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Over 5000 girls spruce up for netball’s biggest finale

Jul 29 (SO) 27th SL Schools Netball Championship, the island’s premier netball event, will take place at the Bogambara Stadium Kandy from August 2 to 4 organized by the Sri Lanka Schools Netball Association with Milo as their proud main sponsor. Colonel Manjula Kariyawasam, the Director of Sports at the Ministry of Education said: “This is a tournament of high importance and the certificates the participants receive will be of great value for their future career.” more..

Mathews is key to SL World Cup hopes: Sangakkara

Jul 29 (CT) Kumar Sangakkara has hailed the importance of Angelo Mathews to Sri Lanka’s chances at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. The Sri Lanka legend, who is the only player in history to score four consecutive centuries at the Cricket World Cup, believes Sri Lanka need Mathews’ all-round ability to be able to launch a challenge at next summer’s tournament. While Sri Lanka’s batting isn’t an issue in Sangakkara’s eyes, their lack of depth in the bowling department does raise doubts. more..

I will announce when I am ready to throw in the towel: Malinga

Jul 29 (ST) Goldilocks of Sri Lankan cricket, Lasith Malinga is wondering why he keeps missing the bus. He finally admits his outspoken personality and straightforwardness may have hurt his chances of coming back to the national side despite having done enough to warrant an automatic place in the shorter version of the game, T20. In April, Malinga was summoned to the country—with the choice of leaving his more..

Navy joins celebration of Int'l Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem

Jul 29 (SLN) Sri Lanka Navy carried out several projects to plant saplings of mangrove in the lagoon areas of the Northern and Northwestern Naval Commands yesterday (26), as part of the International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem. Accordingly, under the guidance of the Commander Northern Naval Area, Rear Admiral Merril Wickramasinghe, over 1000 mangrove saplings were planted in pre-identified lagoon areas in Northern Naval Command. more..

Budget Airline soon to fly from South India to Jaffna: Amaratunga

Jul 29 (CT) Highlighting that there were several connectivity issues for foreign travellers visiting Sri Lanka’s Northern Province, Minister of Tourism and Christian Affairs, John Amaratunga said that plans were underway to connect Southern India to the Jaffna peninsula. He said “Soon a budget airline will fly from South India to Palali Airport in Jaffna.” According to him, the move would ease the travel of Indian tourists who wish to visit the Northern parts of the country. more..

Govt steps up anti-money laundering efforts

Jul 29 (ST) The SL govt has stepped up anti-money laundering efforts to prevent bank frauds, investment scams and other such suspicious financial transactions and also to crack down on terrorist financing, official sources disclosed. The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of the Central Bank has directed the country’s Designated Non-Finance Businesses (DNFBs) to report any suspicious financial transactions to the unit. more..

Mixed views over EPF being private-managed

Jul 29 (ST) Sri Lankans, in a sample poll on email, have mixed views over plans by the Govt to entrust management of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) to the private sector. While 44% were in favour of private management, 43% were not while 13% were undecided. Last month, unions, representing both workers and employers, took a cautious approach to a proposal to reform the fund and maximise its returns largely through investing in the stock market among other options. more..

Sri Lanka a key component of Maritime Silk Road: China

Jul 29 (DM) Sri Lanka is a key component of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road with Hambantota Port and Colombo Port City as the two flagship projects of the pragmatic cooperation between China and Sri Lanka under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Chinese Ambassador Cheng Xueyuan said. In a statement, he said that they believed that China-Sri Lanka economic and trade cooperation would inject new vigor to Sri Lanka’s economic and social development, more..

EPF: Private sector management without political interference

Jul 29 (ST) While a BT email poll on the proposed private management of the EPF revealed mixed views from the public, most respondents said that even if private management is entertained it shouldn’t be politicised. Last month, unions representing both employers and workers took a cautious approach to the question of EPF reforms with extra focus on investments in the stock market, saying employers and workers should have more..

No school admission for doctors’ children: GMOA

Jul 29 (DM) Some 90 children of govt doctors have been unable to secure admission to national schools for the last seven months, the GMOA said. GMOA Assistant Secretary Dr. Naveen de Soyza said that doctors who were subjected to transfers every four years and who were coming from abroad had the ability to admit their children to national schools under the retainability concept, but it had only been implemented for one year since Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne took office. more..

