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Dhananjaya de Silva rates Rawalpindi hundred his second best in Tests

Dec 17 (CI) Dhananjaya de Silva has rated his 102 not out in Rawalpindi the second-best of his six centuries, behind his maiden ton, against Australia in 2016. Having arrived at the crease on the first afternoon, with Sri Lanka losing four wickets for 31 runs, de Silva steadied the innings alongside Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella, and Dilruwan Perera, with whom he forged 50-plus partnerships. more..

Kasun Rajitha ruled out of Karachi Test

Dec 17 (CI) Fast bowler Kasun Rajitha has been ruled out of the second Test against Pakistan due to a left hamstring strain. Rajitha had bowled only six overs on day five in Rawalpindi, owing to the injury he had picked up during his new-ball spell. He took the wicket of Shan Masood, but was off the field for much of Pakistan's first innings. Rajitha is the second SL quick to be ruled out of the series. Before the tour began, spearhead Suranga Lakmal became unavailable after contracting dengue. more..

Moratuwa Sports Club in a quandary

Dec 17 (ST) Moratuwa Sports Club has been asked to vacate the De Soysa Cricket Stadium premises within seven days by the Moratuwa Municipal Council as they have occupied the premises owned by the council without paying rent for over seven decades. The council’s decision was intimated to the club in August this year, giving them two week’s notice to vacate and a further reminder has been sent three months later. However, the club continues to occupy the place disregarding the directive more..

Video: MR regime hell-bent on political vendetta: UNP

Dec 17 (DM) UNP General Secretary Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said there was no legal provision to have abducted the family members of the former driver of MP Champika Ranawaka. “Investigations into the accident involving MP Ranawaka concluded years ago and cannot be reopened,” he said, adding that this incident reflected that Rajapaksa Govt was hell-bent on taking political revenge. "This govt came to power with more..

Nurses disentitled to special allowance of Rs.15,000: Official

Dec 17 (DM) Nurses or similar grade employees in the public service are not entitled to the special allowance of Rs.15,000 paid to executive grade officers from January 1, 2020, a senior official of the Public Administration and Home Affairs Ministry said yesterday. Secretary to the Public Administration Ministry, S. Hettiarachchi said the special payment would only be paid to executive grade officers compliant with a Cabinet decision taken on October 1 this year. more..

Leadership agitators creating unnecessary problems

Dec 17 (DM) Bhikkhu wing of the UNP, Eksath Jathika Bhikkhu Peramuna (EJBP), said yesterday 24 MPs who agitated for a leadership change attempted to create unnecessary problems within the party in the context of MP Sajith Premadasa refusing to accept any post. EJBP President Ven. Bopitiye Dhammasara Thera and Secretary Ven. Thiniyawala Palitha Thera told a press conference that Mr. Premadasa clearly informed them that he did not intend to hold any post in the party. more..

Ranil says not ready to follow agenda of groups for leading the party

Dec 17 (FT) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe stated that he is ready to execute a plan prepared by the party as a whole team without working individually or in groups for the future victory of the party. Wickremesinghe said that all should work together for strengthening the party and to appoint a new look and a new class of leadership by 2020 and 2025. Former PM was speaking at a media briefing held at Sirikotha more..

U-19 Triangular Series: England beat SL

Dec 17 (DN) SL suffered their first defeat in the ongoing Tri-Nation Under 19 cricket tournament in West Indies when they lost to England by four wickets in a league match played at Coolidge Cricket ground, Antigua on Sunday. Invited to bat first SL could muster only 113 in 42.4 overs the batting collapsing to England’s new ball bowlers George Balderson and Scott Currie who between them shared six wickets. Top scorer for SL was wicket-keeper/opening bat Kamil Mishara more..

Victim is me not her, says Gota

Dec 17 (FT) Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa claimed that given the serious charges levelled against him, he was a bigger victim than the female employee of the Swiss embassy currently embroiled in controversy over her alleged detention and abuse. Prez yesterday updated the editors of media organisations on ongoing investigations into the alleged incident reported by the Swiss Embassy employee concerning her recent purported detention, questioning and abuse by more..

Sri Lanka to ban foreign contractors from state projects

Dec 17 (EN) Sri Lanka will ban foreign contractors from competing for state project and give a slew of benefits for domestic construction companies, a govt policy for for the next five years said. Sri Lanka will all state construction work for the domestic construction firms the policy document said. The reduced competition could push up profits of construction firms and raise the cost of state procurement costs overall, analysts say. more..

