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'Last ten overs took the game away from SL'

Aug 6 (CB) Hosts SL tried to find a different route in order to reverse their fortunes in the ongoing 5-match ODI series against South Africa as they opted to field first. Unfortunately though, they crashed to their worst defeat of the series as the Proteas posted a record total of 363 for 7 - their highest in ODIs in SL - before they folded up for 285 to succumb to a 78-run loss. With this loss on Sunday, hosts have already lost the series more..

Hilton Colombo leagues ahead of others

Aug 6 (FT) Despite being in refurbishment mode over most of 2017, Hotel Developers (SL) Plc, the holding company of Hilton Colombo, has posted impressive financial performance. Revenue rose by a healthy 20% to cross the Rs. 3 billion mark whilst gross profit rose from Rs. 2 billion to Rs. 2.46 billion. Pre-tax profit remained unchanged at Rs. 173 million. However, post-tax profit rose by 83% to Rs. 258 million from Rs. 141 million in 2016 owing to Rs. 102.6 million deferred tax income. more..

Sampath Group's pre-tax profit exceeds Rs. 10 bn in 1H -2018

Aug 6 (Island) Sampath Bank’s Group pretax profit for the first half of the year exceeded Rs 10.3 Bn (28.2% growth) while Sampath Bank recorded a pre-tax profit of Rs 9.9 Bn for the same period. This registered a YoY growth of 28.1% in comparison to the first half of 2017. Profit after tax of the Bank too grew by 19.9% and reached Rs 6.8 Bn for the first half of 2018. Sampath Group, also posted a post-tax profit growth of 20.2%. Net Interest Income (NII), which is the main source of income more..

96th National Athletics C'ships: Selection headaches as athletes turn tables

Aug 6 (Island) Nearly half the number of athletes selected for the Asian Games lived up to their reputation. While several flopped, a good number of underdogs turned tables on leading campaigners resulting in some scintillating performances at the 96th National Athletics Championships concluded at the Sugathadasa Stadium on Sunday. There was a fascinating contest in the men’s long jump where three athletes cleared the eight metres mark. more..

De La Rue injects further Rs 2B in FDI

Aug 6 (CT) De La Rue, the leading global identity and currency printing business first entered into a Joint Venture (JV) with the Govt of SL 32 years ago, is currently enjoying a foreign direct investment programme of Rs 2 billion to upgrade its global capability. This facility was named as one of the five global Centres of Excellence for printing by De La Rue in 2015. The first phase of this programme, an investment of almost Rs 1 billion was recently completed to deploy more..

SL Emerging win series after thrilling draw

Aug 6 (DN) Sri Lanka Emerging and South Emerging teams played out a thrilling draw in their second 4-day unofficial test played at Hambantota yesterday. SL Emerging set a target of 291 to chase fell short by 31 runs with two wickets in hand finishing on 260-8. The Lankan run chase was led skipper Kaushal Silva who contributed 49 and half-centuries from Pathum Nissanka (62) and Shammu Ashan (71). Sri Lanka Emerging who won the first unofficial test took the two-match series 1-0. more..

Confusion continues over the implementation of WHT

Aug 6 (ST) Commercial banks are deducting the 5% With Holding Tax (WHT) from the interest paid to any person on any rupee or foreign currency deposit including the Non-Resident Foreign Currency accounts in accordance with the Inland Revenue Act (IRA), Finance Ministry sources confirmed. The same 5% WHT is applicable for foreign currency deposits maintained by corporates as well, a senior Treasury official confirmed more..

Tests conducted for blood doping for the first time

Aug 6 (Island) At least one sprinter at the National Athletics Championship was tested for blood doping during the three-day event concluded at the Sugathadasa Stadium on Sunday. According to Professor Arjuna de Silva, head of Sri Lanka Anti Doping Authority, Sri Lanka became the first South Asian country to conduct tests for blood doping. Prof de Silva said: "Our potentials to perform tests for blood doping were challenged by some in the athletics arena. more..

