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Dilshan tops all-rounders’ chart, Sangakkara moves to second in batting table

Mar 2 (ICC) There has been plenty of reshuffle in the Reliance ICC ODI Player Rankings following 23 absorbing and exciting pool stage matches in the World Cup currently. Sri Lanka’s Tillakaratne Dilshan has now become the number-one ranked all-rounder in the world following his 229 runs with the bat and three wickets with the ball to date. His form has helped him gain three places in the latest Reliance ICC Player Rankings for more..

China 'expects Sri Lanka' to allow submarines on anti-piracy missions

Mar 2 (IT) China on Monday made clear it expected the new Sri Lankan govt to allow its submarines on normal and transparent anti-piracy missions to dock in the island nation, after Sri Lanka's new Foreign Minister said the new Colombo govt would not allow a repeat of last year's visits by a Chinese submarine. Speaking in Beijing after a two-day visit, SL Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera said new Colombo govt would more..

Disaster warnings ignored in Sri Lanka

Mar 2 (IRIN) Lives and livelihoods are being lost unnecessarily in Sri Lanka because local communities are ignoring disaster warnings. More than 70 people died in the last two months of 2014 as a result of floods and landslides while the earlier part of the year was marked by a prolonged drought, severely impacting the rice harvest. “In both instances, losses could have been avoided if warnings were heeded but unfortunately more..

Some questions for the President & The PM

Mar 2 (CT) As one who has been admonished for my criticisms of the regime that has followed the Reprehensible Rajapaksas, I would like to revert to some of what has been published under my name and expand on it even if such criticism of the Sirisena/Wickremesinghe govt is considered an attack on Sri Lanka’s last hope as far as a return to democracy and governance of a democratically-acceptable quality is concerned. At the outset let me state, very categorically, my conviction that more..

Rural school named after great leader neglected

Mar 2 (Island) Parents and the students of D.S. Senanayake National School, Galoya with 3,000 students complain it has been neglected for decades. School was started with the inauguration of the Galoya Development Board in 1952. As no repairs have been done to the buildings for the last 63 years, the roofs of many buildings are on the verge of collapse posing a grave threat to students and teachers. A student said the library had no new books and old computers were out of order. more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Stop political bickering...

Mar 2 (CT) In November 2014, Maithripala Sirisena, Ranil Wickremesinghe, Champika Ranawaka and Ven. Athureliye Rathana Thera with other leaders forged unity among opposition political parties to change the previous regime. And they did it by defeating President Mahinda Rajapaksa to establish the concept of good governance (Yahapalanaya). They also mooted a 100 day programme to make changes to the executive system to strengthen the parliamentary democratic process. more..

Will wipe out Narco mafia if...: NDDCA Chief

Mar 2 (CT) Chairperson of the National Dangerous Drugs Control Authority (NDDCA) Dr. Nilanga Samarasinghe said that if he was given 300 impartial officers, he would completely eradicate the drug mafia in Sri Lanka. This country does not have a proper independent unit to conduct direct raids on drug traffickers and drug dealers. He asked for a unit that would conduct raids in the same independent way India conducts theirs. He said that such a unit does not yet exist. more..

Underhand attempt to sell Blood Ivory uncovered

Mar 1 (DM) Suspicion surrounds a secret deal between highly placed state officials and a politician to sell a stock of Blood Ivory which is in the custody of the Customs Department at present. In a shocking revelation, DM has reliably learned that the stock of 359 elephant tusks, commonly referred to as Blood Ivory, and valued at over Rs. 360 million, which was seized by the Customs Central Intelligence Unit, while in transshipment, more..

Sri Lanka cleans up policy rate system; overnight rates to stabilize: CB Governor

Mar 2 (EN) Sri Lanka has ended restricted access to its floor rate window which will stabilize overnight money markets and bring the rate targeting system back to international practice Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran said. "We cleaned up the system and brought back the normal international practice," he said. "Interbank money rates were very volatile (with the restriction). Base rate should be available every day." There had been no rate hike since the base rate remained the same. more..

National Procurement Council proposed to thwart unsolicited bids

Mar 2 (Island) The govt has proposed the establishment of a National Procurement Council (NPC) to ensure transparency and viability of projects. A gathering of civil society activists at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute (SLFI) was told on Sunday of the attempt to streamline procurement. A key member of the constitutional affairs panel Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne, PC, said that the NPC would be established in accordance with the constitutional reforms. more..

