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Herath isn't battling father time, he has cut a deal with him

Feb 11 (CI) How long can he keep going? No, really. Rangana Herath is 40 in five weeks. By that age, Wasim Akram - the man he has just passed to become the most-successful left armer - had been retired for three years. Daniel Vettori, next-best on that list, is in fact 10 months younger than Herath and had anyway been a tied-together collection of limbs towards the end of his career. Herath has been complaining of more..

Brigadier Priyanka Fernando Saga: Why Bravado Must Be Calculated

Feb 11 (SO) Brigadier Priyanka Fernando, an officer attached to the 59th brigade during the final phase of war, suddenly found himself in a controversy this week, following a gesture he showed to a group of Tamil protesters in front of the SL High Commission building in London. Fernando, a battle-hardened soldier who is now the Defence Attache of SL HC in London, was understandably annoyed when the protestors kept demeaning the SL Armed Forces and their military victory over the LTTE. more..

Mahmudullah defends batsmen's intent and positive approach

Feb 11 (CI) Bangladesh's attacking approach was the right choice, stand-in captain Mahmudullah has said after his side were shot out for 110 and 123 in a span of of 24 hours. Bangladesh lasted a total of 75.1 overs in the Test, with many of their batsmen taking a lot of risk on a pitch aiding spin. Even on the third day, when a more sensible approach to chase 349 was warranted, the batsmen preferred to attack. Mahmudullah said that defending stoutly wouldn't have taken his team anywhere, more..

Poll could go 3 ways with SLPP leading: Survey

Feb 11 (ST) The Mahinda Rajapaksa-controlled SLPP was seen garnering more support than the UNP or the UPFA led by President Maithripala Sirisena at yesterday’s LG elections, a survey reveals. By the time these survey results are read today, based on an opinion poll conducted earlier this week, many results of the election to 340 local authorities would have already come in. The survey was conducted on email more..

Rangana & Akila rewrite record books

Feb 11 (CI) Rangana Herath went past Wasim Akram to become the most prolific left-arm bowler in Test history when he dismissed Bangladesh's last wicket. Akram took 414 wickets at an average of 23.62 in 104 matches. Herath, on the other hand, was playing only the 89th Test of his career. New Zealand's Daniel Vettori is third on this list with 362 wicket from 113 matches. Chaminda Vaas, Mitchell Johnson and Zaheer Khan are the only other left-armers to take at least 300 Tests wickets. more..

Fighting for migrant workers

Feb 11 (ST) Missing, or rather, not enough attention has been given to the rights of female migrant workers and their status in society in the just-concluded election campaign for local authorities. Our attention was drawn to this one morning when Kussi Amma Sera, preparing the morning cup of tea, said: Mahattaya, apey pitarata rassawata yana lamei gena kisi kathawak nehe me chande kaale? Eh, I asked but before waiting for a long, drawn response during a busy week, more..

Bit of Mr. Cricket in Roshen Silva

Feb 11 (Island) In Hollywood thriller Rambo, actor Sylvester Stallone who plays the role John Rambo – a US Special Forces solider – accomplishes his missions with little trouble. Rambo is well trained on survival, weaponry, hand-to-hand combat and guerrilla warfare and the challenges that come his way are child’s play to him. Roshen Silva reminds you of Rambo as he has been well seasoned in domestic and ‘A’ team cricket more..

Dialog profits up 153% in Dec

Feb 11 (EN) Dialog Axiata, a mobile and fixed wireless operator with pay TV service said profits in the Dec 2017 quarter grew 153 percent from a year ago to 3.2 billion rupees, helped by stronger mobile revenues and lower finance costs on reduced currency depreciation. The company reported earnings of 39 cents a share in the quarter in accounts filed with the CSE. In the year to December 2017, earnings were 1.32 rupees a share on total profits of rs. 10.8 billion, up 19.3%. more..

Sri Lanka may score after ICC – Indian govt disagreement on tax exemptions

Feb 11 (ST) The ICC has decided to explore alternatives venues for the 2021 Champions Trophy to be held in India because of an ongoing tax issue with the Indian govt. All major sporting events receives tax exemption but Indian govt has refused to honour the request despite efforts by the ICC and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). “The Board expressed their concern around the absence of a tax exemption from the Indian Govt for ICC events held in India despite more..

