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Sri Lanka win tri-nation series in Bangladesh

Jan 27 (CI) A brief Kusal Mendis salvo set Sri Lanka off apace, but the wickets fell, the pitch slowed, and the run rate began to falter. Sri Lanka's two senior batsmen - Upul Tharanga and Dinesh Chandimal - spent most time at the crease, scratching away for a combined 173 deliveries to return scores of 56 and 45 respectively. They had seemed to set Sri Lanka up for a bright finish, but Rubel Hossain and Mustafizur Rahman were more..

Parliament to debate reports on 8th Feb

Jan 27 (NR) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe says Parliament will convene on the 8th of February to debate the report by the PCoI into the Issuance of Treasury Bonds and the 34 reports by the PRECIFAC . Speaking at a UNP rally in Morawaka the Premier said the letter in this regard will be submitted to the Speaker of House on Monday. PM added there is a massive debate in Parliament if the reports by PRECIFAC and more..

Northern economic re-awakening

Jan 28 (SO) As Northern business people and local citizens visit the Jaffna International Trade Fair (JITF 2018) venue in Jaffna, youth and students flock to the nearby Higher Education and Career Exhibition being held simultaneously with the trade fair. The JITF 2018 and the education fair, both end today and, are symbols of the speedy re-awakening of the Northern Province after decades of war. Not yet ten years ago, the country saw the ending of the most devastating war this island had experienced more..

Competent, Empowered Auditor General

Jan 28 (CT) What Sri Lanka needs is teeth to prosecute white collar crime/criminals in Government if such empowerment is lacking in law. It's nice to have various reports, official or otherwise, highlighting financial irregularities and waste in Government and in Government institutions. But if such findings are confined to reports only, those by itself are a waste of public funds, especially with respect to official reports in particular. The country's 219-year-old AG's Department, more..

'Govt cannot be changed through LG polls'

Jan 28 (SO) Minister Gayantha Karunatilleka says, it is no secret the people are well aware that neither the President, PM nor Govt can be changed through an LG election. He said, at present, SLFP has been split into various factions and some are going after the betel leaf while others are supporting the Pohottuwa. UNP is the only party which has not been divided, and functions under one leader, one symbol and more..

Surviving the blood letting

Jan 28 (Island) With less than a fortnight to go before countrywide local elections, it is patently clear that the gloves are off between constituents of the incumbent yahapalana govt who have now become combatants. The question on how long the present arrangement between the UNP and President Sirisena’s faction of the SLFP can last is now wide open. Undoubtedly the election result will be a determinant, some would say the determinant, of how future events would unravel. more..

70th Independence: From imperialism to debt-servitude?

Jan 28 (ST) Seventy years ago, when Sri Lanka regained its political Independence after centuries of foreign domination, the next goal was to obtain its economic freedom. Today, on the eve of the country’s 70th anniversary of Independence, Govt is preparing to enact a new Active Liability Management Law as SL’s debt level tops Rs. 9.3 trillion. The law is aimed at managing the country’s runaway debts overseas. Foreign banks have taken serious note of SL’s high debt level and more..

'I couldn’t look away when country’s assets were being sold'

Jan 28 (CT) Kurunegala District MP Mahinda Rajapaksa says the faction of the SLFP that got together with the UNP has betrayed the principles of S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike. "I remain in active politics and contested as there was a massive public demand to do so. People were mobilizing against this govt since Feb 2015 itself. All I did was give leadership to that force," former President said in an interview with Ceylon Today. more..

LG electoral race heats up

Jan 28 (SO) With the LG election just two weeks away, the election machinery of the four main political parties are now in full swing. The UNP, the single largest political party in the electoral race, is fully confident of a sweeping victory. Apart from being the biggest stakeholder of the national unity got, the UNP is also benefitted by the fact that the rival camp is divided. The SLFP believes, although the party started the election campaign on a relatively bad wicket, more..

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room

Jan 28 (ST) My dear Green Man, I thought I should write to you even though you must be very busy hosting the Prime Minister of Singapore and the President of Indonesia. That is because I want you to know that many people are confused about what is happening to the Greens, with an important election just a few weeks away. Some people say that you were never good at winning elections. They argue that under your leadership the Greens have lost a record number of elections. more..