Video: Thalatha explains reason for disbanding Welikada Prison intelligence unit

Jul 29 (AD) Minister Thalatha Athukorale says that there is no need to maintain an intelligence unit at a prison when illegal activities such as drug trafficking are regularly taking place within that prison. She made these comments in response to a question from journalists regarding the recent decision to disband the intelligence unit of the Welikada Prison. The minister said that she had received various complaints regarding the issue and that the decision was taken based on the reports more..

Populist budget ahead of elections

Jul 29 (ST) Minister Mangala Samaraweera wants Treasury officials to prepare a populist budget setting a poser to officials who say there is falling govt revenue, mounting public debt and severe balance of payments difficulties. Minister’s call is in the light of the impending Provincial Council, Presidential and Parliamentary elections. However, officials say the economic situation has been exacerbated by more..

Confusion continues on EPF taxation

Jul 29 (ST) No clear guidelines or circular has been issued so far on imposing a 14% tax on EPF income and 14% tax when members receive dividends, sources revealed. Central Bank has sent a letter to the Treasury seeking clarity on the matter but no action has been taken to rectify the issue affecting the interest rate of EPF money of private sector employees. Interest rate of EPF benefits of around 2.6 million employees will come down to 9% from 10.5% at present under these circumstances. more..

Prez Stakes 2019: Sanga non-committal

Jul 29 (CT) Kumar Sangakkara remained non- committal on his 2019 presidential bid. This follows social media reports going viral of late that he was contesting the 2019 Presidential Polls. This also followed Pakistan’s 1992 World Cup winning cricket skipper, Imran Khan winning the just-concluded general elections in Pakistan. “I have also seen various reports on Facebook and other social media sites speculating that I would contest the 2019 prez poll. “I will neither confirm nor deny,” more..

Local industrialists up in arms against FTAs

Jul 29 (CT) Local industrialists and manufacturers are up in arms against a proposed Govt move to drastically slash the cess and other taxes of all imported goods, under the guise of the proposed Free Trade Agreements which will drastically affect the local manufacturing industries. “This is the latest and this would be the cost of winning a general election for the Govt. The move is expected to be brought up in Parliament more..

SL beckons Indians to its Ramayana sites

Jul 29 (Hindu) With close to four lakh Indians having visited Sri Lanka in 2017 alone, the island nation is hoping to double this number by educating its biggest tourism market about its connection with the epic Ramayana. On Saturday, the official website of the Ramayana Yatra was launched at the second day of the 106th edition of the India International Travel Mart (IITM) here. V. Krishnamoorthy, Deputy High Commissioner, Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission, Chennai, said India was more..

More talks on tea-for-oil deal with Iran

Jul 29 (ST) Tea Board and Commerce Department officials will meet next week to discuss payment modalities for tea sales to Iran. The discussions come in the wake of the Foreign Affairs Ministry regulations in keeping with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1737 of 2006 and 2231 of 2015. Several proposals will be discussed at the meeting on how a payment structure can be worked out so that international sanctions are not breached, the Sunday Times learns. more..

A/L exams: Army called in to jam mobile phones and devices

Jul 29 (ST) Examinations Department has requested the services of the Army to jam signals to prevent the use of mobile phones or other electronic communications devices by those sitting the G.C.E. A/L exam next month. Examinations Commissioner General Sanath Pujitha said the decision to seek the Army’s help was taken following a A/L exams: Army called in to jam mobile phones and devices series of discussions to more..

Video: Brother murders 80-year-old sister before taking own life

Jul 29 (AD) The bodies of an elderly man and woman who are siblings have been discovered this morning inside a house at Gowinna in Bulathsinhala. Police said that the woman who is believed to have been stabbed to death was found on a bed while her brother’s body was found outside the home. The 80-year-old woman and her 75-year-old brother are both unmarried while the former had been bedridden for several years due to a bone fracture. Her brother had also been suffering from an illness for more..

Abide by the team rules: Mathews on Gunathilaka's offence

Jul 29 (CB) In the backdrop of Danushka Gunathilaka being handed a six-match suspension for breaching the Player Code of Conduct and Contractual Obligation, Angelo Mathews, Sri Lanka's 50-over skipper, observed that the think tank won't tolerate any indiscipline. The opener's offence was said to be a serious violation of curfew during the course of the second Test against South Africa in Colombo. He was also officially reprimanded for the same. more..

