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'Christchurch century in 2014 taught me what Test cricket was about'

Dec 25 (CI) Likely to finish 2018 as the leading run-scorer among openers, and fifth among all batsmen, Dimuth Karunaratne talks about his preparations for the final Test of the year, at Hagley Oval, where seam bowlers usually tend to dominate. Q: Last time you played at Hagley Oval you made 152 in the second innings. What's it like to come back years later to a ground where you've had success? A: When you go to a place that more..

We've always found a way to win: McMillan

Dec 25 (CI) New Zealand have trounced West Indies 2-0, squeezed past England 1-0, snatched a series away from Pakistan 2-1 in UAE, and now the series against SL comes down to one Test in Christchurch. With the chance to go 4-0 in terms of Test series in the last year, this is the opportunity to move up one spot to third in the Test rankings - reward for long-term excellence in the format, despite a frustratingly light Test schedule. "[Four consecutive series] wins would mean a lot to more..

Rebirth at Christmas

Dec 25 (Island) Suresh was bored and anyone seeing him while seated in a shopping mall in Colombo could easily see it. He was thankfully seated while his wife shopped for clothes and gifts for Christmas, but his thankfulness did not reflect in his face. Though he stared out of the window, nothing, simply nothing of the passing scene registering on him. He couldn’t help nodding away at times and it took his wife’s tap on his shoulder to bring him back to the here and now. more..

'ICC Anti-Corruption HQ may shift to SL'

Dec 25 (CT) Minster of Sports Harin Fernando paid a visit to the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Headquarters and said that he is awaiting for the green light from the ICC before appointing an Interim Committee in his endeavour to clean up SLC. “Several mega-scale corruptions which took place at SLC have been coming to light lately. I have had discussions with the ICC Anti -Corruption Unit in Dubai. There have been several revelations more..

K.M. Nelson turns 80

Dec 25 (DN) Good evening and a warm welcome to all friends, relatives and family of Lord K. M. Nelson fondly known to us as Nelli. We are gathered this evening to celebrate a milestone event, the 80th Birthday of this very special person, our dear friend Neill. When I look back on the past five decades, there is much to be said of his achievements. If I had to cover all aspects —we will be here till Christmas. To keep it short and simple, his life has revolved around 3 core segments. more..

Srilanka launches its NSDI program to improve the use of spatial data

Dec 25 (GW) With the aim of improving the use of spatial data and promote SMART and spatial based decision making, the Govt of Sri Lanka launched a National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) program, as well as Geoportal platform. NSDI has been identified as one of the key initiatives under the National Digital Policy – Digitalization of the Economy by the Govt of Sri Lanka. Since its inception in 2016, the primary focus of NSDI is to create world-class infrastructure and more..

Finance Ministry directed to fund flood relief: PM

Dec 25 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe directed the Finance Ministry to release funds to provide relief to thousands of people faced with floods in the north and central provinces, PM’s office said. The directive from the PM came after Disaster Management Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara undertook a visit to the affected areas on Monday and presented a report of the scale of the disaster to Wickremesinghe, more..

SLIIT funded a research grant

Dec 25 (CT) SLIIT, the nation’s largest degree awarding institute also recognised for excellence in research, has funded a research grant to develop a groundbreaking Autism Assessment Tool. While an Autism diagnosis covers a spectrum of children with a wide range of skills and impairments, the diversity of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) make it difficult to correctly diagnose and treat children. Additionally, SL is also faced with the lack of autism screening tools among psychiatrists and paediatricians more..

I won't join UNP: Duminda

Dec 25 (DM) UPFA MP and former Minister Duminda Dissanayake rejected reports of him joining the UNP and said he has no intention of doing so. Responding to journalists following an SLFP electoral organisers meeting, he said he would never join the UNP. When asked about the new found harmony between the SLFP and the SLPP, Mr. Dissanayake said he was always of the view that the SLFP should be strengthened and it was the home for everyone. more..

SLPP threatens legal action if Cabinet exceeds 30 members

Dec 25 (FT) SLPP said they would take legal action if UNF exceeds 30 Cabinet members, insisting the 19th Amendment had specifically stated the maximum number of Cabinet members that could be appointed. “UNP is trying to exceed the limit of 30 Cabinet members. But this cannot be done according to the Constitution. Therefore if they are trying to violate the Constitution, we will not hesitate to take legal action more..