SriLankan adds 18 more destinations through codeshare with Qatar Airways

Dec 17 (Island) SriLankan Airlines is adding 18 more new cities in Europe, North America, South America and the Middle East through the expansion of its codeshare agreement with its oneworld partner Qatar Airways, bringing its global route network to 127 destinations in 56 countries. Vipula Gunatilleka, Group CEO of SriLankan Airlines said: "SriLankan is delighted to introduce many new travel options to our valued customers around the world. We have built a strong partnership with more..

Chandani Werapitiya appointed DG of SLTDA

Dec 17 (DN) Chandani Werapitiya, a Senior Banking Professional, Lecturer, Global Speaker and a Panelist in int'l forums with 32+ years’ experience has been appointed as the new Director-General of SL Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA), the mother organisation of Tourism in SL. Before joining SLTDA, she served as the Senior Deputy General Manager of People’s Bank, alternate Board Director of IBSL (2012/2019), Vice Chairperson in Int'l Chamber of Commerce (2016/2017), more..

'Govt adopting double standards on MCC'

Dec 17 (DM) While claiming that the govt was adopting double standards on the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), JVP said the govt should abolish not only the MCC pact but also other agreements such as Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) and Acquisition and Cross Servicing Agreement (ACSA) as promised before the prez election. JVP Propaganda Secretary Vijitha Herath told a news conference that more..

Ashok Pathirage appointed Chairman of SriLankan Airlines

Dec 17 (CT) Top businessman, Ashok Pathirage has been appointed Chairman of the national carrier SriLankan Airlines. Newly-appointed President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has said that he has set a high bar for appointments to State-owned enterprises such as SriLankan through a committee, to turn them into profitable businesses. Pathirage is the Chairman/MD of the Softlogic Group, which operates in SL's retail, healthcare, financial, technology, leisure and automobile industries. more..

US builds skills of English teachers from across Sri Lanka

Dec 17 (USE) On Dec 7 and 8, the U.S. Embassy hosted 40 teachers from across Sri Lanka for a two-day Access Teacher Training in Colombo. A U.S. embassy-funded micro-scholarship program, Access teaches students English and leadership skills for two years. English Language specialists from the United States conducted the training, which included lessons on critical thinking, leadership skills, community service, personal development, and U.S. culture and values. more..

Businesses urged to pass on tax-cut benefits to consumers

Dec 17 (RN) Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa in a wide-ranging press conference held in Colombo yesterday urged businesses in SL to pass on the benefit of the tax cuts to the consumers. “We removed a complex tax structure and brought in a simple one. Prices of everything from food, construction material to soap and toothpaste should have come down. But we found that prices of some commodities have actually risen” he said. more..

Chinese-funded Lotus Tower project: Local board of directors to manage operations

Dec 17 (DM) The govt will appoint a local board of directors to overlook and manage the operations of the Chinese-funded Lotus Tower project once it completes construction next year, State Minister of Investment Promotion Keheliya Rambukwella said. When the project was declared open by former President Maithripala Sirisena on September 16, he said the tower would be opened to the public a week later, but it continues to remain closed due to pending construction work. more..

International drug cartel linked to SL busted

Dec 17 (Island) Narcotics Control Bureau in India has busted an international drug cartel with links to Sri Lanka and several other countries. Nine suspects had been arrested and narcotics worth about Indian Rs 1,300 crore had been seized. The anti-narcotics agency said it seized one of the largest quantity of Cocaine in the country, at 20 Kgs, from a drugs syndicate spread across Delhi, the national capital region, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra, with global links in Australia, more..

Swiss concerned at the arrest of staffer

Dec 17 (RN) The govt of Switzerland is expressing concern at the arrest of their Embassy staffer by police and is calling for due process to be followed, warning that “in this high-profile case Sri Lanka’s reputation as a country that upholds the rule of law is at stake.” Yesterday the CID arrested Garnier Banister Francis the embassy Visa Assistant who alleged that she was abducted by unknown armed men who more..

Prez promotes 63 Army officers to next ranks

Dec 17 (AD) Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces with the concurrence of the Ministry of Defence and recommendations of the Commander of the Army, Lt Gen Shavendra Silva has promoted a total of 63 Senior Officers to their respective next ranks. This is one of the largest segments of promotions, made in recent times. 4 officers have been promoted to the rank of Major General, 25 to the rank of Brigadier and 34 to the rank of Lt Colonel, more..

