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Can President Maithri actually implement capital punishment?

Jul 15 (CT) Prez Sirisena, last week, said that he would sign required orders to execute capital punishment for convicted drug traffickers who carry out large scale drug smuggling operations while in detention. President’s office quoted the Prez as saying that although there are certain opinions regarding capital punishment in a Buddhist society, if large number of criminal acts spread in such a society despite religious sermons, more..

Karunaratne’s brilliance

Jul 15 (Island) SL’s opening batsman Dimuth Karunaratne is earning a reputation of playing long innings and in Galle this week he completed his eighth Test hundred. As the SL batsmen struggled against the pace of Kagiso Rabada, Karunaratne’s unbeaten 158 was a face saving effort. In the process he became the fourth Sri Lankan to carry his bat through in Test cricket alongside Sidath Wettimuny, Marvan Atapattu and Russel Arnold. He again top scored in SL’s second innings with more..

Boyagoda: A trophy winning specialist

Jul 15 (SO) Sri Lanka Under-19 cricketer and record breaker Hasitha Boyagoda became the Sunday Observer Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year last week which made his school Trinity College, parents and Kandy proud. Boyagoda was an expert at bagging prizes but was somewhat of an obscure cricketer who won many trophies and stormed into the limelight when he hammered a world record innings of 191 in the 2018 Youth World Cup in Christchurch, New Zealand against Kenya. more..

'It is up to the President and PM to pad up and bat to save the day for cricket'

Jul 15 (ST) A majority of SL’s top level past cricketers are of the view that it is now up to the Prez and the PM to pad up and bat to save the day for the game, according to former Interim Committee Chairman Sidath Wettimuny. He explained what transpired after the meeting that he held with the Sports Minister Faiszer Musthapha. Meeting centred on steps to be taken to resuscitate the game of cricket in the present context. more..

I want a series win: Lakmal

Jul 15 (ST) Suranga Lakmal, the stands tall after his second straight as skipper. Now he is looking for 2-0 series win against touring South Africans. “We never play for a draw. We play to win.” “From this stage, we’re going to win the second test. It’s good for us to finish off the series at 2-0 because we can go up in the rankings (with more points). I will tell the team that we should win the second test too” Lakmal said. The senior pacer gets tremendous support from his teammates but he diverts it back to them. more..

Can the SL spinners now turn the tables?

Jul 15 (Island) Opening batsman, left-hander Dimuth Karunaratne, playing in his 50th Test, carried his bat out registering his eighth Test hundred, with a supremely dominating innings of 158* runs (13 fours and one six) and saved face for Sri Lanka at the end of Day one in the First Test played at Galle. This was an unblemished innings of sheer class and control against a varied bowling attack of the tourists. Perhaps the senior batsmen can take a leaf out of his book. more..

We weren’t good enough: du Plessis

Jul 15 (WI) South Africa have justifiably earned the reputation of being excellent travelers, especially to the subcontinent. But their bubble was emphatically burst at the Galle International Stadium on Saturday when Sri Lanka hammered them by 278 runs in the first Test which ended well inside three days. It was a chastening blow for Faf du Plessis, who admitted that it could well be South Africa’s worst loss under his leadership. more..

New Selectors for Sri Lanka Rugby

Jul 15 (Island) Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) has appointed four new national selectors for a term of two years. The former SL national sevens captain Rohan Abeykoon will render his services as chairman of the national selectors and replaced Michael Jayasekara. Former Trinity College, Kandy Sports Club and CH & FC player, Abeykoon was also a part of the former national selection committee. "I have been part of the selection process the last couple of years under more..

New Cinnamon Red in Kandy

Jul 15 (Island) John Keells Hotels (KHL), one of SL’s largest hotel operators owning and managing a portfolio of 1,204 four and five-star rooms in 10 hotels across SL and Maldives saw a decline in both revenue and profitability in the year ended Mar. 31, 2018, with revenue down to Rs. 11.6 billion from the previous year and after-tax profit down to Rs. 1.1 billion from the previous year’s Rs. 1.86 billion. The company’s chairman, Susantha Ratnayake, attributed the decline to the complete closure more..

Renewal of milch cow imports contract sparks corruption charges

Jul 15 (ST) The renewal of a 2014 contract of the previous regime to import 15,000 more dairy cattle from Australia and NZ by the present govt has sparked allegations of financial misappropriation. National Organiser of the All Ceylon Farmers Federation Namal Karunarathna said that his association would complain to the CIABOC regarding the release of Rs. 1,720 million as an advance to an Australian company to more..

