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A day of bloody-minded cricket Sri Lanka badly needed

Dec 5 (CI) Dinesh Chandimal's debut Test was perhaps Sri Lanka's best Test win, in Durban in the last week of 2011. It was no coincidence, though. Chandimal debuted into 30,989 runs. Angelo Mathews, who contributed a thousand of his own to those batting riches at that time, himself debuted into a side that had Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, Thilan Samaraweera and Tillakaratne Dilshan. more..

Lankans win Asian Schools Cross Country C'ships despite step motherly treatment

Dec 5 (Island) SL’s Schools Cross Country teams who were refused funds by the Ministry of Education to participate in the Asian Schools Cross Country Championship in Hong Kong won the boys’ and girls’ team championships at the third edition of the event in Hong Kong on Monday. SL girls’ team members stunned fancied counterparts to make a clean sweep, while the boys’ secured team championship by vertue of their members finishing 3rd, 4th, 6th, 8th, 12th, 17th in boys’ category. more..

Balancing between free market & social justice: Lessons from China

Dec 5 (CT) Without superficially imitating other countries, drawing lessons from any country would be useful for a developing country like SL given the common nature of many challenges that developing or transforming countries are faced with. It is not only because of the ancient historical links, dating back to Fa Hein’s visit to the island in the 5 century AD, that China is important to Sri Lanka, in this endeavour, but also because of the contemporary commonalities or more precisely, more..

Face the Nation

Editorial: State as estate

Dec 5 (Island) Dr. Usvatte-aratchi, in his article on this page today, demolishes some long-held myths and misconceptions about state revenue, taxes, free education and free healthcare among other things. Referring to a recent statement made by President Maithripala Sirisena, he points out that it is wrong for the head of state to use the term, mage rajaya (my state) as the President does not own the state. President Sirisena has recently gone on record as saying that my state won’t allow anyone who more..

Missile-salute and grand welcome

Dec 5 (CT) "Yes Your Excellency, we have gone to the extent of arranging a Missile fire to salute you instead of the mere gun salute," quipped a South Korean VVIP, when President Maithripala Sirisena thanked the Koreans for the grand welcome and warm hospitality accorded to him during the 3-day State visit. Sirisena and others burst into laughter at the VVIP's not so subtle reference to North Korean missile test carried out when the Sri Lankan President was in Seoul. more..

Documenting Sri Lanka’s Ethnic Minorities

Dec 5 (Roar) In our last segment, we featured eight SL ethnic minorities who lived here for generations but whose ethno-religious identities are unacknowledged in the national census. Constituting 2% of the local population, these ethnicities are merely categorised as other. This March, for the first time in history, the govt has finally released a booklet titled People of SL, including both the majority and minority ethnicities. more..

Marapana keeps an ace up his sleeve

Dec 5 (ST) The public of SL need not worry. Those who seem concerned that our foreign policy is like a rudderless boat with nobody at the tiller, better think afresh. It is in safe hands whatever the loquacious members of the opposition might say. Only the other day the Foreign Minister (the third under the yahapalana administration) told our legislators that he is armed with an ace. Never mind where he keeps it — whether up the sleeve or under the pillow — he will play it when the time is ripe. more..

Brickbats change to bouquets: LG polls - weather the Storm

Dec 5 (SO) In a democracy, elections are a necessary evil. Former President Rajapaksa made a virtue out of this necessity. He held elections to Provincial Councils on a staggered basis, in such a manner that there was always an election campaign going on. Of course, no one is saying that all those elections were conducted on a level playing field- but that is a discussion for another day. When there are no elections, it becomes a greater evil. That is what has happened now. more..

'SLFP confident of winning a majority of LG bodies'

Dec 5 (SO) UPFA Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said the talks between the two SLFP factions have turned futile, so there is no point in making further attempts to unite the two factions since the SLFP dissidents in the JO have already decided to contest the forthcoming LG elections separately. He said the JO representatives didn’t have a genuine desire to turn the talks into a success and most of the conditions put forward by them were not more..

Tale of a twisted tusker

Dec 5 (CT) The majestic tusker with its crossed tusks known by the freaky and funny name Dala Puttuwa has been slaughtered and carcass buried far away from its natural habitat. The logistics of the brutal deed and the attempted clandestine sale of its two tusks suggests that it was well planned deploying resources not readily available to the average poacher. The Wildlife Department awoke to the tragedy only after conservationists launched a hunt for the beast that nature endowed with more..

Liquor Tax: Beer vs. Kasippu

Dec 5 (CT) The Budget-2018 has proposed revision of liquor tax based on alcohol content and thus beer and Wine prices come down significantly against the hard liquor. Two schools of thoughts have arisen in this phenomenon. First one is that the well-known SL illegal brew Kasippu consumers would shift to beer which is good for health. The other is that the youngsters would become alcoholic due to cheap liquor like beer and wine avail. As each theory has its own merit and demerit the debate more..