SL UK Mission has unpaid charges worth £ 371,003

Dec 25 (DM) The SL High Commission in the UK has unpaid congestion charges and outstanding National Non-Domestic Rates (NNDR) worth pound sterling (£) 371,003, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Jeremy Hunt said. In a written statement to the UK Parliament, Mr. Hunt said they have held meetings with diplomatic missions and international organisations about outstanding parking fine debts, outstanding NNDR payments & unpaid congestion charge debt. more..

Defence Secy calls for report from IGP

Dec 25 (CT) Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando has ordered a probe into how a 10-member Police team had continued to provide special security to the house of slain former SLPP Member of the Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia Municipal Council Ranjan de Silva, since last May, the Defence Ministry sources said. They said that Fernando has already called for a report from IGP Pujith Jayasundara. Ranjan de Silva, father of cricketer Dhananjaya de Silva was gunned down in front of his house more..

Bus fares slashed by 4%

Dec 25 (FT) Bus fares will be reduced by 4% from midnight on 26 Dec, but the minimum fare will not change. Bus fares had come under pressure after three fuel price reductions in the past few weeks. Transport Minister Arjuna Ranatunga, who assumed duties on Friday, said the price reduction had been agreed upon, following a meeting at his Ministry on Monday. “Bus fares are decided according to 12 cost segments. more..

CITES Sec. Gen. gives thumbs up for SL to host World Wildlife Conference in May

Dec 25 (FT) The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Secretary General Ivonne Higuero expressed her confidence and satisfaction on the preparation progress made by Sri Lanka Tourism to host its World Wildlife Conference in May in Colombo. Secretary General Higuero, who was on a brief visit to Sri Lanka last week, met with Minister John Amaratunga, State officials, and the event organisers to evaluate SL’s preparedness more..

Video: UNP should play its second innings politics: Ajith P.

Dec 25 (DM) The UNP should play its second innings politics after the recent political crisis carefully and diligently since there is a little left for it, newly appointed Non-Cabinet Minister of Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructure Ajith P. Perera said. “We have got a second innings to play after the political crisis. We should play it safely and effectively and see that we get a third innings to play as we don’t have much time left,” Minister said. Asked whether more..

High mercury content in hair samples of women in Kalpitiya

Dec 25 (Island) The hair samples of women from Kalpitiya Peninsula showed a high concentrations of mercury, Director of the Center for Environmental Justice, Hemantha Vithanage said. A research had been conducted to determine whether the persons living in the area had concentrations of mercury in their bodies. He said: "We conducted a research using a sample of women living in the peninsula, between the ages of 18 and 44. more..

Floods in North: GMOA asks Health Ministry to get cracking

Dec 25 (Island) GMOA had written to the Director General of Health Services, calling for dispatching doctors and support staff in adequate numbers to the flood ravaged Northern Province, GMOA General Secretary, Haritha Aluthge said. "We told him that the Heath Ministry must play a proactive role in coordinating the efforts of provincial health officials and doctors. We also wrote to the President and the Governor of the Northern Province, Reginald Cooray about what we can do," more..

25 attorneys to be appointed President’s Counsel

Dec 25 (AD) 25 attorneys-at-law are expected to be appointed as President’s Counsel during a ceremonial sitting of the Supreme Court on the 18th of January, 2019. The swearing in will take place at 9.30 a.m. on that day at the Ceremonial Court of the Supreme Court. Attorneys-at-Law who have practised as counsels in courts either in the official or unofficial bar are eligible to be appointed as PCs. The following attorneys are to be sworn in as President’s Counsel: more..

Govt to go ahead with FTA with S’pore: Original draft to be amended

Dec 25 (Island) The govt is planning to go ahead with the controversial Sri Lanka-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (SLSFTA) with some amendments to the original draft. Development Strategies and International Trade Deputy Minister Nalin Bandara, said that the govt was ready to amend some sections of the proposed SLSFTA and it had been decided to take on board recommendations made by a committee more..

