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Mahela unfazed by Australia's pace attack

Mar 6 (CI) Sri Lanka's away matches against Australia have always loomed as a trial-by-pace for the top order, but although the opposition bowlers are quick, that does not necessarily make them menacing, according to Mahela Jayawardene. Sri Lanka have scored 644 runs for the loss of two wickets in their past two matches, albeit against less-vaunted attacks. And although Mitchell Johnson blasted Sri Lanka into more..

Mahinda Kahandagamage remanded further

Mar 6 (AM) Colombo Chief Magistrate today ordered CMC Member Mahinda Kahandagamage to be remanded further till March 20. Chairman of the Federation of Self Employed Mahinda Kahanda Gamage was arrested by the Fraud Investigation Unit of Wellawatte police on Feb 9. However FSE Secretary Chanaka Hettiarachchi and Treasure Kumara de Silva were released on bail, with sureties of Rs 50,000 each. Despite sureties, they were ordered to furnish a bail bond of 5 million. more..

Two cops interdicted over cover-up

Mar 6 (CT) A sub inspector and a police constable were interdicted for not having presented the facts correctly to Court in connection with a complaint lodged with the police regarding the robbery of gold chains, attacking people and threatening them with firearms. This complaint had been made by 47-year-old Priyanganie, who had arrived at a police station together with her son and another youth prior to the murder of a couple in Meetiyagoda on 1 March. Priyanganie was one of the victims. more..

Ketagoda won’t step down for Fonseka

Mar 6 (Island) DNA MP Jayantha Ketagoda said in Parliament that his appointment as an MP was legal and it was not a position he had grabbed from someone else. Raising a privilege issue, MP Ketagoda said he had been appointed to the post of MP through a special gazette notification dated Feb 7, 2011 and he had been duly sworn in. No one could come to the Chamber and sit on a seat allocated to more..

Johnston, Cooray summoned to bribery commission, complaint against Rishad

Mar 6 (AM) Sri Lanka's Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption summoned former Minister of Co-operatives and Internal Trade and UPFA parliamentarian Johnston Fernando for questioning earlier in the day. The former minister was summoned by the Commission to obtain a statement on Declaration of Assets. Former Minister Reginald Cooray was also summoned to the Bribery Commission later in the day. He was reportedly questioned for three hours. more..

China becomes top source of tourists to Sri Lanka in Feb 2015, India second

Mar 6 (EN) Tourist arrivals from China shot up 165% from a year earlier to 27,425 in Feb 2015 to overtake visitors from India, despite a growth of 14.1% from SA nation. Chinese visitors have been growing to Sri Lanka with strong political and economic links backed by expanding air links. Britain, the traditional most numerous source of visitors after India was relegated to a distant third at 15,212 showing a growth of 6.3%. In the first two months of the year, visitors from China rose 85.6% more..

Modi to launch Talaimannar train

Mar 6 (CG) Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his visit to Sri Lanka next week, will flag off the first train signifying recommencement of the Talaimannar/Medawachchiya sector of the train service to Colombo, following the rehabilitation work carried out with Indian credit assistance. All services on the line were stopped in June 1990 after the LTTE blasted the Mannar bridge, which linked Mannar and Talaimannar island. more..

Strong opportunities for UK retailers in SL

Mar 6 (BHC) British High Commissioner John Rankin welcomed this growth and noted the continuing strong opportunities for British companies in the Sri Lankan market. He said “These latest figures demonstrate the strong demand from British buyers for high quality goods manufactured in Sri Lanka, notably in the apparel and clothing accessories sector. M&S, Next, George for Asda, and Tesco all operate sourcing offices in this country. Overall, there are over 100 UK more..

Chris Nonis made Presidential advisor

Mar 6 (CG) Former Sri Lankan High Commissioner to London, Dr Chris Nonis has appointed as a Presidential advisor to President Maithripala Sirisena. President’s office said that Nonis has been appointed as a Presidential advisor on international affairs. Nonis has resigned from his post as High Commissioner last October over an alleged assault incident involving a top Govt politician. Nonis had reportedly been assaulted at a function in the US by MP Sajin de Vass Gunawardena. more..

Drug Policy Bill passed in Parliament

Mar 6 (AD) National Medicine Regulatory Authority Bill which was tabled in Parliament on Tuesday has been passed with amendments in parliament with a majority of 67 votes. A total of 68 MPs voted in favour of the bill while only independent MP Ajith Kumara voted against. The remainder of 156 MPs were either absent or refrained from voting on the bill. Minister Rajitha Senaratne tabled the National Medicine more..