Expect heavy rain and strong winds

Dec 4 (DM) The low pressure area South-East of the Bay of Bengal was located nearly 1300km from Sri Lanka by this evening. The Meteorology Department warns of showers exceeding 75 mm particularly in the Northern, North-Central and Eastern and Uva Provinces and thundershowers in other areas with winds of up to 60 kmph particularly in the Northern and Southern & Eastern Provinces from tomorrow to Friday. more..

Canadian envoy visits Palaly

Dec 4 (CT) Canadian High Commissioner David Mckinnon and the Political and Economic Counselor of the Canadian HC, Jennifer Hart visited the Security Forces Headquarters in Palaly, Jaffna on Thursday. They had a discussion with Jaffna Security Forces Commander Major General Darshana Hettiarachchi on various issues in Jaffna. SF Commander welcomed the delegation and briefed them on the post-war humanitarian activities carried out by Security Forces in Jaffna more..

Why India is buying the world’s emptiest airport

Dec 4 (LI) Geopolitical rivalry between big powers sometimes yields odd results. The latest development in growing strategic competition across the Indian Ocean region is India's purchase of what has become known as the world's emptiest international airport in Sri Lanka, maybe just to keep it empty. The small fishing town of Hambantota, near the southern tip of Sri Lanka, has long been Exhibit A for those who worry about the strategic impact of China's Belt and Road Initiative. more..

Housemaids molested in Saudi: Returned Lankan woman’s horror story

Dec 4 (CT) A number of housemaids are subjected to molestation by their employers in Saudi Arabia, a local woman who managed to escape a worse fate claimed. "There are a number of women like me who are subjected to molestation by employers in Saudi Arabia. They are suffering. It is only thanks to the Mawbima newspaper and other media that I managed to return to Sri Lanka alive. Those who have a love for their lives please more..

Special Courts to clear backlog of 19,000 cases

Dec 4 (DN) Special Courts will be established to clear a backlog of around 19,000 cases related to violence against children and women, currently stuck at the Attorney General’s Department, Justice Minister Thalatha Athukorala said. Minister said she was planning to initiate this urgently and added that it will help government efforts at preventing and protecting children and women from all forms of violence, including sexual and physical abuse, neglect and exploitation. more..

Successful development drive without Gota and iron boot: Champika

Dec 4 (FT) Commending the Yahapalanaya Govt’s development efforts, Minister Champika Ranawaka lashed out at the former regime and its iron boots tactic of utilising the armed forces in civilian matters. Taking part in yesterday’s Committee Stage debate Minister remarked that unlike the previous administration that had carried out a development drive through heavy loan-taking, the current Govt facilitated development through private sector direct investments. more..

Govt ignored int'l storm warnings: JO

Dec 4 (DM) JO MP Dinesh Gunawardane asked in parliament why the govt had ignored the international warning about the recent tropical storm issued three days ahead of the impending disaster. He said the govt agencies had only issued an advisory to the fishing community. "This has not only dealt a severe blow to the people and the economy but had also tarnished the country's reputation among the tourist industry and more..

Over 33,000 Jaffna Youth apply for jobs

Dec 4 (CT) Over 33,000 job applications have been submitted by the unemployed youth of the Jaffna District over the last month, to the Jaffna District Secretariat. The collection of 33,204 job applications from the unemployed was organized as the next step of the President's Public Official Service Programme, in order to collect data and information from the Jaffna District. Among the applicants are graduates as well as those who have passed the GCE O/L and A/L Exams. more..

CHEC Port City backs inaugural Best Sri Lankan Brands Awards

Dec 4 (FT) Port City Colombo, leading a major transformation of Colombo as a world class city for South Asia, has come forward to support the inaugural Best Sri Lankan Brands Awards scheduled for 11 Dec. Interbrand, the world’s largest and most influential brand consultancy, will introduce Best SL Brands, an extension of the former’s world renowned Best Brands list. The ranking, which identifies the most valuable brands in SL, is modelled on Interbrand’s prestigious Best more..

Another Yahapalana scam?: Excess expenditure alleged in Cabinet proposal

Dec 4 (CT) Govt has decided to entrust the survey of State land to Trimble Inc, an American Company overlooking the Govt's Survey Department, by obtaining a massive loan of Rs 23.5 billion from that Company for the purpose. The relevant Cabinet Paper was tabled at the Cabinet meeting on 3 Oct by the Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka and approval was obtained. In the Cabinet Paper it was stated that with a view to expediting survey more..

Chandimal and Mathews' Kotla marathon

Dec 4 (CI) 476: Balls faced by Mathews and Chandimal during their 181-run stand for the fourth wicket. It's the longest partnership between a visiting pair in India in the last five years, and the second-longest stand for Sri Lanka against India. Overall, this is the longest partnership for any pair at the Kotla, trumping the 433 balls Gautam Gambhir and VVS Laxman faced together against Australia in 2008-09. 10: Centuries for Dinesh Chandimal in 80 Test innings: fastest Lankan to the landmark. more..

A true messenger of God

Dec 4 (CT) Pope Francis on his first visit to Asia last week had opted to travel to one of the poorest countries in the world, Bangladesh and Myanmar, where the Rohingya Muslims were persecuted brutally and made to seek refuge in Bangladesh in the last few months. As the year 2017 has witnessed an enormous refugee crisis in its early part in Europe with the influx of refugees on a mega scale moving out from the Middle East as well as from Africa crossing the Mediterranean and more..