Can Sri Lanka capitalise out of its strategic location in the Indian Ocean region?

Aug 6 (LSE) Today there is growing importance of oceans for trade and commerce. Indian Ocean is the world’s third-largest body of water with 50% of trade traversing the region covering approximately 20% of the water on the Earth’s surface. Due to existence of power rivalries and wars, the oceans are now prone to conflict. Some examples are: the conflict over Suez Canal, Strait of Hormuz, Pirate and terrorist activity, South China Sea disputes etc. Sri Lanka, a small island state is strategically located more..

Muslim marriage law reform: Activists brace for more roadblocks

Aug 6 (SO) Long-delayed moves to reform the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act (MMDA) hit further roadblocks this week, with members of the Committee appointed in 2009 to make recommendations on reforming the legislation, coming under pressure to withdraw support for a progressive report endorsed by exactly half of the Committee. Nine members of the 18- member MMDA Reform Committee led by more..

Sri Lanka leads five-match U19 series 2-1

Aug 6 (DN) Two wickets in the final over saw Sri Lanka Under-19 snatch an exciting 7 runs win over India Under-19 in the third ODI match played at the SSC grounds yesterday. With this win Sri Lanka lead the five match series 2-1. Batting first Sri Lanka were all out for 220 in 49.3 overs with Navod Paranavithana top scoring with 51 runs. In reply, India were all out for 213 runs, also in 49.3 overs with Pawan Shah (77) making a valiant effort to get India over the line. more..

Sri Lanka has to change their approach

Aug 6 (CT) The ODI series appears to be surely drifting away from the Sri Lankans. After a dismal showing in the Test series by the visitors, it appears to be the turn of the hosts to repeat the poor show in the shorter format. Whilst it’s no surprise to see the South Africans winning for many reasons, what disappoints me is the approach and the performance of Sri Lanka in the two games seen so far. To start with, the South Africans are the third ranked team in the world in ODI cricket. more..

Dialog Genie: Bringing mobile payments to merchants

Aug 6 (Roar) Convenience is now at the top of everyone’s list, because of their busy lifestyles. From banking to travelling to shopping, convenience is what is most sought after; which is precisely what SL’s first mobile payment app, Genie powered by Dialog, now offers businesses, providing opportunity to create convenience with minimum effort. Running a business successfully is not always about meeting targets and making the best of profits; more..

Edtorial: Make them earn the keep

Aug 6 (Island) Santa seems to have arrived about five months earlier for the MPs, who have all the luck. The govt is toying with the idea of granting them a massive pay hike. There has, however, emerged stiff resistance to the govt move vis-à-vis the unbearable cost of living aggravated further by new taxes and fuel price hikes. Even some yahapalana apologists have found it too embarrassing to back the salary increase at issue. JO members, most of whom stand accused more..

Banning mania can be hazardous to the nation’s economic health

Aug 6 (ST) The Govt has announced it plans to ban tobacco cultivation in the land by 2020 in accordance with the President’s determination to make Lanka a smoke free nation and the nation’s budget not be dependent henceforth on the massive revenue it brings to fill the national coffers. Even as he has declared to free the Exchequer’s dependency on the excise revenue the sale of alcohol contributes to keep the rupee afloat, in the manner of his predecessor’s mathata thitha. more..

කටාර් පාසැලේ අරමුදල බලෙන් ගන්න යන ASP

A cruel fate for a law that promised great things

Aug 6 (ST) If this scarcely believable nugget of information, buried deep in paragraph 41 of the recently released Sri Lanka report of UN Special Rapportuer on Countering Terrorism, Ben Emmerson, that only three indictments have been filed against torture perpetrators under the Convention Against Torture Act (CAT Act, 1994) since 2010, is actually true, we should hang our heads in shame. This was a law that had promised to turn Sri Lanka’s sluggish (to put it mildly) more..