EC and law that endangers the franchise and people’s sovereignty

Jan 28 (Island) Supreme Court recently rejected the petition filed by the SLPP challenging the rejection of its nomination list for the Maharagama UC without taking it up for hearing. The same thing happened to the petition filed by the SLFP against the rejection of their nomination list for the Padiyatalawa PS. Thereafter, the SC also rejected the petitions filed by the SLPP against the rejection of its nomination lists for Panadura UC, and Agalawatte, Mahiyanganaya and Thirippane LG institutions as well. more..

Sri Lanka's graft outdoes Bangladesh's millionaire approach

Jan 28 (CI) There is no shame in scoring slowly in a one-day game. Just ask Upul Tharanga, Niroshan Dickwella and Dinesh Chandimal, who did so in the tri-series final. They batted at a combined strike-rate of 62.17 for 230 deliveries, hitting nine fours and a six altogether. But it was still their effort that got Sri Lanka the trophy in Mirpur. It was a far cry from the home team's approach while chasing 222 on what was, at worst, a two-paced pitch. Only Mahmudullah seemed to put a price more..

President under pressure to walk the talk after three years in office

Jan 28 (CT) They says this is not a national election that would change Govts and is the chance to elect competent groups of people that could ensure you are living in a developed, resourceful, healthy, peaceful, clear of all kinds of pollution and safe environment. Yet, with just a fortnight to go for the LG Elections to be held on 10 Feb 2017, the election campaign by all main political parties has set the atmosphere of more..

Foreign leaders ahoy

Jan 28 (ST) Sri Lanka, one must admit, hasn’t been short of visits by foreign leaders since the entry of the Maithri-Ranil administration. Support to the current administration has been overwhelming compared to the distance foreign leaders particularly from the West kept during the Mahinda Rajapaksa-years which were marred by human rights abuses. Now foreign leaders come during thundershowers and Gail-storms, they have come here during street protests and brawls by politicians. more..

Prolific Karunaratne seeks consistency

Jan 28 (Island) Amidst the disappointments of 2017, where Sri Lankan cricket hit new lows, one consoling fact was the prolific run scoring of opening batsman Dimuth Karunaratne. A sharp thinker of the game and earmarked as a future Test captain, Karunaratne turned 29 last year and came up with some consistent performances making three Test hundreds and five half-centuries. There were six batsman who made over 1000 runs in the calendar year in 2017 that included Virat Kohli and more..

'We knew 220-230 would be enough'

Jan 28 (CI) SL knew Bangladesh would find it hard to chase down 222 runs on the Mirpur pitch, according to Dinesh Chandimal. He described the pitch as a tough one, saying his batsmen understood the importance of sticking around till the 50th over quite early and batted accordingly. That confidence helped them blow Bangladesh away in a 79-run win in the tri-series final, superb comeback after losing so poorly more..

Finger injury rules Shakib out of 1st SL Test

Jan 28 (CI) Shakib Al Hasan has been ruled out of the first Test against SL, with a finger injury he sustained during the tri-series final in Mirpur on Saturday. Shakib injured his left little finger which resulted in bruising and swelling, and there is even a chance of him missing the rest of the tour upto Feb 18, when Sri Lanka play a T20 in Sylhet. Mahmudullah will lead the Test side in Shakib's absence. Bangladesh's selectors have drafted the left-arm spinner more..

Japan urges team effort to counter China’s presence in Sri Lanka

Jan 28 (ST) A top Japanese industry chief has called for joint-action with other like-minded countries to counter China’s growing influence in Sri Lanka revealing the island-nation’s leadership would welcome such an initiative as it looks for more investment from the private sector in Japan. “We must not stand against China or confront China. It is very difficult for individual countries to act on their own, and we should approach China (its business initiatives in Sri Lanka) more..

More money for corruption?: Sri Lanka all set for more borrowings

Jan 28 (CT) Sri Lanka plans to launch her maiden Sovereign Bond (up to US$ 2 billion) for 2018 around mid-February, CB officials said. "We will soon appoint the Lead Managers/Book Runners to the proposed issue. As soon as it is finalized, we are ready to tap into international capital markets, most probably somewhere around mid-February," he said. The proposed transaction is to be Sri Lanka's 12th US dollar ($) benchmark offering in more..

Innovative school cricket system to hit the turf from April

Jan 28 (ST) The streamlining of Inter-school cricket under the Education Department’s Schools Cricket National Operation Plan (SCNOP) will get under way in April this year. First to hit the turf are the Under (U)-15 and U-17 seasons from April, according to its programme head – well known cricket administrator and former national cricketer Jayantha Seneviratne. As a prelude to the programme, all school coaches will attend a symposium in mid Feb under Mahela Jayawardena, more..