President says 19A will be abolished

Dec 17 (CT) Insisting there is nothing good in the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa said it will be completely repealed. "A Constitution must be clear. If it is bound to create confusion, disputes and lacks clarity, there is absolutely no reason why such provisions should be kept in the Constitution," he said during a meeting with newspaper editors and heads of electronic media institutions at the Presidential Secretariat. Prez said, the complications are such that more..

GR goes for national unity via inclusive prosperity

Dec 17 (FT) Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa drove home the point that it was largely socioeconomics and security and less politics that would ensure true national unity in the country, which he said would rebound next year leading to inclusive prosperity. Speaking for the first time to media editors since assuming office, Prez made a host of emphatic pronouncements as part of his strong belief as to how SL could be led to become more..

Death of teenager at hospital: Suspects released on bail

Dec 17 (Island) Suspects arrested in connection with death of Uwais Fathima Jabra (14) at Batticaloa Teaching Hospital due to an alleged overdose were produced at Batticaloa magistrate court last Thursday (12), and were released on personal bail of Rs. 500,000 each and ordered to appear in court on Jan 8. The teenager who had gone to the clinic at BTH for cancer treatment had passed away while being treated there. Parents complained that they suspected their daughter more..

Pujith, Hemasiri appeal for bail before Court of Appeal today

Dec 17 (Island) The Application of Appeal by IGP Pujith Jayasundara and the former Secretary Defence Hemasiri Fernando will be called in the Court of Appeal today. These two petitions have complained against the remand order issued against them by the High Court of Colombo. They were arrested by the CID, for negligence of duties, which had allegedly paved the way for the Easter Sunday suicide attacks on April 21, 2019, at St. Anthony’s Church, Kotahena and several other places. more..

Video: Lawyers claim wife, daughter and mother of Champika’s driver abducted

Dec 17 (RN) Colombo Magistrate’s Court ordered the Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) to produce a report on the progress of the investigations carried out on MP Patali Champika Ranawaka and his driver with regard to a motor accident in 2016. The case was taken up before Colombo Additional Magistrate Kanchana Niranjala de Silva, today (16), over a motion filed by the attorneys representing the parliamentarian. more..

A tale of two elections

Dec 17 (DM) The general elections in the UK are now over and done with. Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party whose platform was Brexit now, swept the board so-to-say, seizing seats from the Labour party in its traditional heartlands. Johnson’s Conservatives captured 364 of the 650 seats in the House of Commons. Except for Scots in the north, who voted overwhelmingly for the resurgent SNP (Scottish National Party). A triumphant night saw them (SNP) take seats from all 3 other more..

Lanka and Japan to enhance ties based on past goodwill

Dec 17 (DM) Japan, which was the single largest source of development funds for SL before the muscular entry of China following the end of the civil war in 2009, is now keen to re-establish its presence in the island to contain China’s inroads. And SL, under Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa, is equally keen to open its doors to Japanese investment and development aid. The reasons for Lanka’s wanting to do so are three-fold: to develop its war torn economy; to safeguard its sovereignty from more..

Street art vs patriotic arts: Downside of in your face patriotism

Dec 17 (DM) After Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s assuming of the office of presidency, a wave of street art sprung up and spread across the country like a bushfire. The official version is that it was spontaneous civic-minded volunteerism by disparate groups of local youth who felt inspired by the unfolding political change. Mr Rajapaksa’s graduation to civilian affairs after the end of the war was via the secretary of more..

Who burnt one of South Asia’s biggest libraries?

Dec 17 (DM) Retired DIG Edward Gunewardene [EG]’s speculative allegations sans provable facts on the Jaffna library inferno in June 1981, stirred up a hornets’ nest six years ago when he accused the LTTE rebels of the crime. A memoir by the retired police officer, leaks a best-kept police top secret for three decades–was it the LTTE that torched the Jaffna Public Library? Built in stages starting from 1930s, as a private collection, more..

Artificial toddy racket sweeps western, southwestern coastal areas

Dec 17 (ST) A thriving artificial toddy racket continues to result in the govt losing millions of rupees in tax revenue while also seriously endangering public health. By mixing a small quantity of natural coconut toddy with water, sugar, yeast, ammonia and salt, the racketeers produce a large quantity of artificial toddy. The racket is widely prevalent in the Kalutara and Puttalam districts, according to sources. more..

