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Mathews, Chandimal to tour Pakistan as Sri Lanka name full-strength Test squad

Nov 29 (CI) Pakistan will be hosting Test cricket for the first time in more than ten years, that too against a full-strength Sri Lanka line-up, in Dec 2019. Dimuth Karunaratne will lead the Sri Lanka side, with experienced batsmen Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal present in the 16-member squad. The team leaves for Pakistan on Dec 8 to play two Test matches that will count towards the World Test Championship. more..

Mahinda meets Sri Lanka banks on debt relief, proposal in a week

Nov 29 (EN) PM Mahinda Rajapaksa who is also Finance Minister has met top executives of SL’s banks to discuss giving a debt moratorium to troubled companies. “Banks promised to come back with a proposal within a week,” Economic Advisor to the PM Nivard Cabraal said. Any such relief will also have to be discussed with the Central Bank, he said. Cabraal had proposed before the election that a relief of up to 18 months be given to borrowers whose loans had fallen into default, more..

Canada offers $2 million for landmine clearance in northern Sri Lanka

Nov 29 (RW) Canada has offered $2 million for landmine clearance in northern Sri Lanka, Canadian Govt said. “Unexploded landmines prevent local populations from living and working on their lands in more than 60 countries. Every year, 7,000 people lose their lives and thousands more are injured in areas contaminated by these weapons around the world. “Which is why, yesterday, Canada reaffirmed its commitment to the Ottawa Convention by announcing $8.3 million to support more..

All boards of SOE’s, statutory bodies dissolved

Nov 29 (DM) All chairpersons and board members of state-owned enterprises, regulatory bodies and other statutory institutions have been asked to resign by a special circular issued by Finance Ministry today. Therefore, all management bodies of those institutions will stand dissolved. Ministry said all ministry secretaries had been informed about this regard. Moreover, it said the govt had summoned all political appointees more..

Stabilisation of Sri Lanka's governance

Nov 30 (CT) Corruption is the enemy of development, and of good governance. It must be got rid of. Both the Govt and the people at large must come together to achieve this national objective. SL is finally on the path to stabilisation of governance with the appointment of the new Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa and PM Mahinda Rajapaksa. In the interim administration, a caretaker Cabinet with 15 Minsters and relevant State Ministers with new Secretaries to Ministries have been more..

Sri Lanka: In need of wise laws

Nov 30 (CT) It is the greatest of men who take to politics, and they do so due to the fear of being ruled, in their abstention from politics, by those who lack greatness and are below them. That was Plato talking. Greatness of a ruler is not found in him simply being a ruler, but in being able to produce wise laws – laws that are good for everyone, both at present and in the future. If there was no wisdom in his laws, then there is no true greatness in his rule – whatever is perceived as greatness is more..

Patient first: Powerful message from the Sri Lanka Orthopaedic Association

Nov 30 (ST) It was not just about treating injuries and diseases of our complex musculoskeletal system which includes bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles and nerves, but an evening where the core of the healer’s vocation was put under the spotlight. The patient being in the very bones of those gathered for the inauguration of the 11th Annual Academic Sessions of SL Orthopaedic Association (SLOA), was evident from more..

UNP needs a 100-day revival plan before parliamentary polls

Nov 30 (CT) The UNP — the party I am affiliated with — is now grappling with the after-effects of a landslide defeat at the recently concluded Prez election. Its candidate, Sajith Premadasa, lost with a resounding margin of 1.4 million votes. Although many assumed the election would be a neck-to-neck fight, the SLPP candidate, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, crossed the finish line with ease, even without any notable support from ethnic minorities. Sajith Premadasa was — and still is — more..

South Asian Games 2019: Sri Lanka out to create history

Nov 30 (CT) Sri Lanka SAG team took wing to Nepal yesterday with the aim of creating history at 13th South Asian Games (SAG) 2019 from 1-10 Dec in Kathmandu, Nepal. Over 500 athletes will take part in 26 events. Earlier, there were plans for 27 sports, but paragliding was excluded by the organising committee in early November since there were no players to compete in the event. All the events, according to rules needed to have a minimum of 4 participating nations, such not adhering to more..

Wattala-Mabole council’s shady land deals ignore dire local needs

Nov 30 (ST) The Wattala-Mabole Urban Council is facing severe criticism for continually leasing out or selling council land without due tender process while rate-payers lack basic facilities that could be provided with proper use of the land. The scandal has reached such proportions that earlier this month parliamentary watchdog, COPA, ordered that a committee headed by a retired judge be constituted to investigate council’s more..