Is the Rice monopoly exempted from Yahapalanaya?

Mar 7 (CT) There are several key characteristics that help distinguish the new interim administration from the previous Mahinda Rajapaksa govt. The leading among these are the non-declared suspension of the country’s Constitution and the obvious symbolic, and material, repositioning of Sri Lanka as a willing and submissive recipient of the so-called Western-values template being pushed by the international community of neocons. The evidence of the suspension of more..

Questionable governance when loss-incurred CB has made a profit transfer to govt

Mar 7 (CT) A very vital piece of information relating to the Central Bank which has been missed by many has been the incurrence of a massive loss amounting to Rs. 24 billion in its ordinary operations during 2013. This loss has further been increased to Rs. 39 billion when its comprehensive operations are also taken into account. These figures, arrived at by preparing the accounts of the Bank in terms of International Financial Reporting Standards or IFRSs, are slightly at variance with more..

A 50 of a 100 days to few, or too many?

Mar 7 (GV) A former British PM Harold Wilson made the oft-quoted remark that a week is a long time in politics. What then of fifty days, not to mention a hundred? Half way into the govt’s 100-day governance reform programme, public reaction and that of some political actors in particular, appears to be one of disappointment, frustration and in some quarters, even anger. A 100 days must have appealed to political strategists of govt more..

Cold war between SLFP and UNP intensifies

Mar 7 (FT) The tension between the SLFP and the Govt seems to be increasing rapidly as Opposition Leader Nimal Siripala de Silva and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe engage in a cold war while standing under the National Govt umbrella. The debate rages between implementing constitutional amendments with electoral reforms or implementing constitutional amendments alone and has been going on for some time now, resulting in the postponing of completion of certain crucial more..

How to revive the Economy

Mar 7 (CT) The following are a few suggestions to the new government to revive the lagging Eastern and Northern Provincial economies. The first three suggestions are for immediate policy action and the last two are for serious consideration in the short term. Severe restrictions imposed on the NGOs to work in the Northern Province since the end of the civil war have stifled the restoration of livelihoods for vast majority of the people in the province. 29% of the total population of the Mullaithivu District more..

The new generation

Mar 7 (ST) Robert Powell remembers his first conversation with Geoffrey Bawa as if it were yesterday. Powell had rung the legendary Sri Lankan architect to request for an appointment to talk about Sri Lankan architecture, at which point Bawa intoned his well-known mantra. “It cannot be explained, but must be experienced,” he advised Powell. The latter, taking his words to heart, did exactly that and almost 30 years later he more..

Editorial: JVP thinking big

Mar 7 (Island) Politics is all about power. That morality, honesty, altruism, justice and other such lofty ideals have very little to do with it is only too well known. They are mere façades which are nevertheless highly marketable in a world where a sucker is said to be born every minute. The current political scrimmage where several key players are at one another’s jugular is essentially a power struggle with the losers trying to make a comeback to savour power again and the winners all out to more..

Simple formula for permanent people’s govt

Mar 7 (SL) These days so much is spoken and written about in the mass media on the formation of a National Govt. Many segments in the society including religious leaders, academics, professionals, ordinary public and some politicians who have the country at heart, have voiced their opinion. However, the implementation aspects of a national govt and its benefits to the country have still not been explained adequately to the voter at large resulting in diverse views being expressed more..

Colombo Fashion Forecast: Episode 6

Welfare state no longer affordable; drastic policy reforms key: Dr. Coomaraswamy

Mar 7 (FT) A top economist on Wednesday declared that the welfare state in Sri Lanka was no longer affordable and that the country needed drastic policy reform to achieve desired socioeconomic prosperity. “The welfare state is no longer affordable as displayed by the successive deficits in the National Budget that is brought on mainly by recurring expenditure and excessive borrowing since 1977. The latter made Sri Lanka a ‘donor darling’ but the irony is that donor generosity allowed more..

Changing nature of the party system in SL

Mar 7 (Island) The processes of both re-alignment and de-alignment takes place at this level as the ordinary elector seeks to obtain usual political benefits and gains. The so-called Piya-Puthu syndrome is certain to accrue political advantages in the short run but in the long term it is certain to have a major impact on the process of party building at the local level. This concept of party building has been developed in the context of the Congress Party of India by both Myron Weiner and more..