President stands with all media

Dec 25 (FT) SLFP Secretary General Prof. Rohana Lakshman Piyadasa defended media organisations and said President Maithripala Sirisena supported all media to carry out their professional duties. Prof. Piyadasa, referring to a recent statement made by PM and UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe in Parliament, using the term black media, said that the SLFP did not believe in labelling media organisations and remained dedicated to creating an environment for them to report freely. more..

Christmas Messages

Dec 25 (DN) It is known that those visiting the birth place of Jesus in Bethlehem have to enter The Church of the Nativity through a narrow and short door, almost in a posture of stooping down. History has it that those who built the Church, did not want any king, knight or a mighty one to go straight to the place of Jesus’ birth in a disrespectful manner but in a posture of humility, states Archbishop of Colombo His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith in a Christmas message. more..

SLFP will contest future polls with SLPP: Prez

Dec 25 (DM) Making a firm statement, Prez Sirisena said the SLFP has decided to contest the forthcoming election jointly with the SLPP and warned that district and electoral organizers who obstructed this process would be removed from their positions. Addressing an electoral organisers meeting at the President’s residence, the President also warned organisers who offered to join and strengthen the govt to more..

Over 4,000 arrested and 5,550 traffic cases filed during special operation

Dec 25 (AD) Over 4,000 suspects including drunk drivers have been arrested during a special island-wide police operation. Total of 4,035 arrests were made during the operation carried out between 10 p.m. last night and 2 p.m. today (24). This includes 1,122 persons arrested on drunk driving charges and 885 arrested on pending warrants against them. In addition to this police have also filed 5,550 cases over traffic offences during this operation, which had been carried out on the instructions of IGP. more..

Doctor, pharmacist who smuggled narcotics to Prison arrested

Dec 25 (DM) A medical doctor and a pharmacist attached to the Welikada Prison were arrested by prison officials today while attempting to smuggle in narcotics and alcoholic drinks. The Justice and Prison Reforms Ministry said a prison officer had noticed the doctor handing over two bottles of alcohol to a prisoner to be handed over to another inmate. Based on the information of the prison officer who noticed the event, the two bottles were found in the possession of the prisoner. more..

Ex-Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya prosecuted in US on five counts

Dec 25 (EN) SL’s October coup that brought former president Mahinda Rajapaksa briefly back to power may have backfired on a close relative, ex-ambassador to Washington and fugitive from justice, Jaliya Wickramasuriya. The prospect of a Rajapaksa govt in Colombo prompted justice authorities in Washington to publicly disclose money laundering and visa fraud charges against Wickramasuriya, a first cousin of former prez, more..

Judiciary played a crucial role in halting Prez’s march to constitutional dictatorship

Dec 26 (CT) The high tech drama began on the night of October 26, at 8.30 pm. President Sirisena to everyone surprise appointed his arch-foe Mahinda Rajapaksa, MP as PM. On the following day, he fired off a letter to PM Wickremesinghe informing him that he has removed from his office of Prime Minister in virtue of powers vested in him in terms of Article 44 (2) of the constitution. President Sirisena did not know that Article 44(2) does not apply to a sitting PM. more..

Telecommunications provided by a paddy baron

Dec 26 (CT) Those of us in the unenviable position of being at the mercy of our President’s brother in the matter of the provision of telecommunication services can probably generate a great deal more heat stemming from what used to be called high dudgeon than I can when the subject of Sri Lanka Telecom’s services are being discussed. However, since no one, up to now, appears to have stated the basic facts about the unbelievably bad service provided, let me take a crack at it. more..

With a hymn in their hearts

Dec 26 (ST) Voices raised in praise, worship and thanksgiving……not for a day, a week, a year, but for a lifetime. Music and song, transcending all barriers, have been the offering of love of Jude Gomis, 55, and as Christmas draws nigh, his single-minded purpose is to give of his best along with his family to Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus whose birth is celebrated at midnight tomorrow. Born in a bare, cold cave, more..

Time to eat your words, Mr. President!

Dec 26 (ST) Last Sunday was a special day in Sri Lanka’s political history. It was the day that President Sirisena eventually got back on his feet instead of standing on his head — metaphorically speaking naturally. At the tail-end of October he had resorted to skullduggery to undermine his own government. Last Sunday, he reversed his decision after playing around with it for two months or so. It is not that he got quickly tired of his childish revolving-door politics. more..