SL President makes first foreign visit to India

Nov 30 (DM) Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa is now on a visit to India - his maiden foreign tour. On the other hand, India was the first country that seems to have taken the election of former Defence Secretary as the SL’s President so important that it sent its External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishanker within a day after his swearing in. Dr Jaishanker was said to have taken a personal message from Indian PM Narendra Modi as well. Though New Delhi had been the first diplomatic destination of many SL more..

Prez Gotabaya and the fears of the West

Nov 30 (DM) With ceremonies redolent with symbolism, followed by administrative moves that sent clear messages to the public, Gotabaya Rajapaksa took office as the President of Sri Lanka signalling a clarity of purpose and a no-nonsense approach to his duties that lay ahead. The indications are that his tenure will be very different from those of the presidents before him, including that of his brother Mahinda. Unlike previous presidents, Gotabaya is not a politician. more..


Lanka awaits US Embassy response: May pull out of Caribbean tour

Nov 30 (DN) Sri Lanka Cricket said that it has made an appeal to the US Embassy to reconsider the visas of seven players selected to tour the West Indies with the Sri Lanka under 19 cricket team. The visas of seven players were rejected by the US Embassy thus putting the tour to the West Indies in jeopardy. The team was to leave for the West Indies via USA yesterday but due to the visa issue the departure has been postponed. “We have made an appeal to the US Embassy with regard to more..

Editorial: Prez at BIA

Nov 30 (Island) President Gotabaya Rajapaksa seems to have learnt from the blunders of the previous Rajapaksa govt, which snatched defeat from the jaws of victory at the 2015 prez election, so to speak. He left for India, on Wednesday, without causing inconvenience to anyone. He went through the normal departure terminal, avoiding the VIP area, which politicians with extra-large egos love to use. He left on a commercial flight with a group of ten officials. more..

Environment needs a Ranil Clean-up

Nov 30 (Island) Using the Environment Police to clean some of the Colombo beaches is certainly a welcome move. The move to clean the walls of Colombo of the thousands of jarring posters, advertisements is also a welcome necessity. The question that arises is why was all this dirt allowed to be on the beaches all this time, and these ugly display on the walls of the main city kept until the new Prez of Sri Lanka more..

The men who beat M.J.M. Lafir at Billiards

Nov 30 (Island) Born on Feb 26th 1941 in Laxapathiya, Moratuwa. His grandfather owned and operated a billiards table at the Colombo Airport Recreation Club, Ratmalana. When the family later moved to Jaya Mawatha Ratmalana. Young Sirisena came to help his grandfather back in 1952, just about a year before Sir John Kotalawala, who was the patron of the Club, became the PM. He sometimes stayed till late and slept in the premises and went to school from there. more..

New Leadership

Nov 30 (CT) The recently-concluded Prez election put an end to much of the heated political disputes in Sri Lanka giving Sri Lankans the opportunity to go about their day-to-day lives, again. The last Prez election was rather special because to the surprise of many, Sri Lankans decided not to follow traditional politicians, and instead, put to the test a fresh leader - Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa. However, Mahinda Rajapaksa's appointment as the new PM rendered the Opposition Leader post vacant, more..

Devuwin shatters 19-year-old record

Nov 30 (Island) Former Taxila Kanishta and present Royal College, Horana athlete Busanda Devuwin stretched the Under-13 boys’ long jump record mark by 15 centimetres as records continued to fall on day two of the Sir John Tarbet Junior Athletics Championship at the Sugathadas Stadium on Friday. Devuwin broke a 19-year-old record when he cleared 5.50 metres, while second placed T. Sandil of St. Peter’s, more..

SLCSMI hopeful of a better future for MSMEs

Nov 30 (Island) Rohan de Silva, president of SL Chamber of Small and Medium Industries on behalf of all members of the Chamber conveyed their heartiest congratulations to President Gotabaya on his being elected as the 7th Executive President of SL. In their letter he says- ‘The massive and unprecedented number of votes and the majority you received at the election clearly indicates that the people of our country have placed their trust and confidence in you to revive the country more..

Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Bahrain meets the Bahrain Defence Commander-in-Chief

Nov 30 (Island) Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the Kingdom of Bahrain Pradeepa Saram met with the BDF Commander-in-Chief Field Marshal Shaikh Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Khalifa recently. While conveying greetings and best wishes to the newly appointed ambassador for a successful tenure in Manama, Field Marshal Shaikh Khalifa referred the deep-rooted cordial bilateral relations between SL and Kingdom of Bahrain even before the formal diplomatic relations were established in 1992. more..

'Recent tax reductions could pose major challenge to long term stability'

Nov 30 (Island) Recent tax reductions which were introduced to stimulate the economy are likely to support lower inflation and higher economic growth in the short term but they are a major challenge to long term stability, CB Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy said. "The govt should have a structure that stabilizes the economy without allowing the economy to overheat. This fiscal stimulus package should help more..

Huge opportunity for e-Commerce in Sri Lanka: MAS Kreeda CEO

Nov 30 (CT) Despite Sri Lanka seeing 32 million mobile subscriptions - a number higher than its total population - the market share of e-Commerce in retail sales is only 0.5%, highlighting a huge opportunity for growth in Sri Lanka's e-Commerce sector, noted MAS Kreeda CEO, Sarinda Unamboowe. Speaking at the SL Retail Forum 2019, he said that Sri Lankan entrepreneurs shouldn't restrict themselves to the SL market, but rather think globally with the use of technology. more..

PM asks Swiss Embassy to allow access to allegedly detained employee

Nov 30 (FT) PM Mahinda Rajapaksa said that the Swiss Embassy has so far failed to allow access to the employee who was allegedly detained and threatened by a group of unidentified persons last Monday, and this was slowing the investigations. “So far we have third-person reports on what happened, so it is difficult for the investigators to piece together how the incident took place,” the PM told reporters at the event where Vasudeva Nanayakkara assumed duties as State Minister for Water Supply. more..

JVP claims White Van culture is back

Nov 30 (Island) White van culture is back on track and has been resumed by abducting an employee in the Swiss Embassy paving the way for a diplomatic embarrassment, JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti said. He said: "Hot on the heels of govt assuming office, the white van abduction culture has been resurrected. Director of CID Shani Abeysekera has been demoted and transferred. Another CID officer has fled the country more..

Cinnamon Life office tower to open in March

Nov 30 (DN) One of the iconic landmarks of Colombo and the single, largest, private investment in SL (US$ 1 b) Cinnamon Life by John Keells Group, is rapidly progressing where the structural work of all buildings are now complete. “Cinnamon Life office tower would be ready to be handover by March 2020. In addition, the residential buildings, the hotel and the mall will be completed by March 2021,” said Chief Marketing Officer and Executive VP of John Keells Group, Roshanie Moraes. more..

Water tariff to remain: Vasudeva

Nov 30 (CT) "Water tariff would not be increased under any circumstances during the next three months", so said State Minister of Water Supply and Facilities, Vasudeva Nanayakkara He said although a minority of the people had access to adequate water, the majority were suffering from a lack of it. He also said, a large amount of funds were available in the Ministries to make due payments to external institutions. Payments were delayed due to unplanned programmes of the previous govt. more..

Limited policy space for fiscal stimulus: CB

Nov 30 (FT) The Central Bank yesterday kept policy rates unchanged to balance the large stimulus package announced by the Govt this week and called for a structured and appropriate policy mix to utilise the limited policy space created through years of fiscal consolidation prudently. Releasing its latest monetary policy announcement, the Monetary Board of the Central Bank said it had decided to maintain more..

National Audit Office recommends legal action against former Basnayake Nilame

Nov 30 (DN) National Audit Office has recommended taking legal action against former Basnayake Nilame D.P. Kumarage and other responsible parties pertaining to the alleged misuse that had taken place at the Ruhunu Maha Kataragama Devale. The above recommendation was given in an audit report released last month. The audit examination had been carried out on the Buddhist Affairs Commissioner General’s request following instructions by Attorney General more..

Navy condemns alleged comments made by Jagoda

Nov 30 (DM) Navy vehemently condemned the alleged comments made by Pubudu Jagoda of the FSP at a press briefing relating the Navy on an issue connected with the settlement of Muslims in the Wilpattu area. Navy stressed they were not maintaining any kind of tourist resorts in Silawathura, Mullikulam and Gangewadiya where naval establishments are in existence, as highlighted by Mr. Jagoda in his statements. “Apart from that, Govt and the Navy have already given away more..

