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I wasn't afraid: Vishwa Fernando on standing up to South Africa's attack

Feb 19 (CI) Having taken 8 for 133 and batted out 27 deliveries in an epic last-wicket stand, Vishwa Fernando's contribution to Sri Lanka's victory was second only to that of Kusal Perera. The Kingsmead Test having only been his fourth, Vishwa looks back on his sudden call-up to the Test side, his bowling, as well as that record-breaking stand. Q: You were in Sri Lanka playing domestic cricket, and there were 5 seamers more..

Eliyakanda Hill Climb: Ashan records fastest time

Feb 19 (DN) Champion Driver Ashan Silva recorded the fastest time at the Eliyakanda Hill Climb clocking a time of 32.61 seconds for the 765 metre Climb while Dushan Mudalige became the Best Rider clocking 35.66 seconds at the Southern Motor Sports Club organized event which came to an end on Sunday in a highly successful manner. Ashan as usual drove his Mitsubishi IX in grand style in the SL-GT up to 3500cc class to achieve this victory but failed to erase the existing record of more..

Foreign debt vulnerability and indebtedness to China

Feb 19 (ST) The country’s external financial vulnerability is the most serious economic concern. Although the country is able to meet its massive debt repayment obligations of over US$ 5 billion this year, by further borrowing that would enhance external financial vulnerability. At the end of 2017, the country’s foreign debt amounted to US$ 47 billion. It is estimated that foreign debt increased further to about US$ 53 billion at the end of 2018. This is about 77% of our GDP. more..

අමල් පෙරේරා සහ රූකාන්ත කලා ලෝකයට අහිමිවීම

Edtorial: Kudu ministers?

Feb 19 (Island) The arrest of Madush in Dubai has apparently eclipsed most issues, in this country. Nobody talks about the fall armyworm any longer, and the economy, in tatters, has ceased to figure in public discussion. Everybody seems to have forgotten the much-delayed provincial council polls and the soaring cost of living. The people are waiting agog for more news from Dubai. The Opposition, desperate for political mileage, has found an issue to flog to its heart’s content. more..

Team in fragile condition: Handle with Care

Feb 19 (CT) In any sport, when a team is on a winning streak no one notices anything off kilter in its environment; but it’s the complete opposite when the losing begins. I believe the current scenario bugging the Sri Lankan cricket scene stems mainly from this reality. I refuse to believe that everything was absolutely perfect when Sri Lanka won the World Cup in 1996 or in the ensuing years when the Lankans touched great cricketing heights. What covered potential cracks that threatened to more..

All communities unite for a clean Puttalam

Feb 19 (SO) Wednesday (13), Thursday and Friday were declared Black Days in Puttalam. Wearing blackarmbands and headbands, people, including schoolchildren, continued their day to day life protesting quietly in solidarity against the proposed mega-scale sanitary landfill. Black band protest is the latest initiative by the District Inter-Religious Committee (DIRC) of Puttalam, in its bid to pressurise the authorities concerned, more..

Sri Lankan Malays: Vibrancy on the decline?

Feb 19 (CT) At the time of Independence, Ceylon was home to more than twenty different ethnic minorities, however, the chaotic chain of events that has unfurled, since, has led to the gradual decline in the population of several ethnic groups that have helped weave Ceylon’s multicultural mosaic. The Ceylon Malay community is one such notable ethnic group that has been facing a relentless demographic decline and their numbers have plummeted, falling by approximately 8% a decade. more..

Constitutional Council & Independent Commissions part of transition to rule of law

Feb 19 (CT) Prez Sirisena has been joined by former president Mahinda Rajapaksa and by other opposition members in denouncing the institution of the Constitutional Council and the independent commissions established under the 19th Amendment. They have attributed many ill effects as flowing from these institutions. These include repeatedly defying the president’s wishes, being corrupt, creating chaos, being partial to members of minority religions and even of being culpable more..

