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Rajapaksas finalise Presidential candidate

Mar 17 (CT) MP Dilan Perera said as discussed earlier they will vote against the budget, however, he was interrupted by SLFP General Secretary Dayasiri Jayasekara and UPFA General Secretary Mahinda Amaraweera who insisted that they should abstain from voting. When Dilan Perera was adamant on voting against MP Jayasekara sternly reminded him of the need to stick together as a group. As a result, Second Reading of the Appropriation Bill more..

Royal snatch dramatic one wicket victory

Mar 17 (ST) Royal regained the Mustangs Trophy after a lapse of five years with a thrilling one wicket win over traditional rivals S. Thomas’ in the 44th Mustangs Trophy encounter played at the SSC grounds yesterday. The architects of the Royal win were Kamil Mishara, Ahan Sanchitha and skipper Kavindu Madarasinghe in the early part of their run chase and then Lahiru Madusanka who with his calypso style batting shocked the Thomian supporters. Lahiru single-handedly took more..

Bonding with Bonds

Mar 17 (ST) It was all about bonds — rhetoric or bonding–with-bonds talk in Parliament this week, with speakers from both the Govt and the opposition lambasting the Central Bank for selling international bonds at high interest rates. Much of the criticism came from a school teacher-turned-economist (Bandula Gunawardene), accountant-turned-politician (Ravi Karunanayake, whose pet hate – judging from the number of times he has pummelled this institution – is the Central Bank) and more..

SA complete 5-0 sweep after DLS win

Mar 17 (CI) It was perhaps a merciful ending, though an utterly frustrating one for spectators at Newlands. South Africa were on course for another big victory, with 91 runs to get - eight wickets and 132 balls remaining - when the floodlights failed. The teams went off the ground and the crowd hoped that the electricians and engineers could rectify the problems, but 90 minutes after play stopped, the umpires had had enough. more..

England Women record massive win

Mar 17 (CI) England's women launched the Sri Lanka leg of their Asian campaign with a comprehensive 154-run victory in the first ODI at Hambantota, thanks to a powerful batting performance with runs all down the order, backed up by incisive seam bowling with Katherine Brunt once again to the fore. After winning the toss and choosing to field first, Sri Lanka's hopes of restricting England to a manageable total were dented from the outset, thanks to a 114-run opening stand more..

The red-letter day of Sri Lankan cricket and Dalmiya’s hand

Mar 17 (Island) It was on a day like this (17th Mar), 23 years ago, Sri Lanka were crowned World Champions in Lahore beating Australia by seven wickets in the 1996 final. The architects of that stunning win and how an unfancied team went onto beat India twice in India before overcoming tournament favourites Australia will be spoken for a long time to come. Clint Eastwood’s movie Invictus on how South Africa went onto become World Champions in rugby beating All Blacks more..

Asian Youth Athletics C'ship: Dashing Navishka wins 400m Silver

Mar 17 (CT) Quarter miler Navishka Sandeesh dazzled the arena with a personal best, winning a Silver medal in the 3rd Asian Youth Athletics Championship in Hong Kong yesterday. Competing in the Boys’ 400m finals from lane five, Navishka brought out his customary fast finish when he ran neck and neck in the last few metres with Gold medalist Abdul Razak of India, almost but not quite passing him to reach the tape first. more..

Richmond win after Mahinda’s sporty declaration

Mar 17 (SO) Skipper Thavisha Abhishek made a fighting knock of an unbeaten 99 in 92 balls to guide Richmond College to victory over their arch rivals Mahinda College by six wickets in their 114th Lovers Quarrel big match cricket encounter at the Galle int'l cricket stadium yesterday. The Mahindians made a sporty declaration on the second day yesterday to leave Richmond with a 215 runs target in 45 overs which made the result possible. Abhishek then hit six fours and two sixes more..

Hathurusinha’s blind side moves leave Sri Lanka in tatters

Mar 17 (SO) Chandika Hathurusinha was a man who could have demanded anything he wanted and it was given to him on a platter by a desperate Sri Lanka for whom he once batted and bowled for a monthly wage that can be only be considered a pittance in present day earnings of sportsmen. As a coach he saw the most fertile ground right before his eyes to cash in and Sri Lanka in turn saw him as the only hope and promise of a future and possibly a second World Cup that has eluded a nation more..