Proposed new system to elect MPs

Aug 6 (Island) Under the proposed draft constitution, there will be no executive presidency and no more presidential elections. Hence the system of electing MPs to parliament becomes all important. Furthermore, changing the system of electing MPs to Parliament so as to ensure stable govts was the main precondition for abolishing the executive presidency because the present proportional representation system in 30 years of operation and seven parliamentary elections, had allowed more..

'Time for a political outsider'

Aug 6 (SO) MP Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera, a militant campaigner who was in the forefront to oust the Rajapaksa regime said that it is totally out of the question for him to promote the incumbent President or to bring Rajapaksa back to power. Ven. Rathana Thera said if it is the same old Mahinda Rajapaksa or Gotabaya Rajapaksa to be voted to power, it has no political significance at all as far as the country is concerned. more..

PC polls: Beckoning from the distance

Aug 6 (SO) Mahinda Deshapriya is an outspoken man. The former Commissioner of Elections and now head of the National Elections Commission (NEC) has declared that Parliament has to sort out the mess it has got itself into over the Provincial Council elections and that he cannot do anything about it. His declaration has got the JO and its political proxy, the SSLPP in a huff. Its nominal Chairman, former Minister & Prof of Law, G.L. Peiris who is now acting as His Master’s Voice more..

Military and Politics: A scene worth watching

Aug 6 (SO) The relationship between SL’s military politics is a topic that gets occasional media attention. However, there is hardly any serious scholarly work on the subject, despite the fact that maintaining a framework of balance in civil-military relations during and after the civil war has surely been a major policy preoccupation among the country’s civilian political leaders. This essay attempts to map out some key features of the recent dynamics in SL’s civil-military relations. more..

Vijayakala blames South and politicians

Aug 6 (CT) Govt MP Vijayakala Maheswaran on Friday charged that the South was responsible for supplying drugs to the North and that the menace had increased with the end of the separatist conflict in 2009. She alleged that narcotics were moving freely from the South of the country to the North with the massive support of errant lawmakers. She was speaking at the launch of a new trophy for a soccer tournament more..

The story of a Tamil boy’s revenge

Aug 6 (CT) Last week, I was invited to a wedding in Bridgetown. My regular drinking partner, the Sri Lankan Tamil fellow Sivapuranam Thevaram’s son Samaanthiram was getting married. Thinking it was going to be a Hindu wedding, where rituals are performed around a fire, I turned up with a portable fire extinguisher. Such is the level of health and safety training I have been given in my day job. Welcoming the guests and congratulating the bride and groom, Thevaram said more..

Of Peanuts & Monkeys

Aug 6 (CT) When Pay-packets of MPs became a news headline, the uproar was immediate, disgust vast and anger boundless. The speaker has said that no final decision has been reached on the matter. The proposal is for an upward revision of what we pay the elected representatives in the sovereign, august temple of our democracy, which is subject to running repairs since 2015 by a govt that promised good governance. The key phrase is no final decision. more..

Office of Missing Persons to fund skeletal excavations in Mannar

Aug 5 (SO) The Office of Missing Persons has decided to step in to fund the excavations of a suspected mass grave site in Mannar as long as necessary, in the first major step by the permanent office to investigate and trace disappeared people in Sri Lanka in accordance with its mandate. The grave site currently under forensic excavation under the Sathosa building in Mannar has so far revealed the skeletal remains of more..

'Govt has embarked on massive Rs. 50bn development plan for Kataragama'

Aug 5 (Island) Minister Champika Ranawaka says the govt has allocated Rs. 50 billion for the development of Kataragama sacred city. No other govt has undertaken a development program of this magnitude in the past. Minister was speaking at a meeting in the Vedasiti Kanda area after inspecting the construction work of a proposed recreation center and park at sylvan shrine in Sellakataragama. Continuing, he noted that more..

Hendricks' helps Proteas to series win over Sri Lanka

Aug 5 (CI) South Africa sealed a second successive ODI series win in Sri Lanka and 11th consecutive victory over their opponents, dating back to July 2014, after scoring the highest total on the island and dismissing the hosts inside 46 overs. South Africa now hold an unassailable 3-0 lead in the series and, in complete contrast to the Tests that preceded this, are becoming more dominant with each performance. more..