After four years in foxholes: Gota’s first trial-at-bar

Feb 19 (SO) An unanimous ruling last Monday (11) by the 3-judge Bench of the Permanent High Court Trial, dismissing objections filed by President’s Counsel Romesh de Silva against the court’s jurisdiction to proceed with the trial of Gotabaya Rajapaksa and six others for charges including criminal misappropriation of Rs. 33 million of public funds for the construction of a mausoleum for Rajapaksa’s parents, may be turning point more..

Fight against wildlife trafficking: CITES in SL

Feb 19 (CT) From pangolins to elephants, from tropical timber to birds and snakes: Wildlife trafficking is one of the largest illegal global trade sectors and generates billions of USD per year. Since 1975, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) provides a framework for the sustainable trade of wildlife and ecosystem products. The parties to the convention meet every three years, and the host for the 18th Conference of the Parties more..

Basil’s edict turns screws on Sirisena hopes

Feb 19 (ST) Politicians by nature are open-mouthed people. That is not necessarily bad, if what emanates from that space surrounded by teeth is sensible and it is helpful to the people who helped elect them in the first place. But often it is unadulterated crap. Listen to the screaming contributions of Wimal Weerawansa from public platforms and the almost daily sermons of Udaya Gammanpila, the leader of some nondescript political party, preached at media gatherings more..

President instructs to reduce registration fee on small-scale businesses

Feb 18 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena pointed out the importance of implementing the Gramashakthi People’s Movement aiming at uplifting the underprivileged people in the urban areas in the future. The week commencing from today has been declared as the Gramashakthi National Week to accelerate the distribution of benefits from the Gramashakthi People’s Movement. The Gramashakthi People’s Movement more..

Petition seeking SC order calling for PC polls filed

Feb 18 (AD) A petition has been filed before the Supreme Court, requesting it to order the Elections Commission to hold Provincial Council elections immediately. Reportedly, the petition was filed by the Sathya Gaveshakayo (Truth Seekers) organization. Election Commission, its chairperson and the members have been named as the respondents of the petition. Petitioners have stated that the incumbent govt has been postponing the PC elections by pointing out the process of more..

CC yet to gazette rules on making appointments, promotions: PHU

Feb 18 (DM) Constitutional Council (CC) had not yet issued a gazette notice on the procedure that would be adopted in making appointments and promotions, PHU said today. MP Udaya Gammanpila said the rules published in the gazette notice should be presented in parliament within three months. “According to the 41.G.3. clause of the constitution, the Constitution Council shall have the power to make rules relating to the performance and discharge of its duties and function. more..

Video: Suspect re-remanded for evading customs duty payment

Feb 18 (AD) A suspect who had evaded paying Rs 40 million Customs duty and was granted bail earlier, has been re-remanded until 25th of Feb. The order was issued by Colombo Magistrate’s Court today. He was produced before the Colombo Magistrate on Feb 16 and was released on bail. However, Colombo Additional Magistrate has ordered to void the bail release order, as it was delivered mistakenly. more..

UN urged to assist Lankan refugees in TN to return home

Feb 18 (Island) The UN has been urged to assist SL refugees in Tamil Nadu to return home. The UN Resident Coordinator in SL Hanaa Singer called on the Governor of the Northern Province Dr. Suren Raghavan at his office in Jaffna. The discussion was focused on the land and houses in the Northern Province and SL refugees in India. Under the direction of the President Sirisena, lands and farms in Northern Province which were occupied by SL Security Forces are being released more..

Video: Sapling of Sri Maha Bo Tree gifted to Thailand

Feb 18 (AD) A sapling of Sri Maha Bo Tree has been sent over to Thailand today (18) under the instructions of President Maithripala Sirisena. Reportedly, this sapling was gifted to remark the coronation of the new king of Thailand King Maha Vajiralongkorn. The coronation of the new king is scheduled to be held tomorrow morning (19) and the Bo Tree sapling was sent off to Thailand from the Bandaranaike International Airport at around 12.30 a.m. this morning. more..