Stock market still in the doldrums

Mar 17 (ST) The Colombo share market is (stuck at) exactly where it should be, a top capital market and investment professional opined. Reasoning out this take on the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), National Agency for Public Private Partnership Chairman Thilan Wijesinghe, Chief Guest for the 7th Capital Markets Conference mid this week noted in his keynote address that there are serious shortcomings by all stakeholders more..

Moratuwa battle ends in a tame draw

Mar 17 (ST) The 69th Battle of the Gold big match between traditional rivals St. Sebastian’s and Prince of Wales played at the De Zoysa Stadium in Moratuwa ended in another stalemate. The outcome of the encounter was visible when play ended on day one with the Cambrians taking first lease of the wicket making 194 runs and Sebs ending the day on 43 for 1. The second day’s play saw St Sebastian’s skipper Nuwanidu Fernando hitting a swashbuckling 102 to lift them to 220 for 8 declared. more..

President visits World Agroforestry Center in Nairobi

Mar 17 (GDI) President Maithripala Sirisena, who is in Nairobi, Kenya to attend the UN Environment Assembly, yesterday visited the World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF) headquarters in Nairobi at the invitation of Director General of the center, Dr. Tony Simons.The Center carries out globally significant agroforestry research and provides specialized expertise for sustainable management, protection and regulation of natural forests and forest reserves. Knowledge produced by ICRAF enables more..

Boru Show: Bribery commission files one case of corruption of over Rs10mn in decade

Mar 17 (EN) Sri Lanka's anti-bribery commission had only filed one case for corruption involving a sum of over 10 million rupees, and no convictions since over the last 10 years, a governance activist had pointed out. Chandra Jayaratne an activist called for a review to find out why the bribery office had failed to meet public expectations. "I believe it is my duty as citizen activist committed to and championing more..

Sri Lanka pick 84 for World Cup

Mar 17 (SO) A total of 84 players including schoolboys have been picked by the national selectors to play in the SLC Inter-Provincial fifty-over cricket tournament to be played in Dambulla and Pallekele from April 4-11. This tournament will be used as the yardstick to pick the SL squad of 15 for the World Cup in England and also the SL captain for the mega event. The four players in line for the captaincy have been appointed to lead the four teams that will play in provincial tournament, more..

Grand Opening of KOBE at the Waters Edge

Mar 17 (CT) Waters Edge opened its latest authentic Japanese Restaurant KOBE on the 15th of March 2019, the restaurant will feature an extensive Japanese food and beverage menu which will cater to all Japanese food enthusiasts in Sri Lanka. Waters Edge is renowned for its great food and calming ambiance, KOBE is yet another venture that will further enhance this feature making it the ultimate venue to taste authentic dishes from across the globe. more..

Video: Two arrested in Ja-Ela identified as Bumma’s accomplices

Mar 17 (AD) The two persons arrested at Niwandama area in Ja-Ela with over 15 g of heroin have been identified to be the main accomplices of the organized drug smuggler Kennedy alias Bumma. One of the arrested suspect named Suminda Madushanka alias Sanka is connected the recent double murder which took place on the Hekitta Road in Wattala. On 13th Jan, a group who had arrived on a vehicle more..

Evolving Colombo with positive social and urban transformation

Mar 17 (SO) John Keells Properties is playing an informational role in driving a positive social and urban transformation, Head of John Keells Properties, Nayana Mawilmada said. John Keells Properties held an event promoting its Tri-Zen apartments at the Vauxhall Street block of land recently. The event featured a presentation by Mawilmada providing insight into property market trends in SL. The presentation focused on broader macro level figures on the Western Province. more..

The enduring relevance of Tamil nationalism

Mar 17 (Hindu) For the first time since the end of the SL civil war in 2009, the political discourse in the State has been subsumed by the simple narrative of Hindutva vs secular parties for the upcoming Lok Sabha election, pushing aside the Tamil nationalist demands (and criticisms) that were raised during the last few elections. The unified call for the release of seven Tamils convicted in the Rajiv Gandhi Assassination case may still be heard in the State, but core demands like more..

'Fences mended between us and the Prez'

Mar 17 (Island) President Sirisena has agreed to forge ahead with the UNP govt as there is enormous potential for both sides to continue their political future as a single, united team, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. He said that there was a move to defeat the expenditure votes of the President but it was averted in a last minute discussion. "If Prez wants to defeat us then we must act against it & defeat him. That is politics. more..

