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Kandy boy equals Aravinda’s record

Apr 6 (DM) St. Anthony’s College cricket captain Hiran Wickremasekera entered his name into the record books when he became the first schoolboy from the hill capital and only the second in the history of school cricket in Sri Lanka to score a thousand runs at three successive seasons on the opening day of their inter school cricket match against Lumbini which commenced at Katugastota yesterday. In the history of school cricket in Sri Lanka, only once before has a more..

Sajith opposes Ravi-Ranjith deal proposed by Ranil

Apr 6 (Island) The Ranil Wickremesinghe camp is expected to propose the reintroduction of the Assistant Leader post, in exchange for agreeing to Sajith Premadasa loyalist Ranjith Maddumabandara being appointed National Organiser, at today’s meeting of the UNP Working Committee. The Island learns that the proposal was aimed at accommodating Senior UNPer Ravi Karunanayake, who had earlier staked a claim for the Deputy Leader’s Post. more..

Where is your commitment, asks Sampanthan

Apr 6 (DM) TNA Parliamentary Group Leader R. Sampanthan who appeared in Parliament yesterday after being absent for several months due to illness, charged that the government had gone back on its word to have a broader discussion on the Local Authorities Elections Amendment Bill. He criticized the government for presenting it to the House yesterday after assuring that the amendments proposed by the opposition would be considered. more..

Finally Dengue takes a beating

Apr 6 (IPS) Dengue infections and deaths here have declined significantly this year. "We are seeing the results" of a new campaign against dengue now, Pabha Palihawadena, director of the health ministry’s epidemiology unit, told IPS. During the first 12 weeks of the year, only 2,947 infections and 29 deaths were reported island-wide. In 2010, during the first two months over 9,600 infections and 64 deaths were reported. more..

Expect bus fare hike soon

Apr 6 (DM) Private Transport Minister C.B Ratnayake said at a press conference yesterday that a decision to revise bus fares would be made in two weeks, although bus fare revisions were normally made in July. The minister said there may be a need to raise bus fares as the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation and Lanka IOC had raised their petrol and diesel prices recently. “We have requested the National Transport Commission to provide us with all the necessary data to more..

Traders threaten to quit newly built fish market complex

Apr 6 (Island) The underworld has moved in to the newly opened fish market complex at Peliyagoda, threatening fish vendors and suppliers with death unless they paid protection money. Sources say two gangs are involved in the extortion racket. Notwithstanding the police, about 100 persons belonging to two gangs caused chaos at the complex yesterday. more..

Sri Lanka and IMF to discuss ways to rope in excess money

Apr 6 (LBO) The IMF will discuss ways to deal with the excess money in Sri Lanka's banking system in a bid to contain further inflation from being generated through the pegged monetary system. Central bank allowed inflation hit 8.6 percent in the 12-months to March 2011 prompting calls for action to contain prices. But Sri Lanka's Central Bank runs a pegged exchange rate monetary system where inflation is de facto externally anchored, and more..

'Drug company failed to supply drugs to govt, while delivering them to private sector'

Apr 6 (Island) A Multinational Drug Company, while supplying drugs prescribed for cancer patients in Sri Lanka to the private sector, at higher prices, has failed to supply the same to the Health Ministry for the whole of 2010. The company’s modus-operandi was to sell drugs to the private sector at exorbitant prices while deliberately delaying the orders placed by the Health Ministry. more..

Row in House over road cost

Apr 6 (DM) The government and the opposition locked horns in Parliament yesterday over the construction cost of the Siyambalanduwa-Akkaraipattu road via Potuvil which is as high as Rs. 50 million a kilometre.Deputy Economic Development Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardane, in response to a question by UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekara, revealed that Rs. 3487 million had been spent on the road which is 78.5 kilometres long. more..

UNP to institute legal action against proposed CMCC

Apr 6 (Island) The UNP is to institute legal action against a government move to convert five local bodies in Colombo into a Corporation. General Secretary of the UNP Tissa Attanayake told a news conference in Colombo yesterday, that they will move Court to ensure that the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime does not usurp the people’s civic rights. The Colombo, Dehiwala – Mt. Lavinia and Sri Jayawardenapura-Kotte Municipal Councils more..