'UNP will definitely win'

Mar 7 (CT) Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam says the UNP will face a parliamentary election and will take action to establish a national govt with the support of other parties. Q: Leader of the UNP, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, has suddenly summoned and informed the party stalwarts to prepare for a parliamentary election. Why has such notice been given? A: It had been stated earlier, that, once 100-day programme more..

Over 1,000 graduates conferred degrees at SLIIT Convocation 2015

Mar 7 (Island) Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT) the largest degree awarding Institute in SL has graduated over 1,000 graduands with Bachelors and Masters degrees in Information Technology, Engineering and Business Management. At a grand Convocation ceremony held recently at the SLIIT Campus in Malabe, the candidates were conferred their degrees over six sessions graced by eminent personalities. Prof. Sam Karunaratne, Academic Advisor of SLIIT, more..

Sri Lanka bids to be host country at Berlin ITB in 3 years

Mar 7 (DN) Sri Lanka is making a strong bid to be the host country of the ITB, the world's largest leisure exhibition in three years' time. This year the host country is Mongolia and the next year it's the Maldives. Minister Naveen Dissanayake addressing the opening ceremony of the ITB said that this will bring unprecedented publicity to Sri Lanka and it's a matter they are seriously considering. "We will make a bid." He also said that the Ministry would like to work jointly with industry stake holders more..

Tea leaf quality hit by oportunistic politics

Mar 7 (Island) Opportunistic politics are eroding good governance and the quality of the produce of the tea industry, to a degree. Until recently, the BL 60 plan, that is Best Leaf 60 scheme, held sway locally. What this scheme meant essentially was that good leaf, or more technically, 60% fines in the tea leaf, was the applied standard for leaf supplied to tea leaf factories. This basic standard obliged leaf suppliers to maintain the enforced leaf quality more..

Why a ten-team World Cup is right

Mar 7 (CI) Do I believe that teams like Ireland and Afghanistan have a bright future in international cricket? Yes, I do. Do I want the Associate nations to play more cricket? Yes, I do. But do I want the World Cup in 2019 to include 14 nations or more? No, I don't. Am I contradicting myself by promoting the cause of the Associate nations and yet not favouring their being a part of the world event? No, I'm not. Allow me to explain. Firstly, the World Cup, in my opinion, does not need 14 unevenly matched more..

WC 2015: India beat West Indies

Mar 7 (CI) India were given their first scare of the World Cup when West Indies reduced them to 78 for 4 and 134 for 6 in a chase of 183, but MS Dhoni shepherded them through to an eventually comfortable win with four wickets in hand and 10.5 overs to spare. West Indies finally displayed some grit and fight with late-order runs and some penetrating quick bowling, but the damage done by Chris Gayle at the start of the match was too much to undo. Sunil Gavaskar's 36 off 174 in the more..

Azath already fed up with Yahapalanaya govt

Mar 7 (Island) Central Provincial Councillor Azad Salley yesterday alleged that the new administration had woefully failed to address the contentious issue of good governance. An irate Salley said that those who had been lambasting former President Mahinda Rajapaksa for public sector maladministration seemed to be doing the same. Salley contested the last Central PC poll on the UNP ticket. more..

Six Sri Lankan fishermen detained

Mar 7 (Hindu) The Indian Coast Guard has detained six Sri Lankan fishermen on the charge of poaching into Indian waters, 128 nautical miles off Nagapattinam coast on Friday. Commandant Udhal Singh, Station Commander of Indian Coast Guard, Karaikal, told reporters that the six fishermen had left Trincomalee in Sri Lanka in a mechanised boat on February 27. The crew members of Indian Coast Guard Ship ‘Ameya’ noticed the fishing boat during a routine patrol and detained more..

A 1000 free Egg Burgers from McDonald’s

Mar 7 (Island) All McDonald’s restaurants in Sri Lanka will be giving away 1,000 free Egg Burgers on a first-come-first-served basis, starting 6 am on March 9. The fast-food giant’s free grub giveaway will see McDonald’s Sri Lanka participating in the burger brand’s third annual National Breakfast Day – among more than 6,000 McDonald’s restaurants in Asia, the Middle East and Africa. "We recognise the value of a nourishing morning meal. McDonald’s breakfast caters to a wide variety of more..

