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'Lift Wushu Sanda ban in schools'

Mar 25 (CT) Early in 2007, Wushu Sanda was banned by former Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena following an incident that occurred during the annual Schools Wushu Championship, wherein a Sanda participant from D.S. Senanayake College was injured during the competition and later succumbed to his injuries. The foregoing incident occurred due to a lack of referees and judges suitably qualified to conduct more..

Salt harvesting begins in Hambantota

Mar 25 (DN) The annual harvesting of the Hambantota saltern has started with Hambantota, Palatupana, Bundala and Kohalankala salterns also starting harvesting. The chairman of the Lanka Saltern Ayub Khan, the director board and management initiated the harvesting after the religious observances. `They hope to get 54,000 metric tons from the Hambantota saltern, 19, 000 metric tons from the Bundala saltern, 17,000 metric tons from Palatupana saltern in 2019. more..

Havies end 38-yr wait to clinch Clifford Cup

Mar 25 (CT) Havelock SC downed a scrappy Air Force SC with a classy 40 points (4 converted tries, 4 penalties) to 21 (3 converted tries) win at the Race Course Grounds yesterday – clinching the prestigious Clifford Cup, shattering a 28-year jinx and writing a new chapter in Rugby history. After being the runner-up in the League tournament, the Havies lads led by skipper Niroshan Fernando’s reached the heights last recorded by the Park club way back in 1981 under Anjelo more..

SA complete 3-0 sweep after big DLS win

Mar 25 (CI) The final limited-overs match of this tour followed the form of so many matches between these two teams over the past few weeks. Sri Lanka failed to make regular breakthroughs through South Africa's innings - Reeza Hendricks and Dwaine Pretorius combined to put on 90 for the second wicket. The hosts then produced a strong finish, JP Duminy clobbering 34 off 14 balls, as SA surged to 198 for 2 from their 20 overs. more..

Sportaholic who finally chose athletics

Mar 25 (CT) The five-member 4x400m relay team (A. Premachandra, K. Sahabandu, K.T.N. Perera, S. Dharmasena, Ranjit Aluvihare (Reserve), Sunil Jayaweera (Coach) and Ranjit Weerasena (Chef-de-Mission) was given the green light to participate in the 1980 Moscow Olympics, whereas cyclists Boniface Perera, G.H. Henderson and rifle shooters Daya Rajasingham & D.B.M.P. Dassanayake were kayoed by Sports Minister Vincent Perera. Earlier, diver Janaka Biyanwela was withdrawn. more..

Sri Lanka in line to host Asian badminton

Mar 25 (SO) Sri Lanka badminton officials are holding discussions with the Asian Badminton Association to host the Asian Junior Championships in October for the first time in history. SL Badminton Interim Committee president Nishantha Jayasinghe said the discussions were highly successful and both parties have already agreed to conduct this junior tournament in Colombo. SL badminton chief further said that at his request two Asian officials, Chief Operating Officer Kenny Goh Keong more..

Hathuru stays on, de Mel as Team Manager

Mar 25 (ST) National Cricket Selectors and Head Coach who were at loggerheads for several weeks have decided to iron out their differences and work towards a successful World Cup campaign in England. This was after SLC decided to retain the services of their beleaguered Head Coach Chandika Hathurusingha for the World Cup despite mounting pressure on the Board to remove him following a string of poor results. more..

Melwa group invests Rs. 1.4 bn for pharmaceutical manufacturing plant

Mar 25 (DN) Melwa Group, a diversified business corporate in steel related industry, ventured into the healthcare sector, investing Rs. 1.4 billion to set up a pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Ja Ela. The project would create 300 employment opportunities. This pharmaceutical manufacturing facility is a joint venture with the State Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Corporation (SPMC), and technical know-how from Nova Pharmaceuticals. more..

Bowlers set England up for resounding T20I win over Sri Lanka women

Mar 25 (CI) Another strong performance by England's bowlers carried their side to a resounding victory in the first women's T20I against SL in Colombo. Just as they had in Katunayake to set themselves up for a 3-0 sweep of the ODI series on Thursday, England's bowling attack, this time led by Linsey Smith's 3 for 18, restricted SL to a total of 94. Tammy Beaumont's unbeaten half-century meant visitors made light work of the chase, reaching 95 for 2 to win by 8 wickets with 34 balls to spare. more..