Police seek help from Norway to trace culprit

Apr 6 (HT) The Internet Protocol (IP) address of the sender of the threat mail on the day of World Cup final match between India and Sri Lanka at the Wankhede Stadium was traced to suburban Oslo, Norway’s capital. Himanshu Roy, joint commissioner of police, crime, said on Tuesday though the mail turned out to be a hoax, the police have written to the Norwegian government, through the ministry of external affairs, more..

Cricket and politics in Sri Lanka

Apr 6 (SG) The Sri Lankan team lost the 2011 Cricket World Cup to India but were welcomed home like winners. Was this politics or the true Sri Lankan spirit of embracing losers as equally as they would victors? Cricket in Sri Lanka is increasingly a political affair. While sports ministers are known to dabble freely in the affairs of Sri Lanka Cricket, it is the country’s president who recommends members to the interim board of this administrative body. more..

Sri Lanka to ban a book written to belittle Pansil (five precepts)

Apr 7 (AT) Sri Lanka is looking in to the possibilities of banning a book written to belittle “Pansil “(five precepts) says Prime Minister and Buddhasasana and Religious Affairs Minister D M Jayaratne. “I’m not disclosing the author of this book. It would gain undue publicity for him.” Prime Minister said. “If children gain access to this type of book which misleads society it would cause an enormous damage, at the movement Investigations are on to find out more..

Stuart Law appointed interim Sri Lanka coach

Apr 7 (CI) Former Australia batsman Stuart Law has been asked to be interim coach of the Sri Lanka team for the tour of England starting next month. Law had assisted outgoing Australian head coach Trevor Bayliss since November 2009 and is expected to take over his a full-time successor. Bayliss, who was head coach for the past four years, had stated that he would be quitting the job after the 2011 World Cup, where Sri Lanka were losing finalists. more..

More wickets fall in lanka cricket; Mahela, Aravinda resigns

Apr 7 (HT) The sudden spurt of resignations in Sri Lanka cricket continued on Wednesday, a day after Kumar Sangakkara put in his papers as captain of the team. On Wednesday, it was first the turn of vice-captain, Mahela Jayawardane, to resign from his post. Reports, quoting Sri Lanka Cricket secretary, Nishant Ranatunge, said: "Mahela had taken up the vice captaincy duty only till the end of the World Cup. more..

Sri Lanka may need monetary tightening: ADB

Apr 7 (LBO) Sri Lanka may need monetary tightening later in the year to contain rising inflation and maintain export competitiveness, though growth will be strong for the next two years, the Asian Development Bank said. "Monetary tightening might be needed later in the year," ADB economist Narhari Rao told reporters coinciding with the launch of a bank publication, the Asian Development Outlook. Rao said Sri Lanka's real effective exchange rate has appreciated more..

Prisoner escapes

Apr 7 (NN) A suspect who was presented to court this evening escaped from the prison bus when he was about to be taken to the Welikada prison. Eyewitnesses said that the suspect was brought to the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s court this evening by the police over robbery charges. The Magistrate had ordered that the suspect be remanded and he was later taken into the prison bus by prison guards. However when the guards had stepped out of the bus and gone back into the Court to more..

3 chapters on Rajapaksa in Sri Lanka's new Mahavasma

Apr 7 (PTI) A new volume, with three chapters dedicated to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, will be added to the Mahavamsa - a historical poem written in Pali language describing reigns of Sri Lankan rulers, Cultural Affairs ministry said today. The Mahavamsa or The Great Chronicle describes the Sri Lankan history from the coming of Vijaya in 543 BC to the reign of King Mahasena (6th Century BC to 4th Century AD). more..

SL expresses displeasure to NZ

Apr 7 (DM) The Sri Lankan Government has expressed its concern to New Zealand government on the latter’s recommendation of Arumugam Thevarajan for the Queen’s Medal Acting Minister of External Affairs Dilan Perera said in Parliament today. Queen Elizabeth II, who is the reigning queen and head of state of the 16 independent sovereign states known as the Commonwealth realms, honoured three Tamils – two Eelam Tamils and an Indian Tamil this year at New Year’s awards in New Zealand and in UK. more..

Mervyn denies his men involved in extortion racket

Apr 7 (Island) Public Relations Minister Mervyn Silva says his associates aren’t involved in the alleged extortion racket at the newly opened fish market complex in Peliyagoda. Minister Silva says he’ll initiate an inquiry on his own to identify those involved in the racket. The minister was responding to a query by The Island in the wake of a spate of allegations that his associates were trying to launch a major extortion racket targeting fish vendors and suppliers. more..

