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Cricket selection conundrum continues

Apr 7 (ST) One of the problems bugging SL’s limited over team is the absence of a pair of solid openers. Not all that long ago, hopes were high that Niroshan Dickwella will fill the bill. But his subsequent failures have put a big question mark against his name. Two failures in the first two games of the Super Provincial Tournament have only worsened the situation. The experienced Upul Tharanga, another World Cup probable, more..

Mahanama retains Aravinda De Silva Trophy

Apr 7 (CT) Former SL cricketer Naweed Nawaz, who won the Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year mega title in 1993, was the first and only cricketer from D.S. Senanayake College to achieve that honour. During his illustrious career at D.S. Senanayake College, Nawaz was a household name with some aggressive batting and a number of big scores. Even after his exemplary school career, Nawaz scored consistently for his club side, NCC for a number of yrs, with an attractive average. more..

Naveed tantalized before fading away

Apr 7 (SO) Former SL cricketer Naweed Nawaz, who won the Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year mega title in 1993, was the first and only cricketer from D.S. Senanayake College to achieve that honour. During his illustrious career at D.S. Senanayake College, Nawaz was a household name with some aggressive batting and a number of big scores. Even after his exemplary school career, Nawaz scored consistently for his club side, NCC for a number of yrs, with an attractive average. more..

Neyara finally wins case, named in squad

Apr 7 (CT) Neyara Weerawansa, who was unfairly excluded from the SL Junior National U-15 squad which is set to compete in the Junior Fed Cup Asia to be held in Thailand later this month, has been reinstated in the squad after Ceylon Today, reported the unfair decision that had been based on a naďve complaint from another player’s parent. Neyara's representatives yesterday issued a letter informing that 15-yr-old has been included more..

Involvement of the United Nations in the Reconciliation process

Apr 7 (SO) Prez Sirisena, in the course of his speech to the nation on National Day, said that he is concerned about the interference of the members of the international community in the internal affairs of the country. There is no doubt that he had in his mind the resolutions against Sri Lanka adopted by the UNHRC based in Geneva requiring the Govt of SL to implement certain recommendations which were considered essential for achieving post war reconciliation by the sponsors of resolutions. more..

Lady in mid 40s identified as biggest threat to Sri Lankan cricket

Apr 7 (Island) Those of us who have followed SL cricket closely had little idea how deep rooted corruption in the sport was when the ICC intensified investigations following the national cricket team’s shock defeat at the hands of Zimbabwe in 2017. We put down the defeats to the glorious uncertainties of the great game rather than any sinister move by those involved in the game. Extensive investigations by the ICC’s Anti Corruption Unit have unearthed some startling revelations. more..

Will Maithri-Mahinda talks continue?

Apr 7 (CT) The Appropriation Bill 2019 was passed, with a majority of 45 votes, at the Third Reading stage, with Amendments, on Friday. The Budget received 119 votes in favour and 74 votes against. A total of 31 MPs were absent. 13 of the 16 TNA MPs voted with the Govt in favour of the Bill while the UPFA MPs in the pro-Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa’s camp and the JVP voted against. The majority of the UPFA MPs, including Mahinda Amaraweera, Nimal Siripala de Silva, more..

SLSRFA President makes shocking exit

Apr 7 (ST) Ranjith Chandrasekara, the President of SL Schools Rugby Football Association (SLSRFA) has tendered his resignation according to reliable sources. Chandrasekara, who was elected to head the governing body of the most followed schools sport in the island, had earlier made indications that he will step down at this year’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), but the Executive Committee of SLSRFA has declined to entertain his decision. However, through a letter dated April 3, 2019, more..

JVP’s bona fides and the proposed 20th Amendment

Apr 7 (Island) April 5, 2019 marked the 48th anniversary of the JVP’s 1971 insurgency. If that insurgency or their campaign of terror in the late 1980s had succeeded, they would have been ruling the country today. We do not know how the country would have fared under their rule except for the certainty that their victory would have resulted in widespread massacres of real and imagined enemies. That would have happened in 1971 as well even though their first insurgency is widely more..


The dairy cow disaster

Apr 7 (Island) ABC a few days ago telecast an arresting documentary saying "Australian cattle exported to Sri Lanka dying and malnourished, local farmers left suicidal." Tens of thousands of viewers in Australia have seen the film which is now on Internet and is easily available here. This story, discussed in parliament during the committee stage of the budget debate which closed on Friday, has virtually gone viral with those who saw it forwarding it to their contacts. more..

Element of success is to keep them guessing

Apr 7 (ST) My dear Mahinda maama, I thought I must write to you because I heard that you had been entrusted with the job of choosing who the candidate of the pohottuwa party would be for the next big race, which is due before the end of the year. I don’t envy your task, but then, you are spoilt for choice, aren’t you? To begin with, I can’t really understand how a decision as important as who your party’s candidate would be – when he or she could even be the next leader of the country – more..

Imported milk powder saga going from bad to worse

Apr 7 (CT) The milk powder saga is reaching gigantic proportions, with not only imported milk powder released to the market not being tested for Melamine and other deposits, but with Dy Minister Buddhika Pathirana first telling the House that pig fat and various other oils were included in milk powder and then taking cover behind parliamentary privileges to refuse answering queries posed by this newspaper regarding the issue. more..