China says Sri Lanka loans made based on consensus

Mar 2 (Reuters) China's loans to Sri Lanka were made based on consensus through talks between the two countries and at Sri Lanka's request, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Monday, after Sri Lanka's foreign minister expressed concern about the loans. The minister, speaking in Beijing over the weekend, said Sri Lanka's finance minister would visit Beijing to discuss the roughly $5 billion owed to China. more..

Massive protest by estate workers

Mar 2 (Island) A massive protest was staged yesterday in Matale town by estate workers demanding that they be provided with basic facilities. The protest had been organised by the Upcountry People’s Movement for Social Justice. Several thousand demonstrators complained that the estate people had not been given their right to a decent life since the days of British governance. Around 250,000 families in the estate sector were forced to live under many hardships. more..

'Nimal wants to defend crooks'

Mar 2 (CT) Was Opposition leader Nimal Siripala Silva not ashamed of his act of protecting crooks, by attempting to prolong the life of Parliament, PM Ranil Wickremasinghe asked, when he met UNP supporters in Nuwara Eliya. UPFA had attempted to defeat President Sirisena, employing underground tactics. If Sirisena lost, his family members would have been murdered, he said. There were MPs in the previous govt, who attempted to defeat Sirisena, employing every possible method. more..

Video: Police to re-enforce helmet laws

Mar 2 (DM) Wearing full-face helmets by motorcyclists will be banned from 21 March, SSP Ajith Rohana said. Earlier, the police banned the use of full-face helmets and later temporary suspended the regulation due to several issues. He added the law will be implemented as they witnessed many incident where thieves were taking advantage of these helmets to carry out robberies in the recent past. “Several reports have been received of more..

Murali asks Sri Lanka to rest injured Herath

Mar 2 (AFP) Former Sri Lanka leg-spinner Muthiah Muralidaran pleaded on Monday for key spinner Rangana Herath to be kept on ice for the World Cup quarter-finals after suffering a nasty injury to his finger. The 36-year-old Herath needed four stitches in the spinning finger of his left hand after he tried to stop a full-blooded drive from England's Jos Buttler in Wellington on Sunday. Sri Lanka won the match by nine wickets and with the 1996 champions almost assured of a quarter-final spot, more..

Govt shuts CHOGM office

Mar 2 (CG) The Govt has decided to close the secretariat opened in Colombo during the CHOGM in 2013. Acting Foreign Minister Ajith Perera said that it was decided to shift all operations of the secretariat to the Foreign Ministry. Perera said that it was found that millions of rupees was being spent on the CHOGM secretariat for very little work. He said that the Govt feels all the operations of the CHOGM secretariat can be conducted from the Foreign Ministry and so all the equipment more..

MS to meet EC

Mar 2 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena hopes to meet Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya soon to discuss the proposed electoral reforms, Cabinet Spokesman and Minister Rajitha Senaratne said yesterday. He said that the enactment of electoral reforms was a key election promise made by President Sirisena during his campaign and as such he believes the govt is obliged to fulfil this promise to the people. more..

Video: Court of Appeal dismisses Shashindra’s petition

Mar 2 (AD) Court of Appeal on Monday dismissed the petition filed by ousted Chief Minister Shashindra Rajapaksa seeking to make the appointment of Harin Fernando as the Uva Chief Minister illegal. The respondents in the case include former Governor of the Uva Province Nanda Matthew, and thirty four Provincial Councillors, including incumbent Chief Minister Fernando. Fernando sworn in as the new Chief Minister as the former Govt failed to maintain a majority in January. more..

Liberal party opposes abolition of executive presidency in haste

Mar 2 (Island) The Liberal Party in a statement issued to media said that it had decided to oppose on-going efforts to abolish the executive presidency in haste and called upon all those concerned to study proposals it had put forward to a Parliamentary Select Committee to pave the way for a modified presidency based on the principles of separation of powers. Statement issued by Leader of the Liberal Party Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha MP said: "At its Executive Committee meeting held on more..