Inside story of Paisley family visits and Vaas Gunawardena’s ploys

Jul 29 (ST) Sajin de Vass Gunawardena, Monitoring MP for the Foreign Ministry in previous govt, was no ordinary politician. He was a man of many parts and a fixer of good many things which were beyond the realm of others. He posted or transferred SL diplomats to serve in overseas missions. He literally ran the Foreign Ministry leaving Minister G.L. Peiris to deal with int'l or bilateral issues and deliver speeches at events. more..

At long last: Prime Minister Imran Khan

Jul 29 (Island) Winning the World Cup in cricket was a much easier task for Imran Khan. That was in 1992, in Melbourne, Australia. He was 40 years old then, took on Pakistan’s captaincy on his terms for team selection, and played a captain’s role as an all-rounder throughout the tournament and most memorably in the final against England. Along with Richard Hadlee (NZ), Kapil Dev (India) and Ian Botham (England), Imran Khan was one of four in a generation of all-time great all-rounders. more..

Control of Bribery

Jul 29 (Island) Control of bribery is the serious issue now at hand; that control has failed; search for that control now spoken of, if at all, is desultory. A short history of control of bribery in Sri Lanka will be of interest to follow the sequence and its wisdom or otherwise. Prior to 1954 it was the ‘X’ branch of the CID in the Police that tackled Bribery in the public services. Then it did not preclude the relevant government departments from exercising disciplinary control, more..

The case for the Kerawalapitiya power plant

Jul 29 (Island) In the recent past there has been critical media attention on Kerawalapitiya power plant and its cost to the SL economy. While some opined that the power plant is a blessing to the national economy, others held that is a curse. Situated in Kerawalapitiya in Wattala the power plant came into being in 2009 and today it is one of the largest power plants in the country with 300MW capacity. more..

NPC like a house of resolutions

Jul 29 (ST) Even if its achievements are arguably a handful, the Northern Provincial Council (NPC), has set a record. It has adopted 415 different resolutions during its five year tenure that ends in October. This works out to nearly seven resolutions a day on which sittings were held, the highest among all PCs in the country. They are related mostly to issues that do not come within the purview of the NPC. more..

Constitutional amendments will have no bearing on current President: JVP

Jul 29 (SO) The JVP which strongly backs the movement for constitutional change sought to allay fears about the reforms being an attempt to oust President Maithripala Sirisena, saying even its 20th Amendment abolishing the executive presidency will only take effect once the incumbent’s term draws to an end. “There will be no impact on the present President’s tenure at all,” JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said. more..

SLFP makes soft launch of media campaign for polls

Jul 29 (ST) With drinks and dinner for journalists on Tuesday night, the SLFP backing President Maithripala Sirisena had a soft launch of its media campaign for upcoming elections. The venue was the official residence of Minister and UPFA General Secretary Mahinda Amaraweera. SLFP General Secretary Rohana Lakshman Piyadasa and Deputy Media Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna were among those present. more..

South Africa beat Sri Lanka by five wickets in first ODI

Jul 29 (CI) South Africa began their 2019 World Cup preparations and post-AB de Villiers era with a comfortable win in the opening ODI against Sri Lanka. The match was all but won in the first nine overs, when Sri Lanka were reduced to 36 for 5, their second-lowest score at five down in home matches. They recovered thanks to a 92-run sixth-wicket stand between Thisara Perera and Kusal Perera, but could not claw their way over 200 more..

Study on power sector shows raw deal for Govt

Jul 29 (SO) The govt has been burdened with the huge task of repaying 98% of the debt for the Lakdhanavi 300 MW Combined Cycle Power plant currently operating in Kerewalapitiya, while a private company, Lanka Transformers Limited (LTL), is enjoying 24% of the total dividend income an investment analyst said. He charged that LTL had less than 5% equity and less than 2% of the debt burden. more..

Heads to roll at Sri Lanka Prisons?

Jul 29 (SO) With evidence mounting on narcotics related crime and corruption thriving inside the prisons system and the failures of the Department of Prisons coming starkly to light, top Govt officials are reportedly discussing the possible removal of Comissioner General of Prisons, Nishan Dhanasinghe, authoritative sources told the Sunday Observer. A series of accusations have been mounting against the Department of Prisons more..

