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Another first-ball wicket and the milestone that wasn't

Sept 17 (CI) Shaminda Eranga became the third bowler in this series, after Trent Copeland and Nathan Lyon, to take a wicket in his first over as a Test match bowler. Like Lyon, Eranga did it with his very first ball, and like Lyon he dismissed a batsman of quality, Shane Watson. The major difference between the two was that while Lyon produced a sharp offbreak to get rid of Kumar Sangakkara, Eranga lulled Watson into a lapse with the widest of looseners. more..

'There's nothing that comes close to Test cricket'

Sept 17 (CI) I was very proud to play my first Test match. I didn't know whether I was the most deserving guy to play that Test match, really. I had a good one-day series when I debuted for Sri Lanka against Pakistan and South Africa, and then to get into the Test side ahead of Romesh Kaluwitharana was a surprise but also very satisfying. In that first Test I found out very quickly that I wasn't really good enough to consider myself a Test batsman, so I needed to work very hard more..

Muttiah Muralitharan takes a potshot at the political spin holding back his country

Sept 17 (DT) Sri Lanka's greatest cricketer and most iconic figure, Muttiah Muralitharan, has made a plea for international help to rebuild his war-torn country. Test and one-day cricket's greatest wicket-taker has asked that people put the recriminations of the brutal civil war behind them and begin to develop the devastated north. The largely forgotten decades-long war was brought sharply into focus by a damning United Nations report accusing more..

New colour morph found in Lanka

Sept 17 (DN) A team of Sri Lankan researchers has discovered a strange white coloured form of langur monkeys in the rain forests of Southwestern Sri Lanka. This is a new colour morph of purple faced leaf langur (Semnopithecus vetulus) which is endemic to the island. The research team included Galle Wildlife Conservation Society’s Madura A de Silva and Nadika C Hapuarachchi, and Nations Trust Bank Primate Conservation Project’s P A Rohan Krishantha. more..

TNA and Lanka govt resume devolution talks

Sept 17 (PTI) The govt and Sri Lanka's main Tamil party TNA today resumed the stalled direct talks aimed at seeking a solution to the political aspirations of the minority ethnic community on "an acceptable constitutional arrangement". "It was agreed that the talks could continue on the basis of the discussion paper submitted by the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) on March 18 along with earlier proposals," a joint statement said after the direct talks resumed today. more..

The all-round art of Sangakkara

Sept 17 (CI) Kumar Sangakkara counts among the most polished and prudent of batsmen. Nothing catches the eye about his work except its consistency and efficiency. Although he pulls and cuts efficiently and often, and uses his feet to spinners purposefully, and though he added 624 in an innings with Mahela Jayawardene once, there is something understated and underappreciated about his batting. Perhaps it is that he does not breathe fire, or not often, more..

Sri Lanka: Intelligence Squared

Sept 17 (LG) Kapila Hendawitharane was not given an extension to serve the Army, for an additional two years as a Major General, after completion of his mandatory two (2) year period, as he was very heavily involved in embezzlement of Army Funds allocated as reward money to pay for the informants as reported by the Military intelligence once he served, by President Mahinda Rajapaksa as recommended by Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. But few months after his retirement Kapila was absorbed to more..

A statement issued by the Tamil American Peace Initiative

Sept 17 (LG) The Tamil American Peace Initiative (TAPI) is encouraged by United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s recent referral of the UN Panel of Experts report on Sri Lanka to the UNHRC and the OHCHR. The UNHRC is meeting from September 12-30 and discussions on accountability and reconciliation in Sri Lanka are expected to be on the agenda. “This is a long-awaited and significant step towards justice and lasting peace in Sri Lanka,” said Dr. Karunyan Arulanantham, more..

Sixth phase of Api Wenuwen Api housing project reaches to completion

Sept 17 (MoD) The sixth phase of the "Api Wenuwen Api" housing project initiated the Ministry of Defence, a brain child of Secretary Defence Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa, to build 700 new houses island wide for veteran war heroes is reaching to its completion in Ampara district. Chairperson of Defence Ministry's Seva Vanitha Unit Mrs Ioma Rajapaksa inspected the constructions in Ampara district yesterday, 13th September. more..

State media distort a UN HRC event and drag a head of a state to intimidate dissent

Sept 17 (LG) NfR Sri Lanka, a network of Sri Lankan journalists and human rights defenders living outside the country, condemns the falsification of the proceedings of a side event organized by Sri Lankan Mission in Geneva, to intimidate Sri Lankan press freedom and human rights campaigner Sunanda Deshapriya. He has been a leading activist and a former convenor of the Free Media Movement. Sunanda Deshapriya is a founder member and a steering committee member of more..