JVP piqued by SLFP moves

Mar 2 (Island) The JVP yesterday warned that the formation of a national govt would jeopardise efforts to bring in crucial constitutional reforms as envisaged in President Maithripala Sirisena’s polls manifesto. Therefore, an agreement between the SLFP and the UNP was inimical to the much touted 100-day project meant to drastically dilute executive powers of the incumbent president, JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva said. more..

Ravi Wettasinghe remanded till May 25

Mar 2 (AM) Businessman Ravi Wettasinghe, who had been on an open warrant, was today ordered to be remanded till May 25 Colombo High Court in connection with a criminal fraud case. The Attorney General had indicted Ravi Wettasinghe for swindling a company director named Don Anthony Rohan Mallawaarachchi of Rs.10 million after promising him to provide a house in Nawala area on or around Sept 16, 2005. The case was heard without the accused being present for several years. more..

Public protest against asbestos factory to be constructed

Mar 2 (Island) Residents, members of the clergy and civil organisations took to the streets blocking Colombo-Puttalam main road on Saturday protesting against constructing of a roofing sheet factory near the Anawilundawa bird sanctuary. Protest march commenced from the Sri Ratnasiri Vihara in Nalladarankattuwa was supported by people of Arachchkattuwa, Helamba, Watawana, Nalladarankattuwa, Puthupanthiya and shop owners had shut down their business places to more..

President says he dodged CEPA talks in Delhi

Mar 2 (PTI) President Maithripala Sirisena has said that he deliberately avoided having Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with India on the agenda during his recent visit to New Delhi. "I want to assure you that I will not enter any agreement with any country that will be harmful to our businesses," he said while addressing local businesses during the weekend. He said he had cancelled some 16 more..

President notes attempts to rule

Mar 2 (CG) President Maithripala Sirisena today noted that there are attempts by some countries to rule Sri Lanka by seeking to sign various economic deals. The President said that Sri Lanka has always played it safe since independence from British rule in 1948 and will not allow the island to be ruled by a foreign country once again. He said that Sri Lanka must be mindful of such attempts as it looks to develop and move forward. President said that today major countries invade small states more..

Principal molested female students

Mar 2 (CT) Female students from a popular school in Gangaihala Korale, Gampola have been subjected to sexual abuse on a regular basis by the Principal of that school. These girls were taken to an empty class room under the guise of disciplinary action and were subjected unwelcome sexual advances by the principal. These girls were from grade 8, 9 and 11. The girls have complained of the matter to a teacher in the school who took necessary action against the principal by more..

TNA cracks whip on hardliners

Mar 2 (PTI) Sri Lanka's main Tamil party has censured two hardline members for their anti-party activities, including "unwarranted and unacceptable" criticism of its leaders. TNA central committee condemned the conduct of lawmakers Suresh Premachandran and Ananthy Saseetharan for criticising party leader R Sampanthan and senior member MA Sumanthiran. Party resolution said Premachandran and Saseetharan were more..

Kerry hails UNHRC on Sri Lanka

Mar 2 (CG) US Secretary of State John Kerry, today hailed the role played by the UNHRC on Sri Lanka. In his speech during the High Level segment of the 28th session of the UNHRC, which began today, Kerry noted that there is an opportunity for change in Sri Lanka. “Consider the indispensable role the HRC has played in encouraging leaders to live up to their promises and commitments in countries such as Burma and Sri Lanka, where there are opportunities for real change,” he said. more..

TNA to discuss reforms with Indian PM

Mar 2 (IANS) Sri Lanka's main Tamil political party on Monday said it will seek to discuss devolution of powers to the provinces when it meets Indian PM Narendra Modi in Sri Lanka. Modi is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka on March 13, his first since taking office last year and which will also be the first bilateral visit by an Indian prime minister to Sri Lanka in over 25 years. India has been backing devolution of powers to the provinces in Sri Lanka under an agreement reached between more..

Video: Mangala's full speech at UNHRC

Mar 2 (IL) It is an honour for me to be here today, representing the Govt of Sri Lanka following the historic Presidential election that took place in my country 48 days ago on 8th January 2015. As this august assembly would be aware, 81.52% of the registered voters in Sri Lanka from all parts of the island including the former conflict affected areas in the northern and eastern provinces exercised their franchise at this election. more..