Ranil blasts Northern Provincial Council

Feb 18 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, while speaking at the Kilinochchi District development review meeting, blamed the Northern Provincial Council authorities, saying that they have almost become inactive towards the problems faced by the people in North. The meeting was held on 15 Feb at the Kilinochchi District Secretariat. Speaking further the PM said that it is SL Army, which involves in civilian activities more..

Ja-Ela UC flares up over Gamperaliya funds

Feb 18 (DN) Ja-Ela Urban Council (UC) members questioned the UC Chairman at the monthly meeting held on Feb 7 about the money the govt has allocated to the Council under Gamperaliya programme. SLFP Member Anne Marcus questioned about the number of projects under the Gamperaliya programme and the money received for them. Chairman Shammika Dias responded that the UC has 61 projects at a cost of Rs. 3,86,9007. UNP member Thushantha Perera said more..

MV Beijing Bridge under AGI Service makes maiden call at JCT

Feb 18 (FT) MV Beijing Bridge under its AGI Service made the maiden call at the Port of Colombo’s Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) controlled Jaya Container Terminal (JCT) on 13 Feb. In order to mark the vessel’s maiden call at the Port a plaque exchange was also held between SLPA Additional Managing Director Upali De Zoysa and MV Beijing Bridge Captain Rodie Barcoma. Welcoming MV Beijing Bridge at SLPA, Upali De Zoysa stated that SLPA being the land lord and more..

Sale of ETI foreign investors: Depositors to get USD 16M end of this month?

Feb 18 (CT) With regard to the sale of assets of the EAP Holdings, the owners of Edirisinghe Trust Investments Finance Limited (ETI), in a press release, stated that, on reaching agreement on price, a sum of USD 54 millon has been received by the ETIF to date and the proceeds received thus far were paid to ETI and utilized to settle deposit holders. The balance is to be completed before end of this month. more..

Sri Lanka reaffirms wildlife protection ahead of global conference

Feb 18 (EN) Sri Lanka's tourism and wildlife minister reaffirmed to protect wildlife and end illegal trade of endangered species ahead of hosting the 18th conference of the parties (CoP) to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in May and June. “Sri Lanka's resolve towards eradication of the menace of illegal trade of endangered species is well documented and we remain firmly committed to the protection of all species," more..

South Africa Women storm to six-wicket win, sweep SL series 3-0

Feb 18 (CI) Four wickets for Suné Luus and an unbeaten fifty from Mignon du Preez helped South Africa storm to a clinical 6-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the third and final ODI in Potchefstroom on Sunday. With stand-in captain Luus grabbing 4 for 30 in eight overs and Nadine de Klerk contributing an even more economical 2 for 30 in her 10-over stint, the visitors were bundled out for 139 in 44.2 overs, their lowest score of the series, after winning the toss and opting to bat. more..

Akila Dananjaya returns for South Africa ODIs

Feb 18 (CI) Spinner Akila Dananjaya has returned to SL's squad for the five ODIs in South Africa. However, it is understood that his availability is to subject to clearance of his bowling action from the ICC. He was officially banned from bowling in int'l cricket in December, after an independent biomechanic assessment found his flex beyond the permitted 15 degrees. Chandimal, who had been dropped for Test series in a shock move, more..

Vandalising Buddha Statues: Suspects remanded till Feb 27

Feb 18 (DM) The suspects in remand custody in connection with vandalizing statues of the Buddha in several areas in the country were produced before Mawanella Magistrate Upul Rajakaruna and further remanded till Feb 27. One of the suspects is a woman. The 11 suspects on remand were produced in court by prison officers and four others by the CID. Another two suspects arrested for providing accommodation to main suspects were produced in court and all of them were remanded. more..

Chainsaw machine registration to commence tomorrow

Feb 18 (DM) Registration process of all chainsaw machines being used in the country will commence from tomorrow (20), Ministry of Defence announced. The registration will end on Feb 28. According to a decision taken by Ministry of Defence on the orders of Prez Sirisena, it is mandatory to register all chainsaw machines that are being used in the country. This is aimed at controlling deforestation caused by illegal felling of trees using chainsaw machines, and to regulate the felling of trees, more..

