 2018 poll may now not happen. This time it is over another mundane issue – the creation of more Pradeshiya Sabhas in the Nuwara Eliya district. This is a long standing demand from the plantation sector pro-Government political parties. The Government heeded their request when the Elections Commission is readying for the local polls. more..

Why does the opposition agree on everything?

Oct 23 (SL) To those of the new generations not familiar with Spanish writer Don Miguel Cervantes’s delightful book Don Quixote, Sancho Panza is a fictional hero who goes around the country fighting imaginary threats on a donkey along with his master Don Quixote such as tilting at windmills. Watching a TV talk show recently we were reminded of Sancho Panza when a Sri Lankan doctor threatened to stage a youth revolution like the Second JVP fiasco. Our SL Sancho Panza was demanding that more..