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Coach Vaas optimistic of his rising stars

Aug 19 (ST) Chaminda Vaas, the Head Coach of Sri Lanka Emerging Cricket team was highly contended with the performance of his team against the Emerging side of South Africa, one of the toughest cricketing countries to tour. When the tour was announced it was evident that is was a challenging task, to beat the formidable hosts on their home soil. However, the energy and hunger the Emerging Lions displayed against more..

'Thought the wicket would deteriorate more'

Aug 19 (CI) Yes, the previous best chase at this venue was only worth 99, and sure, 268 seemed like an excellent total to defend, but this particular surface got slower, not harder to bat on. So, at least, said Kane Williamson after New Zealand's six-wicket defeat. His analysis was not without strong evidence. New Zealand's own tailenders had appeared comfortable on the surface during long stints in the middle on days three and four. And although there was significant turn, more..

The old must, without question, give way to the new

Aug 19 (ST) There is a familiarly relentless logic to the political trauma that is currently paralysing SL. The too-premature, too-euphoric frenzy that preoccupied yahapalanaya grandees and their coat-hanging enthusiasts in the aftermath of the 2015 electoral win for the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe coalition as they pronounced the electoral demise of the Rajapaksas is one definitive factor. That history cannot be dismissed by casual waves of hands at this stage by civil society leaders, more..

National Peoples’ Power (NPP) conference

Editorial: Presidential hopefuls & challenges

Aug 19 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena has called upon the prospective presidential candidates to reveal their stand on the drug menace. The scourge of narcotics, no doubt, has to be tackled as a national priority. The President has sought to do so and his efforts are praiseworthy though much more remains to be done if the country is to be liberated from the clutches of the drug Mafia. But there is much more to governance than hunting down drug dealers. more..

A book worthy of a read by all Sri Lankans

Aug 19 (CT) A new book titled, Tamil Tigers Debt to America authored by Daya Gamage, has been published by the Library of Congress (under control No. 2016913508) ISBN: 1537053485 and 13:9781537053486 respectively. The author is an old Trinitian who read Economics and European Political history at Peradeniya; subsequently became an academic at a U.S. University, prior to joining the U.S. Federal Service. Daya Gamage had worked with Dr. Robert K Bloggs, more..

Will the proposed animal welfare bill have anything more than its 15 seconds of fame?

Aug 19 (Roar) Every so often since 2015, the proposed Animal Welfare Bill seeking to refine existing legal frameworks protecting urban animals and pets, gets its fifteen seconds of fame before being forgotten once again. The proposed Bill is considered the only comprehensive piece of legislature that ensures the safety of animals—domestic or otherwise. It is the only available alternative to outdated provisions more..

Liberals for Gota? Politics at the hour of populism/s

Aug 19 (CT) As the SLPP National Convention was taking place in Colombo, an intriguing dialogue was taking place on a social media platform between two people this writer seldom agrees with, but nonetheless acknowledges their commitment to their convictions, their experience in the political and media [and in the case of one of them, the diplomatic] fray. One of them was the editor of the Colombo Telegraph [CT], and the other was Sri Lanka’s serving ambassador in Moscow. more..

The Gotabaya Rajapaksa quandary

Aug 19 (CT) On Aug 11, SLPP or Pohottuwa held its inaugural convention at the Sugathadasa Stadium. Former Prez & current Leader of Opp Mahinda Rajapaksa (MR), who minutes earlier had been declared leader of the SLPP formally announced its Prez candidate. As expected, it was MR’s younger brother, a former soldier and onetime Defense Secretary, Gotabaya Rajapaksa (GR). Amidst thunderous applause and fireworks, GR declared, “I love my country, I am proud of my country.” more..

Hope against hope: Justice for Thajudeen

Aug 19 (SO) A Magistrate has issued notice on professor Ananda Samarasekera, the former JMO for Colombo to appear in court on Aug 28. The former JMO is facing charges of falsifying the post-mortem report and destroying evidence linked to the Wasim Thajudeen murder in May 2012. Last week, the AG also ordered the CID to expedite investigations into several emblematic cases, including more..

The political pot boils

Aug 19 (TM) The local political stage is now a closely watched scene with great expectations on the candidates at the next presidential election. The SLPP led by former President and incumbent Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa has won the race of naming presidential candidates with the announcement of its candidate. Rajapaksa last Sunday (11) announced the SLPP’s presidential candidate, former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, at the party’s convention. more..

Killing democracy but when and how

Aug 19 (ST) When you turn to this column today, the pro-democracy mass protests in Hong Kong would be in its third month. How long the protestors will man the barricades if and when China decides to strike back and how as it becomes increasingly infuriated at the mounting violence, must worry the ordinary Hongkongers and foreign business alike. Certainly Beijing’s attempts to cow down the Hong Kong people by continuously chipping away at the former British colony’s freedoms & liberties more..

Waste transport: AG exposes massive racket in CMC

Aug 18 (ST) The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) has been bleeding money on waste transport and disposal for many years by dishing out business to private contractors, instead of using millions of rupees allocated to it for the purchase of its own tractors, tippers, compactors and bulldozers. Between 2010 and 2016, the CMC received nearly Rs 850 million to buy its own vehicles for solid waste management, AG's Department says. more..