Power corrupts

Dec 26 (DM) It would appear that the much hackneyed phrase Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely, was specifically coined to portray what is happening in our country today!!! The voters of this country have been taken for fools; we didn’t know who this moron called Maithripala Sirisena was, it was Chandrika and Ranil who foisted him on us and now we can’t get rid of him!!! We are told never to trust any leader with too much power and after the colossal mistake more..

2004 Tsunami: Bringing back memories…

Dec 26 (CT) On Dec 26, we commemorate 14th anniversary of the deadly tsunami which occurred in 2004 and affected 14 countries and millions of people, including SL. A 9.2 magnitude earthquake which was generated near the western coast of Sumatra caused Asia`s deadliest tsunami. Destruction, loss and disappointment caused distress across the world which paved the way for a large amount of money to come in more..

14th anniversary of Boxing Day Tsunami

Dec 26 (CT) Today marks the 14th anniversary of the holocaust event of Tsunami that unprecedentedly struck the coastal belt of SL in 2004. This was the first of its kind natural disaster in SL that killed and displaced a large number of people and caused a hefty economic as well as environmental damage. Fourteen years ago on 26 Dec 2004, when the people were still celebrating one of the most joyous festivals of the year, Christmas, dramatically high giant seawaves more..

Size of the Cabinet

Dec 26 (DM) he current debate over the number of ministers in the Cabinet is ridiculous and ironic. It is ridiculous because it is vividly clear that the debate is not in the interest of the people of the country. It is purely a matter of satisfying various politicians by appointing them as ministers at the expense of the people. Debate is ironic because even the people are divided over the issue with one section of the tax payers wanting the Govt to appoint more ministers with perks worth millions of rupees more..


Continuing squabbles are a severe constraint to economic stability

Dec 26 (ST) Political consensus policy certainty and effective implementation are vital for economic development. The disagreement between Prez and PM is a severe constraint to the country’s economic stability and progress. This is especially so after 52 days of political hiatus that made the govt dysfunctional and setback the economy. The uncertainly is hampering the economy seriously. A consensus and agreement among the Prez and the PM are vital for the machinery of govt to more..

Edtorial: Yahapalana cant and hypocrisy

Dec 26 (Island) The UNF leaders had the public believe that it was out of their love for democracy that they were fighting hard to dislodge the UPFA govt, which was forcibly formed on Oct. 26. But it is now patently clear that they were driven by their greed for power rather than anything else. They are doing their damnedest to expand the Cabinet to create some more ministerial sinecures for disgruntled elements among them. In a bid to achieve that end, they are looking for more..

The tsunami of epic proportions that hit SL

Dec 26 (CT) It was a perfect normal Sunday morning for Dr. S.D. Channa Perera, who at the time was the senior registrar at the office of the Colombo JMO, until he returned to his rest room to have breakfast after concluding an autopsy and switched on the television. “I was on, on-call duty that day and I couldn’t believe what I heard. As I switched on the TV news, it flashed about tidal waves hitting coastal areas. more..

Sri Lanka heads for an uncertain future

Dec 26 (DM) As a year of political upheaval and economic stagnation is winding down, Sri Lanka is entering into an uncertain 2019. Politics is as toxic as it has ever been in recent times. The illwill between Prez Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe, expressed in the most overt gesticulations, is bound to overshadow govt policy. The public euphoria over the rollback of the Constitutional coup evaporated in no time. Most tellingly, appointment of corruption- tainted Ravi Karunanayake to the Cabinet more..

New Sports Minister, new hope for cricket?

Dec 26 (DN) A change in Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) constitution reducing the voting strength of its membership has been a long standing requirement if the game is to be freed from politics, corruption, financial mismanagement etc that has affected this noble game over the years. The appointment of former Josephian sportsman Harin Fernando as the new Minister of Sports in addition to his duties as Minister of Telecom, Digital Infrastructure and Foreign Employment has renewed hopes that more..

'President asked me to tender an apology in exchange of Cabinet position'

Dec 26 (CT) Former Army Commander Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka said the President had asked him to tender an apology in order to get a Cabinet portfolio. Addressing a UNP meeting in the Mawanella area, said he would never apologize to the President for a ministerial portfolio. A harsh critique of President Mathripala Sirisena, Fonseka’s name was axed by the President at the eleventh hour when appointing new Cabinet more..