PM directs officials for speedier resettlement of Jaffna Muslim IDPs

Feb 18 (LBO) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has directed authorities in Resettlement Ministry and Divisional Secretariat to make arrangements to speed the resettlement process of displaced Muslim families of Jaffna. This is the first time in three decades that the Jaffna’s displaced Muslims, since their plight of expulsion in 1990, are hearing good news on their future. Among the 20,000 Northern Muslim families expelled more..

Pest certification puts brakes on grape exports to Sri Lanka

Feb 18 (IE) Export of grapes to Russia and SL has halted midway in the season over stronger pest control requirements from the destination countries. While export to the more lucrative European and UK markets continues, overproduction has led to collapse of prices at the farm gate level. Vilas Shinde, chairman of the Nashik-based Sahyadri Farms, a Farmers Producers Company (FPC), said plant quarantine issues have been raised by both Russia and Sri Lanka. more..

What to do in Galle: A laid-back long weekend destination

Feb 18 (SCMP) Never mind that Lonely Planet put Sri Lanka at the top of its 2019 list of must-IGs. Or that Galle – officially a city, but with the feel of a supersized village – has been lumbered with Unesco heritage status. Variously under the thumb of Dutch, Portuguese and British colonialists, it’s been a thriving little port since Ibn Battuta (the Arab world’s answer to Marco Polo) passed by in the 14th century. Galle draws its zeitgeist from its seaside fort, whose coral-and-granite walls more..

Rugby kid assault: St. Peter’s College Okay; World Rugby says NO

Feb 18 (CT) St. Peter’s College Bambalapitiya in a shocking communique condoned the behavior of their appointed rugby coach Sanath Martis, when he was caught on video assaulting one of its own student rugby players in full public view recently. The video which went viral on social media both in Sri Lanka and also reached global audiences, even left officials of World Rugby shell shocked, as their appointed Educator more..

SL growth profile: Arrest moving down the staircase immediately to avoid ...

Feb 18 (FT) Sri Lanka Development Update for 2019 was released by the World Bank last week. This document contains a review by the bank’s residential staff of the present state of the country’s economy and the risks it faces in the immediate future. Behind the diplomatic language it has used, there is are two strong messages it has delivered to the previous Mahinda Rajapaksa administration, the present Good Governance Govt and any govt that may come to power in the future. more..

Ranil and I belong to the same class: Sacked ex-fake director J’Pura Hospital

Feb 18 (CT) In a queer move yesterday, the sacked ex-fake director of Sri J'pura General Hospital (SJGH) has boastingly shared some pictures of himself and his wife under allegation for financial fraud of over17 million rupees of public money, having evening tea at the Temple Trees with PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and his wife Maithree Wickremesinghe. Susitha Senaratne, ex-acolyte of Rajitha Senaratne was illegally appointed as Director SJGH in 2015 under Yahapalana more..

T.K. Azoor

Several roads in Colombo closed from 7pm

Feb 18 (NR) Vehicular movement along Sri James Peiris Mawatha, the Slave Island Roundabout to the Pittala junction will be restricted from 7pm today owing to the Nawam Perahara of the Gangarama Temple. Police requested motorists to resort to alternate routes. Accordingly vehicles travelling through Sir James Peiris Mawatha from Colombo, Fort and Slave Island have been advised to resort to Union Place, Ibbanwela Junction, Townhall Roundabout and then Colpetty. more..

South African way of approach

Feb 18 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s 3-day visit to Northern Province last week was significant in many ways as the PM while focusing on the progress made in the post-war reconstruction and livelihood activities, expressed his views boldly on establishing a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) similar to the approach adopted by SA to bring an end to apartheid by asking for forgiveness through telling the truth and regretting over the past to strengthen peace and reconciliation. more..