President to leave for London on a three-day official visit today

Mar 7 (GDI) President Maithripala Sirisena accompanied by First Lady will leave for the UK on a 3-day official visit today. President Sirisena, as the Chair-in-Office of the Commonwealth, will attend the Commonwealth Day Observances on 9th March. Young people, schools, communities and civil society organizations on the second Monday in March every year celebrate Commonwealth Day across Commonwealth. more..

China and India to run pavilions at SL food exhibition in August

Mar 7 (ST) Global economic giants, China and India are expected to run pavilions at the Pro-food, Pro-pack 2015 Exhibition which will be held from 7 to 9 August at the BMICH for the second consecutive year. Pakistan and Malaysia are also participating in a big way. Further, 20 more countries with 300 participants are expected to run stalls at this exhibition, it was revealed at the launch of this exhibition held in Colombo, this week. This food, packaging and agriculture exhibition held for more..

Provide ways for women to fully contribute to social progress: President

Mar 7 (DN) I am pleased to send this message of good wishes on the occasion of the national celebrations to mark International Women's Day 2015, states President Sirisena in a press release. The message added: "In this modern age when there are exceptional social transformations, there is much prominence given to ensuring the rights of women, with social, economic, political and ideological changes taking place worldwide to give the deserved place to women. more..

New Risk Management Dept. to oversee EPF fund management

Mar 7 (DM) A new risk management unit has been set up by the Central Bank to outline proper rules and regulations that would ensure risks are minimized in the process of managing Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF). Unit has been established on the instructions of Central Bank Governor, Arjuna Mahendran in a bid to avoid explicit conflict of interest, when the EPF invests in banks’ shares, which are regulated by the Central Bank. more..

Dilmah opens tea bar in Philippines

Mar 7 (SS) RADISSON Blu Cebu unveiled last Tuesday the first Dilmah t-Bar in the Philippines. Located in the hotel’s lobby, the Dilmah t-Bar will showcase 21 single-origin teas grown from low, mid and high altitudes in Sri Lanka, China, Japan and South Africa. The t-Bar will also serve “tea-inspired gastronomy” daily from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Nishan Silva, the hotel’s general manager, said the opening of Dilmah t-Bar is a welcome addition to the Radisson’s growing food and beverage more..

COSMOS flying school under scrutiny

Mar 7 (ST) COSMOS Aviation’s flying school, which was given a week-long extension on its licence, would be subject to an audit by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Owned by MP Sajin Vass Gunawardena, the controversial aviation school came into the spotlight since it had not made payments amounting to Rs.24 million to both the Airport and Aviation Services for using the hangar and runway at the Ratmalana airport and for obtaining a licence to operate a flying school. more..

India helped us in war against LTTE: Ranil

Mar 7 (Hindu) Sri Lanka will handle its relations with India and China separately from each other, Sri Lankan PM Ranil Wickramasinghe told a Tamil TV Channel. In an interview ahead of PM Narendra Modi’s visit, he blamed the former President Rajapaksa for playing the China card against India and India card against China, adding that Mr. Modi’s visit was a “goodwill one to restore the ties between the two countries.” more..

Japan's State Minister Minoru Kiuchi in SL

Mar 7 (EN) Japan's State Minister for Foreign Affairs Minoru Kiuchi will arrive in Sri Lanka on Saturday 7th March 2015 for talks on bilateral relations with the govt, a statement said. Kiuchi will call on President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe, who is also Minister of Policy Planning and Economic Affairs. He will also hold talks with Mangala Samaraweera, Minister of External Affairs, the statement from the Japanese embassy said. more..

'Nilame pockets Rs 01 B from road project'

Mar 7 (CT) Minister Kabir Hashim told Parliament that a Nilame had garnered one billion rupees by subcontracting a road constructions project. He said this Nilame had been given the contract for a road construction project worth Rs 2.6 billion. "This Nilame had handed over the construction of this road on a sub contract for Rs 1.6 billion and had earned a profit of one billion rupees," he said. Minister said he would reveal more details on this project in the coming weeks more..

Govt justifies Treasury bond issuance

Mar 7 (FT) Ministry of Policy Planning and Economic Affairs issued a statement on govt’s Treasury bond issue in March which spiked rates in debt market causing widespread concern as well as led to allegations of a primary dealer unfairly profiteering. Statement however was silent on the allegations but explained the background why interest rates rose. Govt also pointed a finger at the Rajapaksa regime more..