Repeal genocide resolution before devolution talks, troop moves

Mar 3 (CT) A man or woman must have the courage of his or her convictions. If you do something, do so because you think it is right. If you oppose something, do so because you think it is wrong. If you’ve done something because you think it is right, say so, defend your choice, and give reasons why you thought it was right, if only at that time. If you’ve opposed something, explain that opposition, giving reasons why, at the time, you thought it was wrong. If you’ve remained silent, more..

Ranil drives Yaha-pala-naya down the Pal-lung

Mar 3 (CT) On February 27 the “My-3” Troika, consisting of Chandrika Bandaranaike, Ranil Wickremesinghe and Maithripala Sirisena, passed its half-way mark on its vaunted pilgrimage to political nirvana which, they said, would be achieved in 100 days. This is the solemn promise they gave the people and, unless they are to be dismissed as a pack of con artistes, their word must be taken seriously. So it’s time to do a reality check to find out, among other things, more..

Postal services hit by labour shortage

Mar 3 (SO) Telemails are faster than telegrams. The Postal Department which is running at a loss can be made a profitable institution or even brought to break even point by introducing modern services, Postmaster General Rohana Abeyratne said. He said we cannot depend on traditional services alone to drive growth. Telemails are also used by the same people who use telegram. Telemails are being used by the govt and more..

Ranil’s comments on Media raise eyebrows

Mar 3 (NS) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe last week, raised eyebrows by publicly accusing several Sinhala language newspapers of being in the payroll of former President Rajapaksa and attempting to create communal disharmony. Stating that he would be calling a meeting of media heads and their owners to discuss the situation, Wickremesinghe went onto say that he would ‘see to it’ if any of those he invites did not turn up and called on the public to conduct ‘occupy’ style protests at more..

Still on the drawing boards

Mar 3 (NS) The delay in implementing the electoral reforms has given rise to several questions as to whether the coming election should be held under the existing electoral system; the present preference voting system or whether it should be replaced with a mixed system. According to the agenda of the 100-Day program of the new govt, electoral reform has been given priority. Before the Presidential election, Maithripala Sirisena as a candidate pledged to introduce a mixed system, more..

I've been framed! Squeals Malaka

Mar 3 (CT) "My father was on the verge of a crucial political decision and this was blocked by a particular official, framing me for a crime that I did not commit". The notorious night crawler that he was, that is until the Courts restrained him from entering night clubs. Ceylon Today spoke to the young and free-spirited Malaka Silva, the son of MP Mervyn Silva. There is much more than the so called 'Bad Boy' image attached to him. more..

Can South Africa succeed where India and Norway had failed?

Mar 3 (SL) Now that a new Govt has settled down to work in Colombo, an official South African team is back in the country, trying to take forward their post-war truth and reconciliation efforts from where they had left under the predecessor regime of President Rajapaksa. All told, the present double-barrel gun comprising President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe should be the welcome change that any peace facilitator in Sri Lanka could do with yet South Africans’ job more..

Human Rights and 50 days of Sri Lanka’s new Presidency

Mar 3 (GV) It’s now 50 days since Sri Lanka’s new President took oaths on 9th Jan 2015. This is an attempt to reflect on the first 50 days of the new Presidency. It’s not meant to be comprehensive assessment of the 50 days, but a reflection based on my personal experiences, what I’ve seen and heard in my travels around the country interacting with various people and also what I’ve read. There were three striking things for me in terms of the oath taking ceremony itself. more..

'Unethical for UNP to dissolve Parliament'

Mar 3 (CT) Former UPFA Minister, Anura Priyadharshana Yapa, claims the UNP Govt in office has no majority and it is unethical for such a govt to talk of dissolving Parliament as the current House had been elected by the people for six years. Sharing of power is a good idea; Yapa said that if a minority cannot form a govt, it should invite the majority in the opposition to form a govt. Yapa is the General Secretary of SLFP. more..

Editorial: No rotis, please!

Mar 3 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena is in the same predicament as a pregnant woman being forced to push and deliver by a bunch of clockwatching midwives in a mighty hurry. He is coming under increasing pressure to deliver on his promise to change the Constitution and the electoral system before April 23, when Parliament is expected to be dissolved. Leader of the NMJS Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera has, at a recent meeting, expressed his displeasure at more..