Budget 2019: Tax experts welcome measures to support biz community

Mar 17 (SO) The 2019 Budget has shown some consistency in policy and incorporated proactive measures to support the business community which in turn could contribute to the Govt’s coffers to sustain social welfare services to the country, tax experts said. The reduction in the Economic Service Charge (ESC) rate from 0.5% to 0.25%, the 14% tax concession on income derived from exports and extending the word exports to entrepot trade, logistics services, freight forwarding, more..

China bank approves $ 1b loan for expressway

Mar 17 (ST) After nearly four years of negotiations, Sri Lanka has obtained a US$ one billion (Rs 178 billion) loan from China Exim Bank for the construction of first stage of the Central Expressway project. The delay in completing negotiations for the loan is estimated to cost an additional Rs 12 billion, which includes escalation of the cost of building materials and currency fluctuations. The approval for the signing of the MoU between the China Exim Bank and the SL Govt came last week more..

Rs. 2.3b to maintain CIABOC, but only 1 case involving more than Rs. 10m filed in court

Mar 17 (ST) In the last decade, the CIABOC has filed only one case in court where the alleged inducement was in excess of Rs 10 million. But the cost of maintaining the Commission over the same period has been more than Rs 2.3 billion, data obtained through a Right to Information (RTI) request shows. There have been no cases filed for the offence of corruption where the amount involved in alleged crime was more than Rs 25 million. more..

Amunugama slams U.N. HIgh Commssioner’s report

Mar 17 (Island) The report of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, due to be discussed at the ongoing proceedings of the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva was slammed by senior politician Sarath Amunugama as "an atrocious piece of writing containing lies, half lies and highly contestable statements" on the situation in Sri Lanka in the last few years. Amunugama, who has held senior cabinet appointments in UNP and UPFA govts, leaves for Geneva tonight more..

1,790 arrested with drugs and illicit liquor

Mar 17 (AD) A total of 2,646 persons have been arrested during a special island-wide police operation to apprehend narcotics and illicit liquor. The police operation was carried out between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. yesterday (15) on the instructions of the IGP. During the operation, police have arrested 1,790 individuals on charges related to drugs and illicit liquor. In addition to this 623 suspects with pending warrants and another 101 connected to various crimes were arrested, police said. more..

President Sirisena’s new political challenges

Mar 17 (ST) President Maithripala Sirisena left behind new political quagmires as he emplaned last Wednesday for the Kenyan capital of Nairobi. The visit there was for the high-level segment of the fourth assembly of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) from March 11 to 15. This event is expressly for ministers or officials of the UN body which numbers 125. Sri Lanka is formally represented at the UNEP more..

A budget whose policy side does not matter

Mar 17 (Island) "Our determination to pursue a liberal outward oriented economy is more steadfast than ever. . . We are creating a new breed of private enterprise, where success is through merit and the market operates on a rules-based level playing field. Sri Lanka needs a private sector free from the protectionist mind-set that continues to hold back our country’s development and modernization". MangalaSamaraweera, Budget Speech, March 2019. more..

Will Marapana play Ace or Joker @ UNHRC

Mar 17 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena, known for changing his mind on crucial issues has done it again. His delegation comprising of former Ministers and UPFA MPs Sarath Amunugama and Mahinda Samarasinghe together with Dr. Suren Raghavan, Governor of Northern Province to attend the 40th session of the UNHRC in Geneva announced last week has now been scrapped. Their purported mission was to seek the possibility of withdrawing from the Geneva Resolution. more..

March 12 Movement theorises archetype candidate

Mar 17 (CT) What makes an ideal President? This will be the question on the minds of more than 15 million voters who will go to polls this Nov, to elect the seventh Executive President of SL. The March 12 Movement recently held a public forum to debate the idea of the dream President. Among the essential criteria, the majority agreed on, were – education, ability to develop the country, someone who understands plight of the poor, more..

Govt allocates Rs. 29 billion to resolve housing problem, says Sajith

Mar 17 (SO) Minister Sajith Premadasa said Rs. 29 billion has been allocated to resolve the housing problem of 356,540 families from 2015 to 2019 compared to Rs.5.6 billion from 2010 to 2014 to construct houses for 105,000 families. Minister participating in the Committee Stage debate on his Ministry in Parliament said the Govt has commenced a housing revolution covering the whole country. more..

Final decision on Mannar mass grave site on March 22

Mar 17 (SO) Team of forensic investigators and representatives of the Office on Missing Persons (OMP) are scheduled to meet with Mannar Magistrate on Friday (22), to take a final decision on the mass grave site at the Lanka Sathosa premises in Mannar, Chief Investigator & Consultant JMO Mannar, Dr. Saminda Rajapaksha, said. He reiterated that the radio carbon dating report would not be the final authority more..