Keheliya values stimulus package at Rs.550b

Nov 30 (FT) New State Minister of Investment Promotion Keheliya Rambukwella valued the stimulus package at Rs. 550 billion, while noting that the Govt was confident of growth and fiscal management. Officially assuming duties at the Ministry at the World Trade Centre in Colombo, he said SL would continue to focus on streamlining investments and facilitation process to attract direct investments and lay a strong foundation to more..

Showery condition likely to enhance today

Nov 30 (AD) Prevailing showery condition over the island, particularly in Northern, North-Western, Sabaragamuwa, Western and Central provinces and in Anuradhapura district, is expected to further enhance today (30), according to the Department of Meteorology. Showers or thundershowers will occur at times in Northern, Eastern, North-Central, Uva, Central and Southern provinces. Showers or thundershowers will occur elsewhere after 1 p.m. Heavy showers of about 100-150 mm are more..

Limit to Presidential candidates: Legal framework a must: PAFFREL

Nov 30 (CT) The People's Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) will put forward several proposals concerning campaign finance regulation, limiting the number of Presidential candidates contesting at future Polls, seeking justifications on the nominations of each future national list MP, and reducing the number of Local Govt representatives. Executive Director of PAFFREL, Rohana Hettiarachchi said they would also release their post-Prez Poll interim report next week. more..

Manohara warns: Solve Swiss mystery or face the consequences

Nov 30 (Island) Manohara De Silva, PC, urged the govt to conduct a no-holds-barred inquiry into high profile accusation that its agents abducted a local employee of the Switzerland mission in Colombo, and questioned her before releasing her. Responding to Switzerland demanding an inquiry into the alleged abduction on Monday (25), the top lawyer said that it would be the responsibility of the govt to ensure a thorough inquiry. more..

TNA urges Govt to fulfil UN commitments

Nov 30 (DM) TNA Leader R. Sampanthan has urged President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his govt to fulfil the commitments made by Sri Lanka at the UNHRC and warned that if not, Sri Lanka would lose its legitimacy in the international arena. He said that Sri Lanka should avoid making fresh representations to the UNHRC as it had already co-sponsored a resolution. "If Sri Lanka keeps avoiding its international commitments, it will soon lose its legitimacy and be termed a failed state. more..

Sajith likely to be Opp Leader: Mano

Nov 30 (DM) UNP Dy. Leader Sajith Premadasa is expected to be nominated to the post of Opposition Leader in the Parliament as per the understanding arrived at discussions held today (29). MP Mano Ganesan said that a decision had arrived at a discussion between UNF leaders and UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and later at the discussion held between Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, and UNP Leader and the Dy Leader Sajith Premadasa. Accordingly, final decision would be made by more..

Swiss Embassy says its employee in deteriorating health

Nov 30 (FT) Swiss Embassy last night issued a statement regarding the incident that took place on Monday (25) night involving one of its local employees, saying several false pieces of information are circulating in the reporting of this incident. “On 25 Nov, a serious security incident involving an employee of the Embassy of Switzerland in Colombo occurred. The employee was detained against her will on the street more..

Undergrads demand review of Jayamaha's pardon

Nov 30 (CT) A group of undergraduates held a protest in Colombo Fort against the release of Royal Park murder convict Shramantha Jayamaha on a Prez pardon. They demanded that the procedure of the pardon be reviewed and insisted the need for Constitutional amendments pertaining to matters such as the Prez pardon. One protester said that a broad dialogue is needed to address the adverse impacts of such clauses through which any guilty person could be set free. more..

Swiss embassy incident; CID denies its involvement

Nov 30 (DM) While stating that an investigation has been initiated by the CID over the alleged detention and questioning of a local employee of the Swiss embassy, Police Headquarters denied allegations claiming its involvement in the said incident. In a statement SSP Ruwan Gunasekara of the Police Media Division said that the police had sought further information from the Swiss embassy and accordingly the embassy had provided certain information yesterday with regard to incident. more..

PM Narendra Modi likely to be first guest of new Sri Lankan govt

Nov 30 (IT) India and Sri Lanka held the first bilateral meeting after the new govt of Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa took over. India was fast to move-in to invite the SL President to India, making this his first port of call since he was sworn in. The two sides discussed all aspects of ties, specifically economic and security cooperation. The fruitful talks concluded with press statements wherein Prez Rajapaksa invited PM to more..