37% of agricultural families in Nuwara Eliya living at the mercy of landlords

Dec 17 (Island) 37% of agricultural families in Nuwara Eliya do not own a household whereas their counterparts in all other districts report pretty impressive percentage numbers in terms of living in their own houses. Agricultural Household Survey 2016/2017 shows that there are 81,522 agricultural households in Nuwara Eliya, but in stark contrast to other 24 districts, only 63.2% of the agricultural community there lives in their more..

Rights body urges probes into attacks on media

Dec 17 (CPJ) Sri Lankan authorities must thoroughly investigate several recent attacks against journalists, hold those responsible to account, and ensure that journalists can report freely in the country, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On Dec 6, a group of men beat Thusitha Kumara de Silva, a reporter for the Daily Mirror and LankaDeepa newspapers, and his wife with helmets and sticks near their home in Beruwala, more..

Sri Lanka to control sale of raw minerals to foreigners, bulk tea exports

Dec 17 (EN) Sri Lanka is to control the exports of mineral in raw form to foreign buyers and discourage exports of bulk tea, a policy document for 2020-2035 released by the govt said. Exports of currently identified natural resources including mineral sands, dolomite, phosphate and gems will be restricted in raw form. Sri Lanka will implement programmes to get higher prices for those through value addition before export more..

200 bogus foreign job operators busted

Dec 17 (CT) Over 200 bogus foreign job recruiting agencies were busted from the start of this year and a top official urged the general public to be extra vigilant when choosing a recruiting agent. The agents that were rounded up from time to time had carried out their illegal businesses without an operating licence for a considerable period of time in many parts of the country, a senior official with the SL Bureau of Foreign Employment said. more..

State universities lack data science units: IPS

Dec 17 (RN) Only two state-owned Sri Lankan universities have set up units to train data scientists who are in high demand, the Institute of Policy Studies, a Colombo-based think tank, said. “As it stands now, Sri Lanka fails to meet the expected demand for data scientists due to a lack of skilled graduates from a data science background,” Malitha Gooneratne, a former project intern at IPS said in the think tank’s blog. more..

SL ranked 102nd in 2020 Gender Gap Index

Dec 17 (NR) Sri Lanka has been dropped two places to 102 in the World Economic Forum’s 2020 Gender Gap Index released today. Sri Lanka has dropped from 100 in 2018 to 102. While Iceland remains the world’s most gender-neutral country, India has moved down the ladder from its 108th position last year to rank below countries like China 106, Nepal 101, Brazil 92, Indonesia 85th and Bangladesh 50th. Yemen is ranked the worst more..

Sri Lanka to launch first all-electric supercar

Dec 17 (DN) An emerging local hi-tech innovation company is set to take the automobile world by storm when it begins rolling out Sri Lanka’s first all-electric supercar named Vega next year. The target launch date is April, 2020. The master builder of the Vega, techno-entrepreneur Harsha Subasinghe, CEO of CodeGen told news media following a test drive last week that the so-called supercar will be launched at more..

Opt for simple & productive electoral reforms

Dec 18 (DN) As we all know, the Yahapalana Govt. failed to introduce the promised Electoral reforms. Therefore, in the wake of the forthcoming General Elections, I as a concerned citizen, wish to enlist simple proposals for electoral reforms together with benefits accruing therefrom to the country and reckon that they can be introduced with the 20th amendment without going for a referendum. Repeal the infamous, optional Preference Voting System and introduce a District merit list of nominees. more..

Swiss Embassy employee’s case: A critique

Dec 18 (FT) The case of the alleged abduction and harassment of the Swiss Embassy employee is causing concerns at the level of bilateral diplomatic relations. The details of the episode that have come out into the open indicate several involvements of a suspicious nature suggestive of ulterior motives. Besides the realities surrounding it, certain steps reported to be contemplated as below by the Embassy have led to this escalation. The preparation to transport the alleged victim in more..

'Sri Lanka is stable and safe already'

Dec 18 (CT) State Minister Kanchana Wijesekara, says since last year, 143 tea factories have been closed. "About four million people depend on the tea industry. Our main aim is to reopen closed factories, with govt assistance." Q: The Govt is three weeks old now. How do you see that period? A: People of this country wanted a stable govt, and their hope has been fulfilled. During the past 5 years, we saw the crisis created by more..