MGR swag in Colombo’s busiest marketplace

Mar 25 (Hindu) S. Manickam (48) has no qualms about being overdressed or receiving curious glances at Colombo’s Old Town Hall market at Pettah, where he works as a daily-wage labourer. Sporting a shiny shirt, trousers, a tie and sunglasses, he throws all the weight of his lean frame forward, forcing the push cart ahead. “I follow only my thalaivan’s (leader) philosophy,” he says. Known popularly as the MGR lookalike more..

11 TN fishermen arrested by Sri Lankan Navy

Mar 25 (PTI) The fishermen, hailing from Rameswaram, have been taken to Karainagar in Sri Lanka, Tamil Nadu Fisheries Department Assistant Director Yuvaraj said. Eleven Tamil Nadu fishermen were arrested by the SL Navy near Neduntheevu for allegedly fishing in the island nation’s waters, an official said here Sunday. The fishermen, hailing from Rameswaram, have been taken to Karainagar, Tamil Nadu Fisheries Department Assistant Director Yuvaraj said. Their 2 boats were also seized. more..

Sri Lanka goes from boom-bust to bust-bust with soft-peg

Mar 25 (EN) Sri Lanka is going from boom-bust to bust-bust in this credit cycle despite the injection of excess demand into the economy by the central bank, with currency depreciation and capital outflows taking their toll and a Weimar Republic style default looming due to the soft-peg. SL has had boom-bust cycles in the past primarily due to central bank's failure to allow rates to rise as credit demand picked up in the recovery period. The Federal Reserve however is raising rates as more..

Video: Nation building would be easy if 50 out 225 MPs were intellectuals: President

Mar 25 (AD) If someday, at least 50 of the 225 MPs represented academics and intellectuals building the country would not be a difficult task, says Prez Sirisena. President points out that the country needs the support of academics, researchers and intellectuals to overcome the economic, social and the environmental challenges faced by the in the country today. Prez has made these comments addressing Uni Research Excellence Awards more..

Tripitakabhivandana Week commences in US

Mar 25 (FT) In keeping with Prez Sirisena’s decision to declare the Tripitakabhivandana Week from 16-23 March to mark the declaration of the Theravada Tripitaka as a national and world heritage, the Embassy of SL in Washington DC, under the patronage of four Buddhist temples in Washington DC and Maryland, organised a series of religious events from 16-24 March. Tripitakabhivandana Week commenced with Maryland Buddhist Temple and Washington Buddhist Vihara hosting more..

'Prevailing heat won’t affect cultivation'

Mar 25 (ST) There has been little or no overall increase in rainfall between February and March, the Meteorology Department’s Director of Weather Forecasting, A R Warnasooriya said. Ms Warnasooriya said in addition to high temperature readings, the heat carried by the wind is adding to the general discomfort experienced by the public. Limited cloud cover meant that ground heat was more intense too. She said the prevailing heat should subside by mid or late May. more..

Govt aims to make development accessible to people: Mangala

Mar 25 (FT) Minister Mangala Samaraweera said the refinery project was only part of the Govt’s larger plans to increase exports and improve FDI to make development accessible to all Sri Lankans and create an affluent middle class. Speaking at the inauguration of $3.8 billion refinery project in Hambantota, he said trade and investment must come together so that SL can grow without depending on debt, as was done in the past. more..

CCC celebrates 180 years serving the business community

Mar 25 (FT) Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) was founded on 25 March 1893 for the purpose of best promoting the interests of commerce and was among the very first group of chambers established in Asia. The Chamber has grown from having 26 memberships at its initial stages, to just over 600 today – with an outreach of 8,500 institutions. 29 of the current members have been members of the Chamber for over 100 years. Over the last 180 years, the CCC has diversified its services more..

Helboda Indian housing project inaugurated

Mar 25 (FT) In a special event at Helboda Estate in Nuwara Eliya, 98 houses built under the Indian Housing Project were handed over to the beneficiaries jointly by the High Commissioner of India to SL Taranjit Singh Sandhu and Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera. Present was for Hill country New Villages, Infrastructure and Community Development Minister Palany Thigambaram, Lands and Parliamentary Reforms Minister Gayantha Karunatileka, and Minister V. Radhakrishnan. more..

Major drug bust on high seas

Mar 25 (CT) A group of nine Iranians were arrested along with 107 plus kilograms of heroin valued at Rs 1.2 billion in a joint operation, carried out on the high seas off the Southern Galle Coast, by personnel from PNB, STF and Navy during the early hours of yesterday morning. A deep sea fishing trawler that was transporting the heroin along with the Iranians was apprehended exactly 10 nautical miles from Akurella Coast in the Galle area, more..