Dimuth Karunaratne hits 122 as Sri Lanka wrap up record chase in Galle

Aug 18 (CI) Dimuth Karunaratne played a big part in preserving his perfect record as Test captain as Sri Lanka brought up their third consecutive win since he took over, brushing New Zealand aside with a six-wicket win on the fifth day and picking up the full 60 points in their first World Test Championship match. In the process, Karunaratne also brought up his first century in 23 innings and his ninth overall as the hosts more..

I have not fallen politically: PM

Aug 18 (EN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, who outsourced two presidential candidacies and is under pressure to appoint a party man ahead for upcoming presidential polls said he had not fallen politically. "I have not fallen politically," PM told a gathering at the opening of a vehicle assembly plant in Kalutara. "I will also not allow the economy to fall." He said following Easter Sunday bomb attacks steps were quickly more..

US suspends SOFA talks till prez poll is over

Aug 18 (ST) The United States has told Sri Lanka that it will suspend talks on the controversial Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with Sri Lanka until the presidential election is over. US Ambassador Alaina B. Teplitz outlined her country’s position during a meeting with President Maithripala Sirisena. She had sought such a meeting weeks earlier and the President expressed regrets that a meeting before was not possible. more..

SL mull playing Test cricket in Pakistan

Aug 18 (CI) Test cricket might just return to Pakistan later this year. Sri Lanka could be open to playing at least one Test in the country, after a security delegation visited Lahore and Karachi, and gave SLC "very positive feedback". If everything goes to plan, Pakistan could host its first Test match since the Lahore attack on Sri Lanka's team bus in March 2009. Series against Sri Lanka, Pakistan's first of the World Test Championship, more..

Sri Lanka to promote 31,500 policemen

Aug 18 (EN) Sri Lanka is planning to promote 31,540 policemen without regard to existing vacancies following a policy decision and a recommendation of the management service department and police commission. Out of a force of 85,000, 31,540 were between the grades of constable and inspector. Ministry of Defence had informed the Dept of Management Services to device a system to promote them more..

Transition to solar power critical

Aug 18 (TM) The inability of the Norochcholai Coal Power Plant to curtail harmful emissions has once again highlighted the importance of SL accelerating its shift into renewable sources such as solar power. Authorities are unable to temporarily shut down the power plant to carry out mandatory maintenance as there is a serious shortfall of electricity in the country. CEB, electricity monopoly with a market share of nearly 100%, more..


Aug 18 (Island) A week before his younger brother was anointed the SLPP’s prez candidate, Mahinda Rajapaksa made a portentous statement to the Virakesari. The newspaper had questioned Mr. Rajapaksa about minority angst concerning a Gotabhaya presidency. He responded with a standard denial thus: "In reality, further to the (19th) constitutional amendment, the PM has more powers. more..

I had to do it: Dimuth Karunaratne on a special century

Aug 18 (CI) Before his 122 in the fourth innings of this Test, Dimuth Karunaratne had not hit a hundred in over a year. Although the team had won in South Africa earlier this year, he had not personally contributed much during that series. This had grated. So had the fact that in between his last hundred, also at Galle last July, and this Test, he had hit eight half-centuries, but had not been able to convert to a triple-figure score. more..

EC’s power to reject presidential election nominations

Aug 18 (Island) According to Articles 92 and 91 of the Constitution, the qualifications that a prez candidate should have are as follows: He should be qualified to be a voter. He should be at least thirty five years old. He should not be a person who has been previously elected twice to the office of President. He should not be a person who has previously been removed from the office of President on account of mental or physical more..

Gotabhaya: Prez candidate like no other

Aug 18 (Island) Soon after the 1982 referendum, the Centre for Society and Religion conducted a series of lectures on the referendum experience and published them as a symposium entitled: Referendum’82: Eclipse of Parliamentary Democracy in SL. Contributors included the SLFP’s Felix Dias Bandaranaike and the LSSP’s Hector Abhayavardhana. Mr. Bandaranaike’s thesis was that main objective of the present govt more..

The case for a Sajith Premadasa Candidacy

Aug 18 (Island) Case for a Sajith Premadasa candidacy is different from the case for a Sajith Premadasa Presidency. It is arguable that even those who prefer a Gotabhaya Presidency could opt for a Sajith candidacy if it leads to a stronger UNP showing, and results in a stronger balancing factor in SL politics which would act as a safeguard for democracy. What is a candidacy about? It's about winning largest no. of votes for one’s side. more..

Obama style Presidential campaign for Gotabaya Rajapaksa

Aug 18 (ST) After last Tuesday’s weekly Cabinet meeting ended, a handful of ministers turned up at Prez Sirisena’s upper floor office room in the Prez Secretariat, once the hallowed precincts of Parliament. “Are you going to support former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa as prez candidate?” one of them asked. If the tenor of the question reflected an angry note, so was the reply. “Are you crazy?” asked Sirisena more..