Bus fare hike on hold

Apr 7 (NN) Private bus operators have decided to suspend demands for an increase in private bus fares until the end of this month. President of the Private Bus Operators Association (PBOA) Gemunu Wijeyratne said that the demand for a fare hike has been put on hold. He said that if the govt maintains the price of diesel sold at outlets run by the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) and also reduces the price of diesel sold by Lanka IOC then a bus fare hike will not be required immediately. more..

TNA-Govt. talks to continue, next session tomorrow

Apr 7 (NN) A fresh round of talks will be held between the government and the TNA tomorrow, the TNA said. TNA leader R. Sambanthan is expected to attend the talks after missing the previous round of discussions as he was in India. The TNA and the government have had three rounds of discussions so far on a political solution and other issues related to the Tamils. According to the TNA the discussion tomorrow will again focus on a political solution as well as matters related to Tamil detainees.

Muralitharan clears British visa hurdle

Apr 7 (AFP) Sri Lanka's legendary spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, who was worried about Britain's new visa regulations, has secured a work permit to play county cricket, his manager said on Wednesday. Kushil Gunasekera said the British authorities had expedited his visa as he had to leave for India on Wednesday to play in the Indian Premier League before heading off to join Gloucestershire in June. "He wishes to thank the British authorities for quickly issuing him with a visa," more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 06.04.2011

Renewed call to ensure security of Lanka-e-News staff and release of detained news editor

Apr 7 (LG) On 24th March, the undersigned individuals issued a statement calling for urgent interventions to ensure the safety and security of the staff of the Lanka e-News website, including from imminent arrest. The arrest, on 31st March, of Mr. Bennet Rupesinghe, senior journalist and news editor of Lanka e-News, has reaffirmed our fears. Following extensive inquiries made by us, we have learned that Mr. Rupesinghe was taken into custody on the morning of more..

Much about Dr. Kohona’s Case

Apr 7 (LG) Thank you for you response dated 31 March to my letter dated 11 March to the Prime Minister, on the basis of statements by our Prime Minister at the United Nations. I felt valued when I read the substance of your response on behalf of the Prime Minister. Your response confirms to me that that part (International Legal part) of the Prime Ministerial position is appropriately held by yourself. I believe that as a democratic Australian fulfilling the part more..

Dons from Peradeniya University visit Army farm at Palaly

Apr 7 (Cimic) One day workshop on crop cultivation and animal husbandry was conducted by a team of agriculture scientists from the University of Peradeniya for officers and other ranks who are working in the Palaly Army farm run by the Security Forces Headquarters – Jaffna (SF-J) on Monday. The seven-member team of senior lecturers and researchers from Department of Animal science, Department of Crop Science and Department of Agriculture Engineering of more..

Why I'm glad we didn't win the World Cup

Apr 7 (TC) First: It was a great game and India were the better team at the final, and during the tournament. I mean to take nothing away from such an epic victory, which I believe is something the entire subcontinent can be proud of. My gladness for Sri Lanka’s loss stems not from anything to do with India or their win. Before and during the game I supported Sri Lanka and hoped for a victory. Being an unsinkable optimist down to the very last ball I continued to believe that there was hope. more..

Motley group of toxic hack destroying journalism in Sri Lanka

Apr 7 (TC) Over the last so many weeks and still continuing, there have been a number of critical reports on the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA)- the election monitoring body of which CPA serves as the Secretariat, the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (MEV), in particular - the National Peace Council (NPC), and Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL). There have also been personal attacks on me. Consequently, I am taking the liberty to clarify and more..

E-waste: Deadly disaster in the making

Apr 7 (SO) Among his toys, the old mobile phone is Arun's favourite. He does not much like the other fancy mobile phone added to his heap of toys recently. Both these phones, used by his mum and dad, have no life now and were given to Arun to play. The little boy of four years used them as walkie-talkies when he played hide-and-seek with his friend Ranul. Inquisitive about the parts which formed the phone, Arun started dismantling the two phones one day. more..