Sri Lanka concerned over IMF link in Japan expressway loan: report

Mar 25 (EN) A loan from Japan to build an expressway has exit clause where the SL has to repay it if a program with the International Monetary Fund is cancelled or disbursement withheld. Sunday Times said the lender had wanted disputes to be arbitrated in Japan instead of a neutral venue like Singapore or UK. The report quoted Priyantha Ratnayake, director general of the external resources department of the Treasury as saying that SL was not agreeable to such conditions more..

Video: 20A is brought to prevent a presidential election: Wimal

Mar 25 (AD) MP Wimal Weerawansa says that the reason behind JVP bringing forward the 20th Constitutional Amendment is PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. There is no stopping to former Defense Minister Gotabaya Rajapaksa winning the upcoming presidential election, stated the MP. According to Weerawansa, bringing forward the 20th Amendment to the Constitution is an attempt to prevent a presidential election. He mentioned this addressing a public meeting in Avissawella. more..

Largest ever FDI sign of working govt: PM

Mar 25 (FT) Kicking off the $3.8 billion refinery project, billed as the largest Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to be received by Sri Lanka, in Hambantota yesterday, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe outlined ambitious plans to attract investment from multiple countries, establish new industries, and promote tourism to achieve an economic transformation in the region. Speaking at the inauguration, PM was upbeat that more..

Environmentalists to file lawsuits

Mar 25 (CT) Several Environmental Organisations are to file lawsuits against the construction of a petroleum refinery and a cement factory in Hambantota, for which the foundation stone was recently laid by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. The environmentalists claim that the refinery and cement factory can cause serious damage to the environment and the wildlife in the area. Bundala Bird Sanctuary and Hambantota Salt Swamps can be seriously affected by petroleum refinery more..

Diplomats delve into tourism industry

Mar 25 (FT) Drawing from their experiences, foreign diplomats from a range of countries last week recommended Sri Lanka focus on sustainable tourism, while improving on the areas of taxation, visa guidelines, skilled labour, air connectivity, public transportation, brand positioning, mindful construction and infrastructure development as key policies that the Govt should focus on to develop tourism. Last week’s Fireside Chat 2019 featured envoys from the UK, EU, Netherlands, more..

'Power-cut schedules not official'

Mar 25 (CT) No official power-cut schedules have been announced by the CEB so far, confirmed its Chairman Rakitha Jayawardena. He denied all the rumours about power-cut schedules that are being spread. Jayawardena claimed that the public is greatly inconvenienced by the unannounced intermittent power cuts and they are illegal. He added that if the Ministry could announce certain power cut schedules through more..

Punditry and blackouts

Mar 25 (Island) The govt has, after weeks of dilly-dallying, published an official power cut schedule. There have been unofficial power cuts, for a couple of weeks, though the govt sought to deny that they were being imposed. This is why the people do not believe anything until it is officially denied. An attempt was made to attribute power cuts to the failure of one generator at the Norochcholai coal-fired power plant, but it was obvious that the power crisis was due to other factors. more..

PM celebrates his 70th Birthday

Mar 25 (DM) Where do I begin? I think I should start from the very first time I met Ranil when he was 4 years old. The memory is still vivid in my mind. His beautiful, stately, dignified mother, the late Nalini Wickremesinghe, the first Buddhist head girl of Bishops College, brought Ranil to start at the Kindergarten at her Alma Mater, following her mother and grandmother. I was an assistant trainee teacher and perhaps because our families were acquainted, she handed him over to me, more..

Manohara counters Sumanthiran’s push for foreign judges

Mar 25 (Island) Top Constitutional lawyer Manohara de Silva, PC, urged the govt to counter Jaffna District TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran’s challenge to drag Sri Lanka before the International Criminal Court (ICC). Referring to Sumanthiran’s unprecedented warning in Parliament on the previous day, Manohara de Silva emphasized that the four-party TNA wasn’t interested in reconciliation. Instead, ITAK-led alliance more..

New UNHRC resolution must lead to faster progress: AI

Mar 25 (AI) Responding to the adoption today of the draft UNHRC Resolution 40/L.1, co-sponsored by SL, Amnesty International’s South Asia Director, Biraj Patnaik, said: “The adoption of the draft UNHRC Resolution 40/L.1 is an important step in the pursuit of justice for the victims of alleged int'l crimes during Sri Lanka’s decades-long internal conflict. With this resolution the int'l community should actively engage with SL towards more..