CID Director reveals how top AG’s official impeded probe on Navy abduction case

Aug 5 (SO) Revelations in open court by the head of the CID about how a high ranking official in the Attorney General’s Department had interfered in a probe led by his men into the abductions of 11 Tamil youth in 2008, allegedly by Sri Lanka Navy personnel, sent shock-waves through the legal community this week. In open court last Tuesday, CID Director SSP Shani Abeysekera alleged that the lawyer now appearing for more..

Regulating donations for Election campaigns

Aug 5 (CT) Millions of rupees in cash, had been handed out to all political parties during the past elections, by a number of entities, including foreign investors, local businessmen and others. Donations have been made to charitable organizations run by the spouses of leading politicians, such as the wife of former Minister Basil Rajapaksa. Several MPs have admitted to accepting cheques from Perpetual Treasuries owner Arjun Aloysius for their more..

PETA decries Lanka elephant torture

Aug 5 (CT) An international animal rights group has urged tourists visiting Sri Lanka to refuse to ride elephants, avoid visiting any attraction that offers or endorses elephant rides, and also to steer clear of festivals in which elephants are paraded. The UK website of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) in an article published on Thursday titled Sri Lanka’s Shameful Elephant Abuse condemned the use of elephants for more..

'Sri Lanka has to look for output-led inspirational growth'

Aug 5 (EN) Sri Lanka has to open factor markets and look for innovation led inspirational based on output-led expansion as the ability to engage in rapid catch up growth is rapidly dimining, a top economist has said. The first stage of growth involves a poor country catching up with more advanced economies, using inputs like cheap labour and land, or perspiration. "Once you become middle-income, especially upper middle income more..

AG refers case against Gota to CJ for direction

Aug 5 (ST) The Attorney General has referred 2 high profile cases to the Chief Justice, seeking a direction on whether criminal proceedings in respect of them should be instituted in the newly set up Permanent High Court-at-Bar. One of these cases involves former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the other involves former Magistrate Tilina Gamage. Case against Mr. Rajapaksa and 5 others concern the allocation of almost more..

More curbs on cars as Central Bank battles trade gap

Aug 5 (EN) The govt is expected to further tighten vehicle imports after sharply raising customs duty on small hybrid cars that fuelled a widening trade deficit and mounted pressure on the exchange rate, officials said. Minister Mangala Samaraweera announced the higher taxes on the smallest car segment of cars which has seen a huge jump after his green, clean policy of encouraging hybrid/electric vehicles in his budget for 2018. more..

Wigneswaran seeks police powers to fight sword gangs in North

Aug 5 (ST) As the Police struggle to maintain law and order in the North amidst increasing incidents of sword gangs terrorising the region, Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran has proposed that if the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) is given police powers, he can bring the situation under control within two months. Responding to media queries on the current situation in the North, CM claimed that if adequate Tamil speaking personnel were more..

Spare the Youth from bribery, narcotics and politics

Aug 5 (Island) People’s minds are agog these days about, bribery, narcotics, politics and death sentence. Bribery is a cancer that has eaten into the social fabric of our country. Little wonder when we see it emanating from the highest levels of those in governance–details are too well known that I do not need to elaborate here. The spate of detections of highly placed officials recently of course deserves a bouquet to Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC). more..

Low-rise erasure and high-rise explosion: Destroying Colombo’s Heritage

Aug 5 (Island) Not quite, pace Luke, if not the Lord, for when it comes to selling and profiting from real estate the Church of God can be as shrewd as America’s Trump. In The Island last week (July 31), there was a lament, by the Architect Nishan Rasanga Wijetunge, for the Jesuit Chapel at Clifford Place, in Bambalapitiya, which apparently is being sold for its land value and will soon be visited upon by the wrecking ball and the bulldozer to make room for yet another high-rise in Colombo. more..