Power mafias send millions of Lankans into blackout

Apr 7 (ST) Sri Lanka’s power sector is in an infernal, politicised mess and there is no light at the end of the tunnel for the foreseeable future. The result of this chaos is the collective public discomfort caused by hours of curtailed electricity—something that experts had repeatedly warned would happen by this year. The fundamental issue appears to be the prevalence of various mafias pushing different power generation agendas for pecuniary benefit. Thus, there is the coal mafia, more..

Budget 2019 sails through comfortably enough

Apr 7 (ST) Budget 2019, the 1st Budget of the UNF Govt that came into being after the collapse of the Unity Govt with the SLFP last year, was passed by a comfortable majority of 45 votes in Parliament on Friday. The vote on the Third Reading held on Friday evening. after 25 days of debate, saw 119 MPs in favour of the Budget, while 74 opposed it. The UNF, together with the TNA and CWC voted in favour, while the JO, UPFA and JVP voted against. Many SLFP MPs affiliated to Prez more..

New witness supports allegations against military chief

Apr 7 (SO) The CID this week further strengthen its case against SL’s top military chief, Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne after he was linked to the now famous case of 11 missing youth believed to have been abducted by a Navy abduction for ransom gang between 2008 - 2009. Arrested by the CID and now out on bail, Wijegunaratne has been further implicated in the gruesome case through recent revelations more..

Prof. Peiris’ April Fools’ Joke

Apr 7 (CT) SLPP Chairman, Emeritus Professor G.L. Peiris on April Fools’ Day implied that if the SLFP abstained or were not present at voting at the Third Reading of the Budget on Friday (5), there then was no need for the SLPP to continue talks with them to form an alliance against the UNP/UNF/UNFGG, with the next round of talks due this Wednesday (10). – Last Tuesday’s Ceylon Today. SLPP leader is former President and present SLFP/UPFA MP Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

SC rulings place citizens first

Apr 7 (SO) Landmark judgments in protection of citizens’ rights by the Supreme Court last week signalled the higher judiciary’s continued activist posture in favour of the Citizen and society’s interests. While all courts of our judiciary do have a record of upholding citizens’ rights, it is in recent years as other apex institutions of the Republic, such as the legislature and presidency were locked in crises, that the top judiciary firmly remained the bulwark of the People’s sovereignty. more..

TNA opposes massive allocation for Defence

Apr 6 (Island) The TNA, on Thursday, questioned the rationale behind the massive allocations for the Ministry of Defence in this year’s budget. Joining the Committee Stage debate when the expenditure heads of the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment was taken up for debate, TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran said that the defence allocations should not be so big as there was no war. more..

Geneva process: UK seeks faster progress

Apr 6 (Island) Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt told House of Commons that there would never be lasting peace in SL unless there was justice and accountability for the things that went wrong. Hunt was responding to a query raised by Gareth Thomas (Harrow West) (Lab/Coop). GT: The rules-based int'l order would be strengthened if countries were seen to be held accountable for adhering to the conclusions of the UNHRC. more..

Shavendra Silva assumes duties as new Colonel of Commando Regiment

Apr 6 (SLA) Major General Shavendra Silva, Chief of Staff of Sri Lanka Army this morning (5) assumed duties as Colonel of the Regiment, Commando Regiment (CR) during a simple ceremony at Ganemulla CR Headquarters. Amid religious observances, the new Colonel of the Regiment placed his signature for an official document to signify the acceptance of the new office. more..

JVP exposes incompetence in vital departments

Apr 6 (Island) The govt kept on complaining that it did not have enough revenue while undermining the public sector revenue collecting mechanism, JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti told Parliament. "The Department of Inland Revenue is the main institution collecting govt revenue and it has been rendered rudderless for seven months without appointing a Commissioner General," MP said, participating in the third reading stage more..

73-year-old SL woman jailed for killing husband with wooden pole

Apr 6 (DM) A wife who beat her control freak husband to death with a wooden pole after he treated her like a servant has been jailed for two years and four months. Packiam Ramanathan, 73, went into a trance and battered her disabled husband Kanagusabi Ramanathan, 76, in his bed in Newham, east London after he threw a stick at her, a court heard. The Old Bailey was told how Mr Ramanathan had treated his wife more..

Video: Uva hospitals’ strike ends after CM expresses regret

Apr 6 (AD) The strike action launched by doctors and staff at govt hospitals across the Uva Province has come to an end from today after the Chief Minister of the province had expressed his regret over the incident which led to the trade union action. Uva Province Chief Minister Chamara Dassanayake had allegedly verbally abused the Badulla Director of Health Services over an incident pertaining to the construction of a road more..

Sri Lanka tourist arrivals up 4.7% in March

Apr 6 (EN) Sri Lanka's tourism arrivals rose 4.7% in March 2019 from a year earlier to 244,328 helped by visitors from the Russian Federation, United States, India and China, while Western Europe dropped. Visitors from Russia grew 39% to 12,448 while American arrivals grew 29% to 12,543. India grew 5.6% to 34,812 slowing from last year while Australia grew 28% to 11,441. Chinese arrivals grew 12.6% to 23,759. more..