Nalin Perera says fair-play and discipline matters most

Jul 15 (SO) CEO of the Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel, Nalin Perera said the Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year mega awards ceremony has remained one of the most looked forward to events in the local sports calendar for the past four decades that has helped produce some of the most celebrated Sri Lanka cricketers since 1978. Perera, a veteran in SL’s mobile communication industry and playing a leading role since its introduction to the country, has also been a great promoter of sports. more..

New Keells design concept wins international accolades

Jul 15 (CT) The latest rebranding of the Keells supermarkets won a Silver Award at the Melbourne Design Awards 2018 for the brand transformation and retail design concept conceptualized and designed by Whippet Australia and executed by the Keells team in Sri Lanka. The rebranding project encompassed brand strategy, brand identity design, store exterior and interior design and an entire suite of in-store brand communications, including point-of-sale, a media release stated. more..

Indian Airports Authority to take over Mattala Airport

Jul 15 (ST) In a move seen as offsetting China’s mounting presence in SL, Airports Authority of India (AAI) is set to take over a controlling stake of 70% in Mattala Int'l Airport in a joint venture partnership with the SL govt. This will be the first time the AAI will take over an int'l airport outside India where it is handling 125 airports including 18 int'l airports, 7 customs airports, 78 domestic airports and 26 civil enclaves at military airfields. more..

Modern technology to drive rubber industry

Jul 15 (SO) The future of the island’s rubber industry largely depends on how it focuses on introducing technology to develop yield, an industry expert said. Rubber plantations are in need of a revival plan, Secretary, SL Association of Manufacturers and Exporters of Rubber Products, Dr. Sisira Ranatunga said. Talking on the sidelines of an industry forum in Colombo on Friday Dr. Ranatunga said, the industry representatives have worked tirelessly over the past two years with govt agencies, more..

SL Relay team in final of World Juniors

Jul 15 (CT) The men’s 4x400m relay team finished third in the heat and qualified for the final of the IAAF World Junior Championship in Finland yesterday. The team which comprised 400m sensation Aruna Darshana, Pasindu Kodikara, Ravishka Indrajith and Pabasara Niku, clocked 3 minutes 08.88 seconds and finished third in the third heat to advance to the final. The Sri Lankans had a tough heat which included Canada, USA and France, all three who had better timing than Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka’s HRC tells President to reconsider move on death penalty

Jul 15 (SL) SL Human Rights Commission has written to Prez Sirisena raising concerns over moves to implement the death penalty on convicts involved in drug trafficking. Commission Chairperson Dr. Deepika Udagama said in the letter that the death penalty is a serious human rights violation. Udagama said that the commission does not feel implementing the death penalty can address the issue of drug trafficking. more..

SEC to go ahead with cold-storing stock broking licences

Jul 15 (ST) The cold-storage of broker licences where stockbrokers can hold on to their licences, but not trade is to be approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), officials say. Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) two years ago proposed to the SEC to cold storage struggling stockbrokers’ licences. “It’s to be approved by next month,” an official said. The risk based Capital Adequacy Requirement (CAR) of 1.2 times the risk requirement of stockbrokers subject to more..

Drug traffickers: Dilshan praises MS for implementing death sentence

Jul 15 (DM) Sri Lanka former national cricketer T.M. Dilshan praised President Maithripala Sirisena’s decision to implement the death sentence for drug traffickers. He said this decision should have been taken a long time ago. “Not only for drugs, it should be implemented for child abuse and rape cases,” he said. Dilshan said all citizens should unite to develop the country. “There is no purpose in safeguarding human rights if we cannot save the country. “There is no purpose in safeguarding human rights if more..

US$ 300m world class beach park from Kollupitiya to Dehiwela

Jul 15 (ST) The Govt is to invest more than US$300 million (Rs.47.8 billion) to reclaim land for a new beachfront from Kollupitiya to Dehiwela. Cabinet has given approval for the project. Under the ambitious project, some 85 hectares of beach land will be reclaimed through landfill. According to the ministry secretary, the NARA has been given six months to prepare a feasibility report before the project is started. more..