WADA panel educates youngsters on Sports Nutrition

Jan 28 (SO) An Awareness Program on Sports Nutrition was held on Wednesday with the Keynote Address delivered by Dr Seevali Jayawickrema, Director General, SL Anti-Doping Agency WADA. Along with this program a panel discussion on ‘Nutrition vs Supplements’ was also held in the presence of experts on this issue Dr. Seevali Jayawickrema, Chandrishan Perera, Former Sri Lanka Rugby Captain & National Coach, Kushil Gunasekera, Founder & Chief Trustee of more..

Local match-fixing scandal: SLC found guilty

Jan 28 (ST) An independent inquiry into alleged match-fixing involving two local clubs has absolved players of all charges on a technicality but recommended tough action against the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and clubs officials whose involvement in the process which it says is now established. Kalutara PCC and Panadura SC players appealed against a ban instituted on them in Sept last year by a 3-member panel appointed by SLC. more..

Sri Lankan cardiologist honoured in Australia

Jan 28 (Island) A SL-born cardiologist, Dr Kumar Gunawardane, has been bestowed the most prestigious award - CONSULTANT EMERITUS by The TOWNSVILLE HOSPITAL AND HEALTH SERVICE BOARD. Presentation was made by the Minister for Health, Queensland, Dr. Steven Miles at a glittering staff excellence award ceremony. This was attended by many local dignitaries including the state and federal MPs and the Mayor of Townsville Cr Jenny Hill. more..

Dilmah replaces Tea with Wilderness

Jan 28 (Island) Dilmah Founder, Merrill J Fernando removed the first tea plant at Dilmah’s Endana tea garden in a symbolic gesture, initiating the reforestation of the fragmented Delwala Kanda and Walankanda Forest Reserves. The estimated three-kilometer long nature corridor linking these two sites reaffirms the Founder’s commitment towards sustainability and diversity of life, as Dilmah Tea continues into the 30th year of its existence, the company said in a news release. more..

Malinga hints at packing his bags

Jan 28 (ST) After being consistently snubbed for national selection, fast bowler Lasith Malinga this week hinted at retirement from international cricket to build a career in mentoring. It is not that he wants to end his international playing career before the 2019 World Cup. It is just that the prospect of a return seems a distant dream. “If my services are not required any longer as a player, it’s time to move on,” Malinga said. more..

Kannan: Focal point in reuniting the Ex-LTTE Cadre

Jan 28 (AT) A former active member of the LTTE and many of his colleagues in the erstwhile outfit, have come forward to reunite the divided, scattered and splintered former LTTE members into one strong organization and bring them into the main stream politics to serve the Tamils of SL. Sebamalai Kannan, a veteran former LTTEr, who joined the outfit as a child soldier and subsequently undergone the govts rehabilitation program, presently involved in uniting former rehabilitated LTTE cadres, more..

Suspicions raised over Lasantha probe following President’s revelation

Jan 28 (SL) Suspicions have been raised over the ongoing investigations into the murder of the founding Editor of The Sunday Leader, Lasantha Wickrematunge following a revelation by President Maithripala Sirisena on Friday. The President said that when he had made inquiries from the relevant officials with regards to the progress of the investigations in 2016, he was told the investigations are expected to be completed in just over a week. He said that relevant officials had informed more..

Immunity for CB Governor, officials in debt management bill

Jan 28 (ST) Proposed new regulations governing the management of SL’s massive debt has a significant provision giving immunity to the Central Bank (CB), members of the Monetary Board and all officers of the banking regulator against prosecution if they act in good faith, according to the gazette that has been issued. New regulations under the Active Liability Management bill is aimed at better liability more..

Indonesia to participate in Sri Lanka flyover construction

Jan 28 (CT) Indonesian Govt has confirmed their willingness to participate in SL's flyover construction, connecting the New Kelani Bridge with Rajagiriya. This was announced during the official two-day visit to SL made by Indonesian President Joko Widodo. During his visit, Indonesian President mentioned to immediately follow up on the fast-train procurement. He said that SL's Transport and Civil Aviation Minister had confirmed the purchase of 60 train cars for the first phase. more..