Malinga still in our game plans says chief selector Labrooy

Feb 11 (ST) As seamer Lasith Malinga mulls retirement from international cricket after being consistently snubbed for national selection to build a career in mentoring, but chief cricket selector Graeme Laboory did not rule out a possible Malinga return depending on his form and fitness. “He is very much in our game plan,” he said. “We have not written him off completely. If he can prove his form and fitness in domestic cricket, more..

Sri Lanka Golf tees off on talent quest

Feb 11 (ST) The Sri Lanka Golf Union (SLGU), in its quest to find talent across the country, has launched 4 Golf Academies in strategic locations. The programme commenced in August 2017, in a partnership with HSBC Future Lions, when the inaugural HSBC International Sri Lanka Junior Golf Championship was held at the Royal Colombo Golf Club (RCGC). Today, the SLGU maintains a Colombo Academy at Welisara, a Kandy Academy at Victoria Golf & Country Club (VGCC), more..

Davis-Cup tie we should have won

Feb 11 (ST) A reduced format of Davis Cup was introduced into Group II by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) this year. It is a format we could capitalise on, as we do not have ATP Tour players. In the new format, matches are best of 3 Sets and the tie is played over 2 days. Unless Singles players are also playing Doubles, the format is easy to accommodate. The depth of good players matters in team events. This is what we do not have, to win. We played Thailand last Sunday, and lost. more..

High Altitude Training Centre to become a reality soon

Feb 11 (ST) Govt will soon sign the financial agreement with the French govt to construct the multi-billion rupee high altitude training center at the Nuwara Eliya Race Course, Sports Ministry sources confirmed. The finance agreement which has been approved by the Finance Ministry has been sent to the legal draftsman for their evaluation. The project needs Cabinet approval before signing the financial agreement by the two govts. more..

People who ate hoppers with us are turning up against us: Maxwell

Feb 11 (Island) National Olympic Committee Secretary Maxwell de Silva during a media briefing earlier this week claimed that the allegations directed towards the NOC on financial irregularities as baseless. NOC elections will take place on the 23rd Feb at the Olympic House auditorium after the Auditor General had cleared all accounts of the NOC. "People who were with us and who ate hoppers with us have turned against us," De Silva told tongue in cheek during media briefing. more..

Sri Lanka Tourism sees Mumbai as market for high growth

Feb 11 (ST) Sri Lanka Tourism started off its 2018 tourism calendar with a positive output by participating in the 5th edition of the India International Travel & Tourism Exhibition –IITT 2018. “It was a resounding success with more than 28,000 enthusiastic visitors and more than 500 fully hosted buyers who attended the event” a media release issued by the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau stated. This travel extravaganza was held from January 11 to 13. more..

Cost for LG bodies doubles with increase in members

Feb 11 (ST) With the conclusion of LG elections yesterday at a cost of around Rs. 4 billion, the expenditure of maintaining 340 local authorities has been almost doubled as the number of elected members has gone up to 8,356 from 4,486, previously. The Treasury will be facing an uphill task of allocating money for the recurrent expenditure of billions of rupees to maintain the poor revenue generating, MCs, UCs and PSs, more..

2017 good year for tea with production up and prices at all time high

Feb 11 (Island) Ceylon tea had a good year in 2017 with production up and average prices hitting an all time high, Ceylon Tea Brokers PLC said in an industry overview. "Though export volumes were static compared to the previous year, export revenues established an all time record high in rupee terms," the report said. But it complained that despite the favorable trends, "the industry continued to be plagued with geo-political tension in the tea importing countries, more..

SOBEs declared over Rs 50 B dividend to Govt in 2017

Feb 11 (CT) State Owned Business Enterprises (SOBEs) have, last year (2017), declared over Rs 50 billion as dividend to the Treasury, representing a 50% decrease from the previous year. According to the Finance Ministry, last year (2017), Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) made a Rs 20 billion dividend - the largest transfer to the Govt. The Bank of Ceylon's (BOC) dividend has gone down from Rs 17billion in the previous year (2016) to Rs 12 billion in 2017. more..

Sri Lanka’s special Port City legislation to be presented soon

Feb 11 (ST) Sri Lanka’s special Port City legislation will be presented in parliament soon, as new laws and regulations are essential for a mega project of this nature. “Multiple emerging opportunities have been considered in drafting this new legislation in consistency with the constitution creating an oasis for businesses to be established here to serve the South Asian region,” Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva said. more..