Ditching Grade 5 test is premature, experts warn

Apr 6 (ST) The govt’s proposal to scrap the Grade 5 scholarship exam has support but many educationists and researchers warned the country was not yet ready for the move. They say with no proper mechanism to substitute for the exams, doing away with the test will only deprive rural students of a chance to enter popular urban schools. It is also argued the only opportunity a rural student has of gaining entry into the national schools more..

J’pura university creates a new app to find bananas with carbid

Apr 6 (DM) Nowadays schoolchildren and university students pay more attention on innovations and are willing to develop novel things which can be used to solve current problems in our day-to-day lives. Our new education system also highly contributes to improve students’ technological knowledge other than theoretical knowledge by introducing new technical subjects and technology facilities. Innovate Sri Lanka 2019 exhibition was a good example. more..

Shylocks continue to drive women borrowers to their graves

Apr 6 (ST) More than a million families are in deep debt, having borrowed at loan shark rates from micro finance companies. Many have committed suicide. In one instance, a Batticaloa family headed by a woman, who had borrowed heavily from multiple lenders, was guided by local govt officials to get out of the debt hole. Local officials advised her to borrow from the state-owned Samurdhi Bank. The woman borrowed Rs 475,000, and was able to settle some more..

Lester and his magnificent obsession

Apr 6 (DM) Yesterday was the 100th birth anniversary of Sri Lanka’s legendary filmmaker Lester James Peries and to mark the event the govt conferred on him a rare honour by declaring April 5 as the National Cinema Day. To mark the historic occasion, Cultural Affairs Minister Sajith Premadasa presided at an event held at the National Film Corporation head office and announced that Rs. 15 million had been allocated to build a Lester James Peries archives and library. more..

No dream too big for Fight Cancer Movement

Apr 6 (DM) A MoU was signed on April 1, 2019, between the Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine and the Kadijah Foundation’s Fight Cancer Team with plans to purchase Tomotherapy and LINAC (Linear Particle Accelerator) machines for Apeksha Hospital, Maharagama. Minister Rajitha Senarathne, State Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous medicine Faizal Cassim, Director General of the Ministry of Health Dr. Anil Jayasinghe, more..

JVP questions free visa on arrival facility for tourists

Apr 6 (FT) JVP lawmaker questioned govt decision to grant free visas valid for up to 6 months to tourists from select countries amidst reports of an increase in drug trafficking, bio-piracy, and financial frauds along with other criminal activities by foreign nationals. Govt announced recently that the free visa facility will apply to nationals of Thailand, UK, Australia, South Korea, Canada, US, Singapore, Malaysia, NZ & EU passport holders. more..

Controversial sale of land owned by the Wattala-Mabola UC: Irregularities revealed

Apr 6 (Island) A probe committee, appointed by the Western Province Governor Azath Salley, into the allegedly irregular sale of land, owned by the Wattala-Mabola Urban Council, submitted its report, on Wednesday. The committee findings have revealed some irregularities in the transaction. A statement from the Governor’s office said: "Sequel to the report submitted by the board of inquiry, the Governor’s office is in the process of holding preliminary investigation to find out more..

Reason for PC polls delay: Opposition wants mixed electoral system

Apr 6 (DM) Provincial Council elections had to be postponed because the opposition insisted that the polls should be held under the mixed electoral system, House Leader and Minister, Lakshman Kiriella told Parliament yesterday. He said this when this matter was discussed in Parliament. “The UNP wanted the polls held according to the PR system. The opposition wanted it held under the new system. The new system has several issues. Only part of it has been approved. more..

IDPs to be re-settled on private land purchased by govt

Apr 6 (Island) The govt is to purchase private land to re-settle IDPs, in the wake of it being granted a two year extension to address accountability issues arising from the UNHRC Resolution on Sri Lanka, which was re-adopted at the Councils 40th Session in Geneva recently. A proposal to this effect presented by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to secure funds to purchase lands from private owners based on Chief Valuer’s valuation, was approved more..

Indian Coast Guard rescues 11 SL fishermen

Apr 6 (Hindu) The Coast Guard personnel on Thursday rescued 11 Sri Lankan fishermen after their boats drifted towards the shore between Cuddalore and Puducherry due to rough sea conditions. According to sources, five fishermen from Trincomalee had set sail on a fibreglass boat on March 27. The boat developed a technical snag and was adrift in the sea. The fishermen alerted their counterparts who arrived in another boat and attempted to tow it back to Sri Lanka. more..

Appoint Inland Revenue chief, Valuers: JVP

Apr 6 (DN) JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti told Parliament that the govt is whining that there is no revenue while they themselves have failed in streamlining the public sector revenue collecting mechanism. He said, “Inland Revenue Department is the main institution collecting govt revenue and it has been rendered aimless for seven months without appointing a Commissioner General.” “To the best of my knowledge, the trade unions of the department went before courts and more..