Sri Lanka strongly refutes sllegations of Channel 04

Sept 17 (LG) “Sri Lanka should be given the time and space required to complete the LLRC process, and the international community must take due cognizance of significant progress achieved by Sri Lanka in rehabilitation and resettlement of IDPs, economic development of the North and the East, demining activities and in the reconciliation process”, observed Special Envoy of the President on Human Rights Hon. Mahinda Samarasinghe, who led the Sri Lanka delegation to the UNHRC. more..

Sky Flash 2011 starts with a success

Sept 17 (MoD) The novel event for the 'Rajarata' region Sky Flash 2011, the air show and the educational exhibition was declared open by the Commander of the Air Force Air Marshal Harsha Abeywickrama 14th September 2011 at SLAF Base Hingurakgoda.Sky Flash 2011 is meant to bring the SLAF closer to the public in the area. An area, which has been devoid of such grand scale entertainment for a very long time due to the conflict in the country. more..

Editorial: Haiti, a monument to UN failure

Sept 17 (Island) Violent protests are reported from Haiti against the presence of UN troops. Protesters have come under a spate of teargas attacks from a desperate police force that fears the prospect of having to maintain law and order without foreign assistance in case of a UN pullout. The western media has attributed the protests to a recent incident where a teenager was allegedly sexually assaulted by some peace keepers, but, as is known to any Haiti watcher, resistance to foreign troops more..

Editorial: The pill popping culture

Sept 17 (DM) Most of us have been brainwashed into believing that life is only possible to be lived to the fullest if the requisite medicinal drugs are taken on a regular basis. Regular health checks are promoted and are being carried out in private hospitals after which the patient is advised by the consultant that unless the drugs prescribed are used, the chances of the patient surviving without catching some life threatening disease in the future are high. It is strange that the patient who more..

Lifestyles of Jaffna ~ An exhibition to preserve our history and heritage

Sept 17 (TC) Lifestyles of Jaffna, a first of its kind, will be held from 24th~27th September 2011 at the Faculty of Arts, University of Jaffna. The Department of History, University of Jaffna has organized this exhibition, towards gaining insights about our history and heritage and educating people about it. This Exhibition is planned to showcase all possibly available ancient goods and facts, which expose and prove the historical facts about the ancient people of more..

Will greater awareness make a difference ?

Sept 17 (DM) Some weeks ago a Minister commented that parents in certain Mahaveli zones were marrying off their daughters at the tender age of thirteen while at the other end of the spectrum, we hear of adults sometimes relations, sometimes total strangers or van drivers sexually abusing girls as young as eight or nine years old. One wonders why this tremendous increase in sexual abuse cases has occurred at a time when getting a daughter married off at thirteen is as much a matter of concern as more..

Humbuggery of the wild jumbo count

Sept 17 (DM) With its canopy down, a jeep carrying men in rough clothes lurched along the rugged track dissecting flat land sparsely covered with typical Dry-Zone bush and stunted trees. The squeaky vehicle was heading towards a watering hole in the distance in a national park. Two of the passengers called themselves journalists; another saddled with two cameras fitted with tele-lenses was a self-styled freelance photographer. There was another, a local post master who also wanted to count elephants. more..

The Dole Banana Project

Sept 17 (Island) Developments regarding the above have received several adverse responses in the press. Notable among them, which aptly summarise the indignation caused, are by Saradha Mohan Kumar in The Sunday Times, quoting Mr Ravindra Kariyawasam, National Coordinator of the Centre for Environmental Studies, and the article by Tisaranee Gunasekera in the "Sunday Leader" as also several in The Island. It is impossible to deny the legitimacy of their concerns. more..

It’s brewing! The crisis within Rajapaksa rule

Sept 17 (SL) The LLRC is the latest in a long line of failed domestic inquiries. Impunity has been the rule rather than the exception, now exacerbated by a post-conflict triumphalism that rejects all responsibility for abuses, carried out by govt forces,” Sam Zarifi / AI, Asia Pacific Director at the release of the AI Report on LLRC. All talk of normalcy in the country and Emergency Regulations allowed to go lapse from August 30 is just junk rhetoric, with three special gazette notifications more..

Crumbs from the table: Corruption in Sri Lanka

Sept 17 (SL) When I speak of “crumbs” in the context of corruption in this country, I need to qualify the term in two respects: one, that the “crumbs” vary in quantity and value depending on the individual and the enterprise and, two, that those “crumbs” can be in cash, tangible assets, intangibles such as prestige and social acceptance by the rulers and “goodies” such as foreign junkets, or protection from what, in other circumstances, would be the reach of the long arm of the law. more..