Public Enterprises Ministry probes Rs. 1 bln BoC bad debt

Feb 11 (ST) Ministry of Public Enterprises has ordered a probe into an alleged Rs. 1 billion bad debt at the Bank of Ceylon (BoC) and also requested the CID to carry out an investigation, ministry sources added. The BoC comes under the ministry They said that BoC’s Credit Committee is also under fire and that an Assistant General Manager (AGM) has been sent on leave. They said that the Credit Committee at BoC has said that they didn’t receive adequate information by more..

New electoral system will ensure more accountability

Feb 11 (ST) The new system will enable voters to catch their elected representatives if they fail to deliver the goods, according to comments received in an opinion poll on the LG elections. But respondents were concerned that the doubling of representatives and costs to maintain them, would further burden the public. The poll was conducted on email earlier this week (before yesterday’s election) by the Business Times and in Galle and Colombo by polling partner, Second Curve. more..

Key SLFP members expected to resign, MR opens his doors

Feb 11 (SL) Key SLFP members are expected to resign from the Govt in the wake of the thumping defeat at the LG elections. SLFP sources said that once the final results are officially announced the SLFP members will indicate their intention to resign from the Govt. At least seven SLFP members have now indicated they will step down from their Ministerial positions. Meanwhile former President Rajapaksa said that he has opened his doors and more..

We suffered because we were divided: This is mainly a protest vote: Govt

Feb 11 (AM) he unity govt paid the price for contesting the election as divided groups, a senior Cabinet minister told Asian Mirror a short while ago, commenting on the results of the LG polls 2018. "It is true that the Sri Lanka Podujana Party (SLPP) is heading towards a resounding victory," he admitted. "However," the Minister said, "in many Local Govt bodies, the total votes received by the UNP. the SLFP and the JVP are higher than the votes received by the SLPP." more..

Elections Commission explains reason for results delay

Feb 11 (AD) Elections Commission has issued a special statement with regard to the delay in releasing the results of the 2018 Local Govt Election. The release states that Returning Officers have received the results, via fax and telephone, following the conclusion of counting at each polling centers and wards. However, as Returning Officers have had to compare the results which are delivered by hand and have had to recheck and recheck when preparing the cumulative results, more..

SLPP sweeps wards in South; North goes to ITAK

Feb 11 (ST) The recently formed SLPP led by former President Rajapaksa seems to have swept a majority of the LG wards in the south at yesterday’s countrywide polls, according to early results that began trickling in late last night. However, in some councils though the SLPP won most of the wards under the FPP (First Past the Post) system, when the PR (Proportional Representation) quota of votes are counted, more..

Celebrate triumph at LG polls peacefully: Former President

Feb 11 (AD) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa says that he acknowledges everyone who pledged their support at the 2018 LG election. Issuing a special statement the Former President requested his supporters to celebrate their victory over the LG election without causing hindrance to opposition parties. Rajapaksa also congratulated everyone who contested under SLPP. His message posted on his official page reads; “The people of Sri Lanka have risen as one and have spoken. more..

SL vote: New law sees more women standing

Feb 11 (AJ) Voters in SL are choosing representatives in more than 300 local polls, with more female candidates than ever standing for election. A change in the law requires women to fill a quarter of all seats elected in Saturday's vote - more than 12 times the current number. Rosy Senanayake, a diplomat and MP, is aiming to become the mayor of the capital, Colombo. She is the first woman to try. "I strongly believe that we cannot have democracy if we do not interest more..

LG polls: Where do we go from here?

Feb 11 (ST) The nation today awaits the victor and the vanquished at the local polls which took place yesterday. As the hours tick by, that there will be surprises galore, in the first test of strength for the ruling coalition, has become clearer. One such instance is the clear emergence of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s new SLPP. The new party is poised to make a strong footprint in local politics with a noteworthy victory. more..

The reality of independence and the imperfections of the Republic

Feb 11 (Island) As this weekly and others reach the reading public today the main results of yesterday’s elections would have already made the news. The political universe will be awash in autopsies and the cadaver feast will continue long enough for some carving next Sunday with my little scalpels. For today, as voting goes on at the time of writing, I will share with the reader more of what I started last week about our dead and reborn constitutions after independence. more..