Development Technology and e-govt will soon be a reality: Minister

Mar 17 (Island) Minister Ajith P. Perera, said development technology and e-govt will soon be a reality in Parliament and govt departments. The future will be that delays and excuses for inefficiency will no longer be tangible escape bungs that stifle progress. Addressing a professional audience at CxO Forum in Colombo last week, he noted that different formats for official certificates could now be obtained digitally. more..

NPC orders reinstatement of top officer; probe on his explosive allegations

Mar 17 (ST) National Police Commission (NPC) has ordered the immediate re-instatement of an officer in charge of a specialized unit fighting crime and started investigations into explosive allegations he has made. The officer concerned had alleged that a senior, higher ranking officer, allegedly wanted him to kill a drug suspect arrested for a second time. When he had refused to carry out what he called an illegal order, more..

No move to appoint acting principal for Royal College: PM

Mar 17 (Island) There is no move to appoint a very young and inexperienced principal with just two years service as Acting Principal of Royal College, PM Wickremesinghe said, amidst fears expressed by the Royal College Union (RCU) that such an appointment is on the cards. RCU last week resolved that it would pursue and implement every action necessary including legal recourse to resist such an attempt. more..

Teacher unions demand less admin work, salary equity

Mar 17 (ST) Providing more quality time for teaching instead of overburdening teachers with unnecessary paper work was among the demands made by unions during this week’s token strike that crippled classrooms. Ceylon Teachers’ Union General Secraetary Joseph Stalin said that education authorities demand reports on matters not related to teaching and that creates more administrative work for teachers. more..

Govt and Opposition MPs ask Speaker for formal inquiry into Ramanayake’s allegation

Mar 17 (Island) Both govt and opposition lawmakers requested the Speaker to conduct a formal inquiry as State Minister Ranjan Ramanayake’s allegation that 24 MPs and Ministers use cocaine has resurfaced, bringing into disrepute all 225 MPs. Raising a Point Order, UPFA MP, Dullas Alahapperuma said both the print and electronic media have once again reported State Minister’s claim that some MPs use cocaine. more..

Over 7,000 devotees at Katchchathivu feast

Mar 17 (ST) More than 7,000 Catholic devotees on both sides of the Palk Strait gathered at the Katchchathivu islet yesterday to celebrate the annul feast of St Anthony, considered by the faithful to be the guardian of fisherfolk communities on the oceans. The Feast High Mass was conducted in Tamil by by Rev Fr Joshep Lurduraj of India and in Sinhala by Rev Fr Robinson Wijesinghe. more..

Gota 2020 gets MR’s blessing?

Mar 17 (SO) Reports surfaced this weekend that former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa had finally submitted an application to the US Embassy in Colombo to revoke his US citizenship earlier this month, making his entry into the 2019 presidential race almost certain, if he can renounce his dual citizenship status in time. The application was reportedly handed over on March 6. Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s formal application to more..

Richard: Whose life guides my own

Mar 18 (CT) I never really knew my uncle Richard. I was five when he was murdered on Feb 18, 1990, and would have just entered kindergarten. The earliest reference of him came through a childhood incident that involved his mother, Manorani Saravanamuttu—Babbia Sinnamma to me. For a period after his death, Babbia Sinnamma lived in our house, in Colpetty. She had two Ridgebacks, a male and a female. The grumpy male was Porgy, and the sprightlier female, Bess; titular characters of more..

Historic betrayal of SLMC & ACMC

Mar 18 (CT) It appears, according to a news report that the leaders of SLMC, ACMC and DPF during a meeting with Prez to discuss constitutional reforms have reneged on their promise to back the ongoing efforts to abolish the executive presidency. Unless these leaders prove the report wrong, their turncoat behaviour tantamount to a betrayal of historic proportion as far as the Muslim community is concerned. Muslim politicians, with rare exceptions, are best known for their opportunistic more..

Roads not taken and their destinations

Mar 18 (GV) On the night of Jan 2nd, 2006, five students were killed in Trincomalee. Shanmugarajah Gajendran, Lohitharaja Rohan, Thangathurai Sivanantha, Yogarajah Hemachandran and Manoharan Rajihar, all of them either engaged in or about to engage in higher studies, had gathered near the sea front to celebrate the New Year. A bomb was thrown at them from a passing three-wheeler, and the injured youth more..