GMOA to go ahead with trade union action

Jul 29 (NR) The GMOA says the island wide trade union action will be launched on the 3rd of August as planned. Issuing a statement the Association said the Presidential Secretariat nor did any other official respond to their demands. The GMOA noted the Association will educate patients of their trade union action in district levels tomorrow. The decision to launch an island wide strike on the 3rd of August was reached following more..

Video: Driver and security guard arrested over Bulathsinhala ATM robbery

Jul 29 (AD) The private company’s driver and a security guard has been arrested over the Rs 20 million ATM cash robbery at Bulathsinhala last night (28). A sum of Rs 20 million was stolen in Bulathsinhala by a gang of robbers when a bank ATM was being filled with cash on Saturday night. The suspects reportedly threw chilli powder at a team from a private company who were preparing to replenish cash at the ATM before carrying out more..

Suggestion to kill Kandy's stray dogs: Animal lovers express concern

Jul 29 (CT) Animal Welfare Activists have voiced their concern over suggestions made by some Municipal Councillors to kill the community dogs in Kandy. At a meeting held at the Council recently, a few Councillors have suggested that the community dogs be killed to control their population. Chief Municipal Veterinary Surgeon of the Kandy MC Dr. Wasantha Kumara said that no decision was taken to kill the community dogs more..

What’s next for Sri Lanka’s Muslim Women?

Jul 30 (GV) Fear Allah! Do not do injustice to your own community women and girls This was the plea on placards held by many of the women who stood near the Parliament opposing Muslim (male) MPs discussing the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act (MMDA) reform report with All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU- yet another male only body) on 24thJuly 2018. Many of the protestors knew what MMDA could do to women because they had been victimised by it. more..

Britain outsources death penalty

Jul 30 (CT) Information has begun to trickle into the public domain of Britain having agreed to the prosecution of two British terrorists in the USA. Britain’s concurrence is not conditional to the two terrorists not being executed if found guilty. Britain abolished the death penalty in 1965, but it remained a legally defined punishment for crimes such as treason till its complete abolition in 1998. It is a signatory to the 2004 13th Protocol of the European Convention on Human Rights which prohibit more..

Corruption behind bars

Jul 30 (SO) It was the recent discovery of several mobile phones and SIM cards in the Prison ward housing Arjun Aloysius, remanded over the CB Treasury Bond scam that finally led to the undoing of the Department of Prisons. While perks provided by Prison Officials to certain prisoners was once an open secret, this discovery brought the alleged rampant corruption within the Prison walls out into the public arena more..

Winning the war and losing the peace

Jul 30 (SO) This week, an anniversary passed almost unnoticed: it is thirty-five years since Black July, the anti-Tamil racial riots that became a turning point in the Eelam war. The anniversary hardly merited a mention in the mainstream media which is not shy to commemorate the births and deaths of all types of individuals, most of them politicians who have done more harm than good. Our leaders of today did not issue messages to recall the event although Canadian PM Justin Trudeau did. more..

Undergraduate Research and Beyond

Jul 30 (Island) For some reason, many of us have forgotten the fact that mere descriptive writing about chosen topics cannot to be counted as research. Research must include an element of re-thinking. Without that element the research in the humanities can end up reinforcing existing conventional thinking and habits. Education means lifting human mind and making life free at least a little bit. To achieve that goal all our educational efforts need to be undergirded by a strong sense of critique. more..

'Country run by the worst set of thieves'

Jul 30 (CT) JO MP, Johnston Fernando says that people of this country believe it is only Mahinda Rajapaksa who can rebuild this country. Q: You are not heard these days, are you maintaining a period of political silence? A: I am making a noise! It is not being published in the media. That is the truth. When I watched the speech I made, it is a clip of only 30 seconds. From among the MPs who spoke against the Govt from 8 January, more..

Tackling Sri Lanka’s torturers from Point Pedro to Dondra Head

Jul 30 (ST) There is little doubt that the findings of UN Special Rapportuer on Countering Terrorism, Ben Emmerson on the sorry fate of SL’s justice system, particularly in regard to the continuance of a culture of impunity are significantly troubling. Reporting to the UNHRC earlier this week, the Special Rapportuer reflected on a recent visit to Sri Lanka with angst. He expressed serious apprehensions that ‘the most senior judge responsible for terrorism cases in Colombo more..