Four Sri Lankans arrested by TN Police

Jul 15 (Hindu) Q branch police have detained three Sri Lankan Tamil refugees, including a couple, involved in several theft and chain snatching cases when they attempted to flee to SL after engaging a boat in Rameswaram. Acting on specific information, a Q branch team, detained the trio – Rajan alias Kettiyan Pandi, 34, his wife Roopa alias Anu, 23, and Y. Nishanthan, 26, on Friday evening when they were waiting at the Ayyanarkoil seashore for boarding a boat to flee. more..

An island in search of hangmen

Jul 15 (Hindu) Sri Lanka’s prison authorities will soon call for applications to fill a long-time vacancy — they need two hangmen. The requirement arose after Prez Maithripala Sirisena recently said he might sign orders on the execution of convicted drug peddlers currently in prison. Though Sri Lankan courts continue to impose the death penalty under several statutes, the last time anyone was executed was in 1976. Ever since, the death penalty has often been commuted to life sentence. more..

Tamils boycott OMP’s Jaffna sitting

Jul 15 (CT) People in the Jaffna Peninsula, who have shown complete distrust in the Office of the Missing Persons’ (OMP) mission, staged a protest at the Jaffna Weerasingham Hall where the OMP sitting was being held yesterday. The OMP officials were gathered for a two-day outreach mission, their first in the Jaffna peninsula. Over 600 persons, from the families of the missing persons, walked into the hall and more..

President leaves for Italy

Jul 15 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena left for Rome today (14) to attend the 24th session of the Committee on Forestry (COFO) and the 6th World Forest Week organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN. The 24th session of COFO and the 6th World Forest Week will explore the contributions that forests can make to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Committee will examine what contributions forests can make to achieving the SDGs and other internationally more..

Carrying out death sentence won't stop crimes: Ajith P Perera

Jul 15 (DM) Carrying out the death sentence will not stop crimes, State Minister Ajith P. Perera told a media briefing and added that this is a reality he learned through his experience as a lawyer and a lecturer at the police training school. “I have learned though my experience the crimes cannot be stopped by imposing the death sentence but we will support President Sirisena in his decision to the impose death sentence on those who are charged with crimes pertaining to drugs,” he said. more..

A week of blunders as fuel prices rise and President gets tough on drugs

Jul 15 (ST) Sri Lankans were this week treated to a huge dose of bad governance as the feud between the ruling coalition partners - SLFP and UNP – hit a new low. The latest episode is over the fuel price increase. According to an official announcement at midnight previous Thursday, publicised by the media on Friday (6) Petrol (Octane 92) was increased by eight rupees to Rs 145, Petrol (Octane 95) by seven rupees more..

The World Cup: Between and beyond the goal posts

Jul 15 (Island) It’s coming home – football is coming home, is the chant of the English football fans, first started when England hosted the Euro in 1996 and revived this year as English hopes rose over the last two weeks after a surprising run by a very young English national team in the 2018 World Cup in Russia. England led by the legendary Bobby Moore won the World Cup for the first time and only time in 1966 when it also hosted the tournament. The hopes of winning again after 52 years more..

Kudos to Michael Ondaatje; How to Address a Woman

Jul 15 (Island) Congratulations and jubilation! Michael Ondaatje’s The English Patient, has won the Golden Man Booker Prize as announced on July 8. The one-off award, voted for by the public, commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Man Booker Prize. The shortlist of five novels was selected by a panel of five judges from the 51 previous winners of the Man Booker, which honors the best novels written in English and published in Britain or Ireland. more..

Dimuth reveals strategy to tackle spinners

Jul 15 (CI) Get on top of the spinners before they get on top of you. So goes Dimuth Karunaratne's mantra, when playing on dusty tracks. Karunaratne hit 218 runs on his own on a Galle surface in which no other batsman could manage so much as a half-century. This was not even Karunaratne's most impressive hundred in tough conditions - that would be last year's second-innings 141 on an SSC dust-bowl, an innings played more..

Second thoughts on death penalty?

Jul 15 (Island) Implementation of President Sirisena’s pledge to hang convicted drug peddlers who were continuing their business from prison, hangs in the balance with moves underway to strengthen preventive measures, Govt sources said yesterday. The National Unity Govt remains divided over the controversial move, while Amnesty International has expressed concern that Sri Lanka was trying to revive a 50-year moratorium on more..

Police Commission villain blocking transfers, crime prevention

Jul 15 (ST) Police top brass are complaining that their stepped up crime prevention efforts are being stymied by some officials at the Police Commission. Transfers of ineffective Police officers over whom Police Chief Pujith Jayasundera had issued orders were being stalled by a top official. A senior Police source said the official, who played a key role in the Defence Ministry during the previous administration and figured in investigations more..

