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Easter attacks bring Sri Lanka’s Tamil leadership together

May 12 (Hindu) Two prominent political groups representing SL’s Tamil minority, in the north-east and the hill country, have decided to work together in the wake of the Easter terror attacks. The decision was taken following a meeting between leaders of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA) on Friday. “Such times warrant such collaboration,” said Mano Ganesan, a Cabinet Minister and leader of the TPA, an alliance of 3 parties representing Malayaha Tamils, more..

Sri Lanka mulls possible relief for leased vehicles used in tourism

May 12 (EN) Sri Lanka is considering a request made to give debt relief for owners of leased vehicles used in tourism, State Minister Harsha de Silva said. The tourist industry has said many third party vehicle owners who provided transport to tourists will face difficulty in meeting lease payments after Easter Sunday bombings. The request will be considered at a ministerial committee appointed to look into problems facing the tourism sector when it meets Friday, de Silva told parliament. more..

SLC's million $ wire transfer fraud: Investigation confirms hacking

May 12 (ST) A forensic audit has found that an alleged wire transfer fraud at Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) was the result of business email compromise (BEC) by hackers who attempted to siphon funds into an offshore account by infiltrating the official email accounts of SLC employees. Piyal Dissanayake, SLC Head of Finance (HoF), was sent on compulsory leave in Sept 2018 pending inquiry into allegations that he instructed more..

Nine athletes picked for Asian Grand Prix

May 12 (CT) Nine athletes take wing in June to compete in the two-leg Asian Grand Prix series to be held in China. The team includes seven members of SL’s Asian Championship team and two other athletes who have made the cut in their performances last year. Sri Lanka’s request to include sprinter Himasha Eashan for the meet has been rejected by the organisers, as a Chinese athlete with better timing than Himasha has been included for the position which fell vacant more..

Malinga can still inflict damage, swing games

May 12 (Hindu) Among the most engaging sights in the ongoing IPL is watching Lasith Malinga steaming in and unleashing those stinging yorkers from that low, sling-arm action of his. On view is his colourful mane, unique set of skills, and the explosive power of his action. Malinga is still a potent package. The old warrior from Sri Lanka continues to be fired up by challenges and his partnership with Jasprit Bumrah, another speed merchant with a compelling action, for the Mumbai Indians more..

ICC charges analyst for trying to bribe Sri Lanka minister

May 12 (AFP) The ICC said Saturday it has charged a SL team advisor with trying to bribe the country's sports minister to influence an international match. The move against Sanath Jayasundara, a performance analyst for the national team, came after minister Harin Fernando said in January that a SLC employee had offered him inducements to change the national squad. “Recently someone tried to bribe me as well,” Fernando said, more..

Following Easter Sunday attacks : Exporters meet delivery targets; no cancellations

May 12 (SO) The Easter Sunday attacks have created a major issue for the export community as they have to meet the delivery time set by the buyer community. “The country got disrupted due to the recent attacks and we found it very difficult time to meet the delivery targets. On top of this issue, the cargo cut off time had been advanced. Therefore, we were compelled to meet these requirements. However, we were unable to do night shifts and the situation was worse,” more..

How Chamari Atapattu escaped the trail of terror

May 12 (CI) A week-long vacation in April could have turned highly dangerous for Sri Lanka women's captain Chamari Atapattu had it not been for a last-minute change to her holiday plan she made for her visa arrangements to fly to India for the Women's T20 Challenge. The only Sri Lankan in a pool of 12 overseas players in the competition, Atapattu had set out on her holiday on April 16, a day after receiving an invite for participation from the BCCI. She had planned to round it out with more..

Sri Lanka to defuse the pension payment time bomb

May 12 (ST) Sri Lanka has initiated action to defuse an inter-generational time bomb as future generations will have to bear the rapidly increasing fiscal burden for public sector pension payments. The govt, having identified the growing challenge that Sri Lanka has to face with an ageing population, has proposed the introduction of a National Pension Plan with a sustainable financing structure, official sources revealed. more..

Curiouser and Curiouser

May 12 (ST) SL’s seemingly never-ending problems with coaches has taken a new strange twist. It wasn’t many days ago when Avishka Gunawardane-SL’s very successful A team coach-was downgraded to Emerging Status. Now comes the startling news that Gunawardene has fallen foul of the Emirate Cricket Board’s Anti Corruption Code. This has led to him being suspended from his coaching position. Chaminda Vaas, who is the highest wicket taker among the pace bowlers, is currently more..

Can SL’s cricketers reverse the losing trend?

May 12 (Island) Millions of cricket fans are waiting to see how the national cricket team will perform at the sport’s showpiece event that comes in once in four years. The spirits at the moment are down, following a string of poor performances in white ball cricket in the last 24 months. Can they reverse the trend during the ICC Cricket World Cup in England and Wales that gets underway later this month? Having won World Cup in 1996 with an unbeaten record, we went in for the next event more..

'Though Saudi Arabia has changed, our fellows don’t want to change'

May 12 (Island) Azath Salley, the controversial Governor of the Western province speaks about the Easter Sunday bombings and the extremist tendencies within SL Muslim community. Q: You are one of the few Muslim politicians that I know, who spoke out publicly about the presence of extremist elements within your community. Why is it that most other Muslim politicians were reluctant to even acknowledge that a problem exists? more..

Whatever happened to Lokuarachchi?

May 12 (SO) The Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year contest reached new horizons with the dawn of the new millennium. After 21 consecutive shows, Trinity’s Kaushalya Weeraratne won the top honours at the first Observer Cricketer of the Year in 2000. Kaushal Lokuarachchi became only the second cricketer from St. Peter’s College to win the Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year in 2001 after Weeraratne won it the previous year. It was a memorable year for St. Peter’s more..