Positive awareness created in first year of Right To Information Commission

Feb 11 (Island) In the past one year following the operationalizing of the Right to Information (RTI) Act, No 12 of 2016, SL’s first Right to Information Commission records a noteworthy increase in the numbers of appeals being filed before the Commission with information being released in a majority of cases as well as positive awareness on the part of many key Public Authorities of the Act. During the previous month alone, the varied information that was released included more..

Money laundering: Lanka falls short in EU vote; casinos, gems, real estate identified

Feb 11 (ST) Sri Lanka’s casinos, real estate and the gem and jewellery business have been identified as high risk areas requiring proper supervision of financial institutions by the European Commission. This follows a vote that fell short of the threshold of 376 votes to over-turn the country being listed as a jurisdiction with strategic deficiencies in its anti-money laundering regime. This week, 357 members of the European Parliament (MEP) more..

88% of RTI requests responded to or, being processed: SLPI Study

Feb 11 (ST) One year after the Right to Information (RTI) Law came into effect, 88% of the RTI requests submitted to Govt Ministries have been responded to or, are being processed, while 12% have been rejected, according to a study conducted by SL Press Institute, based on data received from 22 Ministries. As per the RTI process, if a request is rejected, an appeal can be made to the Designated Officer at relevant authority, more..

SLPP to push for snap General Elections following surprise win

Feb 11 (SL) The SLPP is to push for a snap General Election following its surprise win at the LG elections. SLPP sources said that the party led by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa will ride on the public confidence it had obtained at the LG elections to push for a snap General Election. The SLPP is expected to obtain the support of several key SLFP members for a General Election to form a new Govt. more..

One on one meeting between President and PM today

Feb 11 (AM) One of one meeting between President Maithripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickremesinghe is scheduled to take place today, informed political sources said. the meeting comes in the wake of the defeat suffered by the ruling alliance at the Local Govt election. The discussion is aimed at striking an agreement between the two main parties to seize power in a number of Local Govt bodies as a united political force. more..

Voter turnout highest for an LG poll

Feb 11 (CT) Over 65% of the voters turned up at polling booths to exercise their franchise for the Local Govt polls held yesterday, making it the highest turnout for an LG election, the Elections Commission and monitors said. Elections Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya, addressing the media last evening, said the statistics pertaining to the turnout were unofficial, but it could increase once counting commenced. more..

Minor incidents but polls peaceful

Feb 11 (CT) Over 350 polls-related violations and other incidents were reported during voting at yesterday's LG elections, but independent monitors at the same time said that the polls was concluded in a peaceful atmosphere with zero bloodletting and serious cases of violence. They said that 145 incidents were reported yesterday but the bulk of it was of a minor nature adding that the Police acted swiftly and efficiently to ensure more..

Udayanga debacle in Dubai: Fresh team flies to Lyon to get Red Notice

Feb 11 (ST) A last ditch attempt is being made by the Govt to persuade Interpol Headquarters in France to issue a Red Notice to enable the arrest of SL’s former Ambassador to Russia, Udayanga Weeratunga, who is now in Dubai. A prime suspect in the alleged mass fraud involving the procurement of MiG 27 fighter jets from Ukraine in 2006, he was detained by Interpol officials at the Dubai International Airport. more..

Rajapaksa faction beckons SLFP members; says no mandate for govt

Feb 11 (EN) A 56 -member faction of SLFP supporting ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa has made overtures to govt members to join them to form an administration, after a new party backed by them swept local bodies at Saturday's polls. "We are asking the members of the SLFP who are supporting the govt to think seriously about their political future," Ratnapura MP Pavithra Wanniarachchi said. more..

UNP gets Colombo, Rosy to be first CMC female Mayor

Feb 11 (AM) Former MP Rosy Senanayake has become the first Mayoress in Colombo as the UNP has secured an easy victory in the Colombo Municipal Council. The UNP has received 131353 votes in the Colombo MC area with 60 seats. The SLPP has come second with 60097 votes and 23 seats. The UPFA has received only 31421 votes with 12 seats while the JVP has managed to get 14234 votes with 06 seats. more..

Sri Lanka’s ruling coalition in deep crisis after shock defeat

Feb 11 (EN) President Maithripala Sirisena’s uneasy coalition faced a major internal crisis amid finger pointing for the humiliating shock defeat at local government elections, political sources said. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe whose UNP performed poorly was also under pressure to accept responsibility for the party’s bruising drubbing just two and a half years after forming a unity govt with Sirisena. more..