Fishermen asked not to go to sea from Dec 5-8

Dec 4 (AD) The Department of Meteorology requested fishing and naval communities to refrain from going out to sea from tomorrow (5) until Friday (8) due to strong wind conditions expected in sea areas. The low pressure area in the South-east Bay of Bengal sea area is now located nearly 1300km away from SL and is likely to develop in to a depression during next 24 hours. The system is likely to move west-northwest more..

Shocking parallels in abolishing slavery and protectionist exploitation in Sri Lanka

Dec 4 (EN) A story doing round in Colombo these days is that when SL's captains of rent - sorry industry - were asked about the possibility of freeing the people from high import duty exploitation at a finance ministry meeting, they asked for 10 years of gradual reduction. The modern-day resistance to economic emancipation is reminiscent of the calls of native slave-holders of Ceylon, and the challenges resistance faced by the British administrators when they set about abolishing slavery in Ceylon. more..

Dalaputtuwa killing: Two Grama Niladharies arrested

Dec 4 (DM) Two Grama Niladharis were arrested on charges of being in possession of three ivory pendants during a raid on a house at Polpithigama. Polpithigama Police said the arrests were made on a tip off received by the Nikaweratiya Division Intelligence Unit. They said suspects, one of whom was 32 and the other 43, were residents of Ma-Eliya and Makulpotha and would be produced in the Mahawa Magistrate's Court shortly. The police said they launched investigations more..

Centuries for Mathews and Chandimal but India still on top

Dec 4 (CI) Having kept it locked up all through this tour, Sri Lanka finally reminded everyone of the batting quality they possess, as centuries from Dinesh Chandimal and, at long last, Angelo Mathews helped them avoid the follow-on at the Feroz Shah Kotla. Given how long they were kept on the field, India would probably not have enforced the follow-on anyway. The Chandimal-Mathews partnership alone consumed 79.1 overs. more..

Thalatha seeks support to minimize delays in hearings

Dec 4 (NR) Minister of Justice Thalatha Athukorala says the support of the officers of the Judicial Service Commission, Attorneys & the Police is necessary to minimize delays in court cases. Minister Athukorala said prompt solutions will be provided to reduce delays in court cases. The Minister said the govt does not take measures to delay court cases adding the govt has been able to include 35 more High Court Judges bringing the total number of High Court Judges to 110. more..

Meeting of Conference of Parties to the CITES to be held in Colombo

Dec 4 (GDI) Govt has announced the dates for the 18th Meeting of the Conference of Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), to be attended by 183 State Parties, and held from 22nd May - 3rd June 2019 at the BMICH in Colombo. SL’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha who made the announcement addressing the 69th Standing Committee of CITES meeting, more..

Military launches massive crackdown Hunt on for 28,000 Army deserters

Dec 4 (CT) The military authorities are hunting for some 28,000 soldiers, both male and female, who deserted their ranks during and after the war and also opted to shun an opportunity to surrender under a general amnesty, a senior official said on Sunday. Military along with the assistance of the local Police, are currently carrying out a massive crackdown on the deserters and some 2,019 have already been arrested. more..

President, PM seek further date to testify in Tissa Attanayake case

Dec 4 (DN) President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe today sought a further date to testify in the case filed against former UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake. When the case came up before High Court Judge Wikum Kaluarachchi, President's Counsel Nissanka Nanayakkara who appeared on behalf of the key witnesses in the case, President and Prime Minister, informed Court that his clients are not appearing before Court since they are attending Parliament sessions. more..

HNB crowned Bank of the Year 2017 by The Banker Magazine UK

Dec 4 (FT) SL’s premier retail sector bank, HNB PLC recorded another landmark victory with its recognition as Bank of the Year 2017 in Sri Lanka by the highly-acclaimed UK-based financial sector magazine, The Banker, during a ceremony attended by eminent bankers and financial institutions from across the globe on 29 November at the Hilton London Bankside. HNB’s award was presented based on an analysis of its outstanding financial performance, operational efficiency, more..

Concerns of new Foreign Exchange Act

SLIATE Keynote 2017: Prosperity through research and development

Dec 4 (FT) I am honoured to be invited to deliver the keynote address at the 2017 Research Symposium of SL Institute of Advanced Technical Education (SLIATE). It is both encouraging and promising that SLIATE has organised this symposium, assembling researchers on many subjects together here. It also has chosen an apt theme for the symposium, namely, Prosperity through Research and Development. It is both timely and opportune, given the thrust of present govt to convert SL into more..

FR petition filed against Ambagamuwa delimitation

Dec 4 (AD) A fundamental rights (FR) petition has been filed with the Supreme Court against the delimitation of the Ambagamuwa local govt area in the Nuwara-Eliya District. The motion has been filed by a former member of the Ambagamuwa PS today. Petitioner states that an injustice has been committed during the demarcation of the Ambagamuwa local govt area. Minister Faiszer Musthapha, Secretary to the ministry and members of Elections Commission have been named more..