Hearing of SAITM issue in SC: SLMC sub committee decides not to give its opinion

Jan 28 (DM) Sri Lanka Medical Council’s (SLMC) sub committee on the SAITM issue has decided to refrain from giving its opinion to the Supreme Court on the SAITM at the relevant hearing. The sources said the SLMC had reached at this decision with the approval of its majority on the grounds that the degree awarded by the SAITM has not been registered so far with the SLMC. It said the SLMC was in a position to give its opinion only on an accepted degree awarding institute. more..

In order to prosecute wrongdoers: AG directs CID to probe Bond report

Jan 28 (CT) CID has been instructed, by Attorney General Jayantha Jayasuriya, to conduct the necessary investigations into issues arising out of the Bond Commission Investigation report, to enable him to prosecute the wrongdoers. The instructions were given two days ago. Investigations into the Bond Commission report are being conducted under the supervision of head of CID, Senior DIG Ravi Seneviratne, more..

Eighteen Sri Lankans in IPL auction 2018

Jan 28 (Island) As many as 578 players from 13 cricketing nations are taking part in the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction that kicked off in Bengaluru in Karnataka state on Saturday. Eighteen of them are Sri Lankan. Pakistanis do not figure in the list of players trying their luck in the world’s richest cricket tournament. An original pool of 1122 has been trimmed down to 578 cricketers. Of these, 360 are Indian: 62 capped and 298 uncapped. The rest overseas players. more..

Chinese credit crisis shakes local travel firms

Jan 28 (ST) Chinese travel agents owe Sri Lankan travel agents millions of rupees in credit advances for organising tour packages for Chinese visitors and the delayed payment has hit the industry in a sluggish economy, local tour operators said. “A few small timers have closed operations while several medium and large scale operators are faced with delayed payments up to 180 days or non-payment up to large amounts of US dollars at present,” an official spokesman of the SLAITO said more..

Bank accounts of 28 PTL companies frozen

Jan 28 (ST) The operations of bank accounts of all 28 companies within the Perpetual Group– associated with Arjun Aloysius, a key suspect in the controversial CB bond scams—have been frozen with immediate effect by the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of CB. The directive was issued on Wednesday to banks in which the accounts reside and was pursuant to available intelligence that Perpetual, beneficiary of more..

Poaching in SL waters to attract stiffer fines

Jan 28 (Hindu) Sri Lanka has increased the fine on foreign vessels fishing in its territorial waters by amending its existing Fisheries Act of 1979. By implication, Indian vessels found fishing in Sri Lankan waters will henceforth be liable to pay anything between LKR 6 million to LKR 175 million. According to Minister Mahinda Amaraweera, SL Parliament earlier this week approved a set of amendments to the Foreign Fishing Boats Regulation Act of 1979, in effect increasing more..

SriLankan Board votes to sack CEO Suren Ratwatte

Jan 28 (ST) Board of Directors of SriLankan Airlines, which won a new lease of life, decided by majority vote to sack their CEO, Suren Ratwatte. Board met on Thursday for the first time after all of them except one handed in their resignations, but PM asked them to continue in office until the board was reconstituted. Board took up the continuation of Mr. Ratwatte as CEO of the national airline despite it not being on the agenda and voted by a majority a 5-2 vote to remove him. more..

Local Council Polls : Do or die battle for Sirisena

Jan 28 (ST) President uses Bond Commission findings as an artillery barrage against Rajapaksa’s SLPP and UNP; wins public support but will it translate into votes? Sirisena declines to answer questions as to whether he will contest again and says he is unsure where the current situation will end Mahendran was the source from which Perpetual Treasuries obtained inside informantion says Bond Commission. more..

The long awaited MMDA report, a façade!

Jan 29 (CT) After nine years of snail-paced deliberations, the Justice Saleem Marsoof (JSM) Committee Report to reform the Muslim Marriages and Divorce Act (MMDA), sometimes called the Muslim Personal Law (MPL), is out at last, BRAVO!!!. The Chairperson of the committee, Justice Saleem Marsoof handed over a report to Hon. Thalatha Athukorale MP, Minister of Foreign Employment and Minister of Justice on the 22 of Jan 2018. It is regrettable that the JSM committee more..

Crackers at the London Grill

Jan 29 (CT) Guests and staff at the top London Grill restaurant at Cinnamon Grand experienced swearing and being shouted at on Friday, as the head of a leading biscuit company celebrated his birthday. The dinner was carefully organised with a photographer from a well known magazine standing by. Among the guests was a former Sri Lankan General/Diplomat who served in New York, who’s diplomatic qualities were like no other. As the Moet Chandon popped and the bubbly flowed, more..