Nishantha Wickremasinghe’s travel expenses more than Rs 24 m

Jul 15 (SO) The cost for duty travel overseas incurred by the Chairman’s office of the SriLankan Airlines from 2010 to 2015 was a staggering Rs. 24.9 million, the PCoI into Allegations of Large Scale Frauds and Malpractices in SriLankan Airlines, SriLankan Catering Ltd and Mihin Lanka (Pvt) Ltd. revealed. The Company Secretary for SriLankan Airlines Dalrene Thirukumar revealed this testifying before the Commission last week. more..

Glyphosate ban lifted

Jul 15 (ST) The Govt has lifted the ban on glyphosate for all crops throughout the country. The ban was lifted through a gazette issued by the Registrar of Pesticides this week. In a gazette notification dated July 11, 2018, Registrar J.A. Sumith said that on the advice of the Pesticides Technical and Advisory Committee, he was rescinding the order made under Section 11 of the Control of Pesticides Act No.33 of 1980 and more..

New Constitution : Zero draft ready to go

Jul 15 (SO) The much awaited report of the constitutional Expert Panel, also known as the Zero draft, which is expected to form the basis for the final draft of Constitution, will be presented to the Steering Committee when they meet on Wednesday, July 18, authoritative sources told the Sunday Observer. The sources said the Expert Panel report is a discussion paper for consideration by the Constitutional Assembly (CA). more..

SLA will not close camps in North: Army Commander

Jul 15 (DM) Army Commander Mahesh Senanayake said that as a responsible Army, SLA would not close down Army camps in the Northern Province as alleged by some media reports. “The Army urges the public not to be misled by those unfounded and false reports, but continue to repose the full confidence in the Army, considering its past services as well as the roles and tasks, now being performed across the country,” more..

Military releases another 522 acres to original owners

Jul 15 (ST) The military is handing back to the original owners another 522 acres of private land under its control in the Jaffna Peninsula, a senior army officer said. The military is still occupying 3,100 acres of private land in the peninsula. The military has already given back 3,800 acres of land to the owners. “We have received part of the money from the Ministry of Rehabilitation to relocate our military camps and more..

Increased spot fines for traffic violations from today

Jul 15 (GDI) Vehicle traffic Police announce that the revised spot fines will be imposed from today for 33 traffic violations. The revision in fines for traffic violations is aimed at minimizing traffic accidents. Relevant increase in fines was announced in an extraordinary gazette notification issued on the 15th of January this year. Accordingly, Rs. 1,000 fine for non-compliance with Speed limits provisions will be increased to more..

Tender Scam: Education Ministry in alleged fraud attempt

Jul 15 (CT) An alleged attempt to commit serious fraud, amounting to a staggering Rs 1.2 billion, by Ministry of Education, by violating tender procedure in connection with providing tabs to A/L students. Reports say that while there are basic problems within the school system, these are being overlooked and there is a plan to provide tabs to students. Prez Sirisena, who was not satisfied with Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam’s decision more..

Power struggle in the Indian Ocean & Sri Lanka’s foreign policy

Jul 16 (CT) Four Centuries of Western domination in the Indian Ocean has come to an end. Asian nations are re-emerging as Economic and military powers. This has brought a new focus on Asia and the long neglected Indian Ocean region. It also gives Sri Lanka’s foreign policy a new impetus to play a significant role in the region. The foreign policy of newly independent Sri Lanka under Prime Minister DS Senanayake focussed on Asia: * Supported the independence struggle in Indonesia more..

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith’s endorsement of death penalty: Unbecoming of a man of God?

Jul 16 (CT) Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith’s endorsement of President Sirisena’s approval of the death penalty for drug traffickers is contrary to the fundamental teachings of the Bible on crime and justice, as well as the current theological positions which many of his fellow cardinals, Pope Francis and his predecessors, John II and Benedict XVI, and majority of the world’s nations and human rights organizations, use to justify their opposition to death penalty. more..

'Flexibility and understanding - need of the hour'

Jul 16 (CT) Chairperson of the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) Rev Fr. S.J. Emmanuel spelt out the shortcomings affecting the people in the North and East. He said as far as strengthening peace and reconciliation, apart from depending on politicians all right-thinking people must engage themselves in the peace building process. Religious leaders and intellectuals should not leave room for extremist ideologies and must play their role more..