Confusion over invite to prez to testify before PSC

Aug 18 (TM) Despite media reports of dates being allocated for President Maithripala Sirisena to testify before the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) probing the Easter Sunday attacks, there seems to be confusion about the President’s appearance before the PSC. PSC member MP Prof. Ashu Marasinghe said that the Committee had decided to invite the President to appear before it. “We agreed to invite the President to appear before the Committee this coming week. more..

Govt to talk with India to develop Palaly, Batti airports: PM

Aug 18 (DM) The Sri Lankan Govt will soon begin a dialogue with India to develop Palaly and Batticaloa airports, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday. The PM who was speaking at the opening of the Mailady Fisheries Harbour in Jaffna said the govt would start a dialogue with India to develop the two airports with a view of developing the tourism industry in the North and the East. “We will get into a dialogue with the Indian Govt to develop the Palali and Batticaloa Airports. “ more..

Treasury rejects proposal to pay Rajapaksa era bills

Aug 18 (ST) Treasury has rejected the proposal to meet the staggering bill of Rs 4.4 billion spent by the previous Mahinda Rajapaksa regime and declared it could not be met from state funds. Finance Ministry has informed the Cabinet that such authorised payments would be from 2015, in accordance with prevailing Financial Regulations, leaving out a larger sum unpaid. Prez Sirisena forwarded a Cabinet Memorandum seeking more..

VIP flights in close shaves

Aug 18 (CT) At least two shops had their roofs blown off and one person was slightly injured on Friday, shortly after the SL Air Force VIP helicopter, carrying President Maithripala Sirisena, lifted off at a location in Naula. The incident had caused extensive damage to the roofs owing to the impact of the rotor blades sending those inside the shops running for cover. The President's Office had swiftly informed the local authorities to assess the damage and pay compensation at the very earliest. more..

True Tamil won’t vote for Gotabaya: Wiggie

Aug 18 (AD) Former Chief Minister of Northern Province C. V. Wigneswaran says that a true Tamil would not vote for Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the upcoming Prez election. He mentioned this speaking to journalists in Jaffna, today (17). He says, “No true Tamil would vote for Gotabaya. He has several court cases filed against him. I have no idea why Mahinda Rajapaksa nominated him”. According to Wigneswaran, Gotabaya coming into power will prove a dark age for the Tamil people. more..

Video: UNF to name presidential candidate before coalition

Aug 18 (AD) An agreement has been reached at a meeting with the coalition parties to form the coalition following the nomination of the prez candidate of the UNP. The discussion was held today (17) at the official residence of Minister Rajitha Senaratne. However, Deputy Leader of the UNP Sajith Premadasa says he will definitely contest at the upcoming Prez election. Several Ministers including UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa, more..

Islamic State eyes India, Sri Lanka as next operational hub: report

Aug 18 (HT) India, Turkey, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka are among the new countries where the Islamic State (IS) terror group has found a footing as its influence has diminished drastically across Iraq and Syria, its territory of origin, according to a leading conflict monitor. Spearheaded by jihadist leader Abubakr al-Baghdadi, IS has this year regrouped and carried out more activity outside of West Asia than inside it for the first time, according to data released by Armed Conflict Location more..

Video: We keep associating terrorism with what the LTTE did: PM

Aug 18 (AD) PM says that Sri Lanka has to take a critical look at what happened on the day of the Easter bombings, and that otherwise, the country can never be ready for this type of situation again. He said a critical examination is really required to look at why the information regarding the attacks that came and how it was handled. He said that the observations should in fact be forwarded to the PSC investigating the Easter Sunday attacks because they are looking at many aspects. more..

Final Presidential slate uncertain as another candidate enters the fray

Aug 18 (RN) There is still uncertainty as to who the final candidates will be in the forthcoming Prez Elections, although one is already campaigning around the country and another will enter the race today. This afternoon the JVP will announce a Prez Candidate from its party, making it the second major political formation after the SLPP to enter a horse into the race slated to run before Dec 7 this year. The candidate tipped to be the JVP Leader more..

SL ambassador visits Logistics Village Qatar

Aug 18 (GT) Qatar’s leading logistics provider GWC welcomed Sri Lankan ambassador Kithsiri Athulathmudali at the Logistics Village Qatar (LVQ) on Saturday. The Sri Lankan envoy’s site tour was to get a general idea about GWC’s offering and the Sri Lankan employees and included a tour of the integrated logistics hub, which offers bespoke supply chain logistics and warehousing solutions, spanning 1mn sq m infrastructure; the largest logistics of its kind in the region. more..

Video: Optimistic about SLFP-SLPP talks: GL

Aug 18 (AD) The SLFP would join the alliance formed by SLPP, stated UPFA MP Dullas Alahapperuma. He also said that Prez Sirisena’s comments make clear the extent to which he is pressurized by giving the UNP a govt. He expressed these view addressing the media following a meeting of JO party leaders chaired by SLPP Chairman Prof. G. L. Peiris last evening (16). Prof. G.L. Peiris stated that all parties of the JO discussed forming an alliance. more..