Lifting of Emergency: Exposing the sham exercise

Sept 17 (GV) Much has been said about the recent decision of the Government to end the Emergency in Sri Lanka. Some welcomed the move and others are yet to make any pronouncements. This short essay is an attempt to examine the implications of the decision of the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) together with the nature and effect of withdrawal of the emergency. Proclamation of Emergency is made by the President under section 2 of more..

List of self employees handed over to ministry

Sept 17 (DN) The Federation of Self Employees yesterday said that the list of persons who were engaged in self employment activities in a number of cities where the government was going to construct marketing complexes, had been handed over to the Economic Development Ministry for necessary action. According to Federation chairman Mahinda Kahadagama, the Federation had also forwarded their request for permanent stalls in cities where they were engaged in self employment ventures, to the ministry. more..

South Africa wants direct flights to Lanka

Sept 17 (Island) South Africa’s envoy in Colombo says the country is keen to commence direct flights with Sri Lanka as a means of boosting trade further. The unrealised trade potential between South Africa and Sri Lanka is exciting and shows ‘the possibility to take bilateral trade between the two countries into a new level.’ Both countries should commence exchanging business level delegations with each other too; these were some of the sentiments that were expressed by top officials r more..

Muthu steals minor role in Anarkali’s movie

Sept 17 (LP) The roving Galle Parliamentarian, Nishantha Muthuhettigama will shortly turn an Actor and he will partner his onetime charming political opponent, the attractive Anarkali Akarsha, a Southern provincial Councilor. Muthuhettigama, a controversial politician from the south in the footsteps of Politician turned Actor Public Relations Minister, Mervyn Silva, long dreamt to be an Actor in an effort to emerge as a celluloid idol. more..

Army Engineers help restore disrupted train service

Sept 17 (MoD) Army Engineers serving Nuwara Eliya sector, as is the Army practice in case of any national emergency or disaster, rushed to the 124 km post area between Nanu Oya and Great Western railway stations on Colombo - Badulla railway line on Monday and cleared a few huge boulders that had fallen on the track, stalling train passage between those two destinations. After assistance was sought by railway authorities, the Sector Commander and Engineers using emergency mobile rail carts at more..

Loans to fishermen to start self employment projects

Sept 17 (Island) Under the International Fund for Agriculture and Development (IFAD), the Central Bank and Bank of Ceylon have given Rs.30 million for three hundred fishing families to embark on self-employment schemes. One family received Rs.100,000 at eight per cent interest. This scheme would be expanded island-wide. Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that the two banks would be getting 12% interest, but the recipient would have to pay only 8 per cent. The balance 4% would be paid by the Fisheries Ministry. more..

Year 5 Scholarship results: Best performers from outstation

Sept 17 (DN) Most students who received the highest marks at the recent Year Five Scholarship examination are from outstation areas, Education Ministry statistics reveal. Three students have become the island’s first, obtaining 195 marks each. These students are Oshadhi Rashiprabha Fonseka of Kalutara Balika Maha Vidyalaya, Nethmi Ranaweera of Miriswatta Maha Vidyalaya, Dodamgoda and Naleem Zaky Ahamed of Kekirawa Muslim Maha Vidyalaya. more..

GMOA calls CB intervention regarding BoC loan to SAITM

Sept 17 (Island) The Govt Medical Officers Association urged the Governor of the Central Bank to initiate an inquiry into the grant of a Rs.600 million loan by the Bank of Ceylon to the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM). In a letter to the Governor of Central Bank, Ajith Nivard Cabraal, GMOA Secretary, Dr. Chandika Epitakaduwa said that the Companies Act specifies that a person above the age of 70 years of age could not hold the position of Chairman of a company. more..

Rail track to be extended to Nuwara Eliya

Sept 17 (Island) Plans are afoot to extend the railway track to Nuwara Eliya from Nanu Oya. Transport Minister Kumara Welgama said yesterday that work would begin as soon as the relevant surveys and the funding are lined up. He was positive that the proposed seven-kilometer extension would benefit holiday makers, both foreign and local, traveling to Nuwara Eliya. Minister Welgama told The Island that he visited the Nanu Oya railway station recently. It was being modernized. more..

Maharoof, others suspended from UNP

Sept 17 (DM) The UNP yesterday suspended the party membership of former MP Mohammed Maharoof who crossed over to the UPFA recently and several others who are contesting the upcoming LG election independently. The others who have been suspended from the party are Vijitha Kadiragonna who is leading an independent group contesting the Colombo Municipal council and Chandima Nayanajith who is also a leader of an independent group contesting the Kottte Municipal Council. more..