Editorial: Kappan kings and political potentates

Apr 7 (Island) So, in the end, the government had to deploy the STF to bust an extortion ring at the newly built fish market at Peliyagoda. Furious, the traders there threatened on Monday to abandon the market en masse in protest unless the extortionists were arrested. Their threat jolted the government into action. In the wee hours of yesterday, some thugs were collecting protection money when the police commandos sprang into action and arrested them. more..

Editorial: Rights or responsibilities?

Apr 7 (DM) At a time the UN is reeling under various international problems, ironically some students here had called for a UN intervention against the alleged suppression of their ‘rights’ in Sri Lanka. One wonders if the Federation had grown to bigger proportions as such it deems an organization like the UN should intervene or if the UN has in been fact down sized by the students to their level! In fact, it was none other than the IUSF that has called for a UN intervention and more..

Proud to be Sri Lankan?

Apr 7 (GV) Citizenship, as I know it, is a means by which citizens of a particular country are recognized as entities of that country. I feel that citizenship gives each of us a sense of “belonging” and “responsibility” towards our motherland, and also a sense of “security,” that as holders of this particular citizenship, we’re ensured of our protection and wellbeing. At least, that’s what one would hope a citizen of a country is entitled to. more..

Thoughts on the March 2011 LG polls

Apr 7 (LB) There are actually many more inferences to be drawn from the March 2011 LG elections than have been noted by commentators and in the media. The obvious ones that have been noted are the sharp divide between Tamil and Sinhalese electorates, where the UPFA has by and large held its ground despite rising food and commodity prices, and the JVP has suffered a setback. I will comment on these prior to explaining a few numerical insights. The Tamils are going their own way and more..

Police inaction on attack by thugs

Apr 7 (LB) The group that was identified as the Rights Dialogue came into existence with the attack on my self and others on December 7, 2010. On that day I returned from London and there was a substantial crowd to greet me. Suddenly we were attacked by an organized group of thugs, while the security forces were watching. After this, they attacked my vehicle, on the way to Colombo. This is an old story, well publicized by all media, in particular by LakbimaNews. more..

Trevor Chesterfield no more

Apr 7 (Island) Trevor Chesterfield, The Island cricket columnist, veteran journalist and author passed away yesterday morning at his Arthur’s Place Residence in Moratuwa. He was 75 years old. Owen Murray Trevor Chesterfield, was fondly known as ‘Chesters’ and always attended cricket matches and press conferences well dressed; blazer, tie, cuff-links and well polished shoes. That was the case even when attending matches at SSC, where the press-box is open more..

Fishing for a square meal

Apr 7 (FT) Fishy problems rarely float to the surface in Sri Lanka. Corruption has deep and varied roots, with the newly-opened fish market complex in Peliyagoda revealing the shocking penetration of gang violence. It was reported that two gangs are at work in the fish market complex. They have threatened vendors with over 100 members creating chaos on Tuesday as sellers refused to bow down to their extortion. As much as Rs. 25 is demanded for each box of fish while Rs. 700 has to be paid by each stall, more..

A date with destiny

Apr 7 (SL) Early last Friday morning (25) a group of six were making their way to the beach town of Hikkaduwa. All of them were in their 20s, most studying overseas. They had just watched India trounce Australia in the ICC World Cup quarter finals. As they sped into Ahungalle, they had no inkling of what was about to befall them. Perhaps they even felt invincible. The tragic accident was reported nationwide. Photos of the scene show the maroon S-Class Mercedes Benz smashed beyond repair. more..

Tact tiles to help visually handicapped

Apr 7 (Island) For the first time in Sri Lanka, Tact tiles are being laid on the foot walks, on either side of Galle Road from Bambalapitiya Junction to Kollupitiya Junction, by the Colombo Municipal Council, for the benefit of the visually handicapped. CMC Special Commissioner Omar Kamil told The Island that the foot walks and parking areas would be completed shortly. The project to re-develop that stretch of the Galle Road, more..

Nationalism, Cricket and the Religio-Politics of Sport

Apr 7 (HP) In 1968, Avery Brundage, President of the International Olympic Committee, declared that sports, "like music and the other fine arts, transcends politics." The statement came out of a sentiment of hope rather than fact, and was, of course, incredibly naive. If Claude von Clausewitz is correct that war is merely "politics by other means," then the same can be said about sports. In 1968, the Mexican government killed several students more..