'Continuing Prez-PM dispute causing uncertainty'

Mar 25 (Island) Wartime Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa asserted that the current dispensation had no way of justifying the massive propaganda campaign it was engaged in. Rajapaksa said that the country was in a sorry state for want of a stable govt. An economically stable govt would remain a dream as long as Sri Lanka lacked political stability. Recollecting the challenges faced by the then PM Mahinda Rajapaksa more..

Buddhika drops further bombshells on food we consume

Mar 25 (Island) Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists consumed pork, beef, etc. including the hooves of animals thanks to milk powder companies and ghee sellers, Deputy Minister Buddhika Pathirana told Parliament. "This is outrageous. ghee made of bovine gelatin and palm oil is being sold in the market. That adulterated ghee is knowingly or unknowingly used to make fried rice and biryani in food outlets, vegan food serving hotels and more..

Govt says SCRM functioning

Mar 25 (CT) The Govt of SL, in its report, Comments/Remarks on Questions sent by Foreign Affairs Ministry, on 15 March 2019 to the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR), explained that the Secretary to the Secretariat for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms (SCRM) resigned during the early stages of the post-glacial crisis in 2018 and the contacts of several directors that lapsed more..

SL refugees to return from South India

Mar 25 (GDI) 24 families who went to South India as refugees during the conflict era are to be return to Sri Lanka on 26 March and 28 March 2019 under the voluntary repatriation scheme facilitated by the UNHCR. 54 members belong to 24 families are to be return to Sri Lanka via Sri Lankan Airlines UL-122 on 26 March 2019 and UL-138, UL-132 and Emirates Airlines EK 654 aircrafts. There are 24 men and 30 women among them. more..

'Estate sector women should enter politics'

Mar 25 (CT) Minister Palani Digambaram said that if the estate people need a change and a better future, the young generation should come forward and replace the corrupt people who enjoy power in the upcountry. The minister speaking on the International Women’s Day celebration held on 20 March, at the Hatton D.K.W. Cultural Hall, said that women of the estate sector should enter politics. more..

Scheduled power cuts from today onward

Mar 25 (AD) The CEB has issued a time table of the scheduled daily power cuts which will be imposed around the island from today (25) onward. According to electrical engineers, the limited power generation due to lack of rainfall in catchment areas and the increased demand for power due to the dry climate has resulted in these scheduled power cuts. Power interruptions were reported from various parts of the country more..

Tissa’s case: plaintiffs & defense ready to table settlement

Mar 25 (AD) The plaintiffs and respondents in the case against former UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake over fabricated documents have informed the Colombo High Court that they are willing to arrive at an amicable settlement. The Attorney General had filed the case against the former UNP General Secretary of UNP, under the Int'l Convention on Civil and Political Rights for disrupting the amity between nations by more..

Central Bank ex-Deputy Governor, Perpetual directors arrested

Mar 25 (EN) A deputy governor of Central Bank and directors of a dealer in govt securities linked to the biggest securities scam in the island have been arrested, police said. Retired Deputy Governor Pathinige Samarasiri, and directors of Perpetual Treasuries Ranjan Hulugalle, P Gunewardene, and Muthuraja Surendran were arrested by the CID. Perpetual Treasuries was involved in securities scams involving more..

Handagama’s Asandimitta: Not mere psychoanalysis; sociocultural, political

Mar 25 (FT) SL’s award winning film director, Asoka Handagama, screened his latest creative work, Asandimitta, before an invited audience in Colombo last week. This was a prelude to its public release, which was to be commenced immediately. Handagama is normally considered a women’s man because the themes of all his past movies had centred on women who had been victimised by society in one way another. His Channa Kinnarie focused on the plight of the single mother more..

Electricity generation moving as planned by saboteurs

Mar 25 (Island) There is only one decision on which the current President and the PM agreed with each other wholeheartedly: that is to cancel the Sampur power plant, in 2016. It was a decision to kill, and not to develop, the electricity sector. Even a decision to kill a project would have been compensated, at least partially, if the duo swiftly commenced a systematic approach to build a gas import terminal and gas-fired power plant, but that was not to be. On 15th May 2016, more..

Wasantha Samarasinghe