Skeletal remains of body found in Trinco

Sept 17 (DM) The skeletal remains of a body were recovered from a pit in the school yard of a leading girls’ school in Trincomalee. Labourers, who were digging a trench in order to lay the foundation for a storage tank for the school, had discovered the skeletal remains and immediately informed the Trincomalee Harbour Police about their gruesome find. The skeletal remains were exhumed before Trincomalee Magistrate U.L.A. Ashar and JMO Dr, S.D. Baduge. The Magistrate referred the remains to the Forensic more..

New transfer policy for SLAS officers approved

Sept 17 (DM) The Public Administration and Home affairs Ministry has for the first time prepared a transfer policy for the officers of the Sri Lanka Administrative Services. The Cabinet approved the new policy that had been prepared by Minister W.D.J. Seneviratne. This transfer scheme was due to be enforced from the first of next year. All officers in class 1, 11, 111 would come under this scheme. The maximum period allowed for service in one divisional secretariat would be 6 years more..

Mervyn trains his guns on meat stalls, international schools

Sept 17 (Island) Having enjoyed the national limelight with his highly dramatized rescue of about some animals, brought for ritualistic slaughter at the Bhadrakali Kovil in Munneswaran on Monday, Public Relations Minister Mervyn Silva yesterday declared that he would next move to shut down all meat stalls in the Gampaha District. Declaring open a computer unit at the junior section of the Sri Dharmaloka College, Silva warned that he would not stop at that. more..

Weli Oya - the new AGA Division in the Mullaitivu district

Sept 17 (AT) Weli Oya is the new AGA Division in the Mullaitivu district from this month onwards. Earlier in 1987, this administrative division was part of Pathaviya and was brought under the Anuradhapura administrative district. The present new administrative division is carved out consisting of 8 Grama Niladari division from the Padaviya AGA Division of the Anuradhapura district. By an extra ordinary gazette notification dated 16th April, 1988, Manal Aru area in the Mullaitivu and more..

Indonesian war ship visits Colombo

Sept 17 (Island) The Indonesian Warship "Sultan Iskandar Muda – 367" (KRI-SIM) anchored in Colombo on Thursday, enroute to Lebanon.It was scheduled to leave on September 17. All personnel including the Commander of the ship Lt. Col. Navy (P) Agus Hariadi, were given warm welcome by representatives of the Sri Lankan Navy,Indonesian Embassy in Colombo and Defense Attaché of the Indonesian Embassy in New Delhi,who is accredited to Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. An Indonesian High Commission spokesperson said more..

Sri Lankan democracy must reconcile a violent past

Sept 17 (NP) During the last gasps of Sri Lanka’s long civil war, Lieutenant-General Jagath Dais held a briefing for journalists at a compound in Kilinochchi, a Tamil Tiger rebel stronghold that had fallen to govt forces. Using a slide projector, the Sri Lanka Army commander gave a detailed accounting of the number of rebels and troops killed and injured in the fighting. But when asked how many civilians had died, he soured. “No civilian casualties,” he said. “Zero.” more..

Watchdogs push hard for war crimes probe in Sri Lanka

Sept 17 (IPS) Despite months of frustrated efforts to secure a full and impartial investigation into possible laws-of-war violations during the last phase of Sri Lanka's civil war, which ended in 2009, leading human rights advocates in the U.S. launched a fresh charge on the island nation's government this week, vowing that, "If the Sri Lankan govt won't provide justice for victims, the international community will." The push was sparked by a diplomatic spat at the 18th annual session of the UNHRC, more..

Marked drop in election violence

Sept 17 (Island) There has been a decrease in violence connected with the local government elections. So far only 37 cases had been reported, Executive Director of the CaFFE, Keerthi Tennakoon said. He said that on Thursday an incident had been reported from the Kotte MC area, where an independent candidate contesting under the symbol of sword was assaulted by the supporters of the UNP. The highest numbers of election law violations have been reported from Anuradhapura, Matara, Kurunegala and Hambantota. more..

CHOGM 2013: Canada’s threatened boycott unfair – SL

Sept 17 (Island) Sri Lanka says it will be unfair for Canada to review its commitment to Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 2013 in Colombo citing unsubstantiated war crimes allegations propagated by the LTTE and its agents. Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in Canada Chitranganee Wagiswara on Wednesday (14) met Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird at the Foreign Affairs Ministry, where she expressed serious concern over Premier Harper’s declaration. more..

Ponting’s wicket was just unbelievable – Eranga

Sept 17 (Island) Young fast bowler Shaminda Eranga impressed many on debut with a disciplined bowling effort in the third Test against Australia at SSC yesterday. He started off by picking up a wicket off his first delivery in Test cricket, becoming the 18th player to do so and only the second Sri Lankan. An impressive effort by Sri Lanka’s bowlers enabled them to restrict Australia to 235 for five on day one of the third Test and Eranga believes Sri Lanka need to make the new ball to count today. more..