Social media woes

May 12 (ST) Serapina was in a foul mood this morning. Balanna Akkey, Facebook block-karala aapahuw (See, Sister, Facebook has been blocked once again), she said, angrily. It was the morning after the clashes between two groups in Negombo had resulted in the authorities blocking most social media sites, essentially as a precaution to prevent hate speech. Serapina was seated under the Margosa tree with Kussi Amma Sera and Mabel Rasthiyadu, sipping cups of tea and more..


A candidate crops a carnage

May 12 (SO) On a TV channel, decidedly committed to advance his presidential bid, Gotabaya Rajapaksa explained his idea of the ‘rule of law.’ He complains that he and, some retired service commanders were summoned before a Magistrate inquiring into the outsourcing of the Govt’s Indian Ocean anti-piracy operations to a private company- Avant-Garde Maritime Services (Pvt) Ltd resulting in an unlawful loss of Rs.11.4 billion to the govt. The encounter is a treasure trove that helps you discover more..

Ethnic destabilisation will doom economy

May 12 (SO) How do sensible citizens cope with social disaster and tragedy? It would certainly not be by adding to it. Sensible citizens would want to mitigate the disaster; minimise the trauma and, rectify the damage. That was how our citizens and most of their leaders responded to the devastating violence on Easter Sunday that shook the country and the world. A religious festival was disrupted brutally, and citizens came forward to support those of the afflicted community. more..

Who monitors Batticaloa Campus?

May 12 (CT) Following the devastating Easter Sunday suicide attacks, a private educational institute in the Eastern Province, named Batticaloa Campus of Sri Lanka (BCSL), started receiving a considerable amount of attention. The controversial educational institute under construction in Punani Batticaloa commenced in 2013 as a small vocational training centre under the name Malik Abdullah University College, more..

All guns blazing, but what’s the use?

May 12 (ST) My dear Field Marshall, I thought I must write to you after listening to you speak in Parliament the other day, giving us your thoughts about what has happened to our Paradise after the Easter attacks, and what you thought should be done about it – and also about how you are prevented from doing anything about it. Field Marshall, we also heard you say that your expertise – as the man who spearheaded the previous war against terror – could be of use to country, more..

Resilience the rock of ages

May 12 (ST) Next weekend is when the country should be celebrating the 10th anniversary of the defeat of terrorism and the return of peace. Instead, Sri Lanka has seen a return to terrorism of a different kind, but terrorism nevertheless. The people are under a cloud of anxiety, fear and foreboding. Having gone through temple, train and Central Bank bombings and massacres of innocent civilians at places of religious worship including Anuradhapura and Kattankudy, more..

Let’s unite to defeat terrorism!

May 12 (CT) In their Lenten reflection, sacrifice, and preparation for 40 days, Christians become one with Jesus. His ultimate sacrifice of self in the form of suffering, humiliation and a cruel death on the cross is painful to any Christian. That is because of the love and reverence they hold for Christ. All the pains endured by Christ was to win salvation for his people. In preparation of the final offering on the cross, during Lent Christians more..

Cacophony and confusion

May 12 (Island) The govt and the Opposition have locked horns over the reopening of schools. The attendance of students in senior grades has been extremely low during the last several days, according to teachers’ unions, which consider the govt’s decision to reopen schools hasty. There was a very low student turnout at the Defence College, Colombo, attended by the children of security forces personnel, and this has sent the wrong signal to the other people. more..

Bring back normalcy

May 12 (CT) It has been three weeks since the devastating Easter Sunday attacks which targeted three churches, and three luxury hotels in Colombo. Public life is yet to return to its usual semblance of normalcy, understandably so, as the investigations and forces’ operations are still going on strong. The acts of terrorism affected many aspects of society. The tourism industry may have felt the repercussions of the attacks considerably more than any other industry and now, more..

Virtusa employee arrested over suspected links to attacks

May 11 (DM) Sri Lankan police on Friday said they had arrested an employee of information technology services company Virtusa Corp in Colombo in connection with Easter Sunday bombings that killed more than 250 people. The Virtusa employee was arrested on April 27th, police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera told Reuters, adding the action was taken as part of the ongoing investigations into the attacks. more..

Muslims want comprehensive mechanism to identify real culprits, says SLMC

May 11 (Island) Sequel to the chain of arrests made during police searches in connection with the recent serial bomb blasts, SLMC Leader, Minister Rauff Hakeem chaired a meeting with MPs and a few High Command members of the SLMC to explore ways and means of assisting the innocent victims of circumstances, who were apprehended by law enforcement authorities. The meeting was summoned recently by more..

Video: I will not accept any other Cabinet post: Sarath Fonseka

May 11 (AD) Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka says that high security measures must be put in place if the schools are to be reopened in the country and if students are expected to come. MP was asked whether he still believes he would be given ministerial portfolios related to law & order or defence. The former Army Commander said it is difficult for him to say whether he will be given the relevant ministry and more..

Sri Lanka to eyes security audit to build tourist confidence

May 11 (EN) Sri Lanka is planning an independent security audit to build confidence among tourists, State Minister Harsha de Silva said after extremists linked to Islamic State bombed churches and hotels on Easter Sunday. "After conducting an independent security audit, embassies and tourist boards of foreign countries will encourage tourism," he said. "Spending millions on advertising is worthless if more..

Cardinal reaches out to Muslims after Sunday violence in Negombo

May 11 (FT) Negombo, called Meegamuwa in Sinhala and Neerkozhumbu in Tamil, is a multi-ethnic coastal town 31 km to the north of Colombo. The ethnic breakdown in Negombo is roughly 75% Sinhalese, 14% Muslim and 9% Tamil people. The population is mainly Christian, comprising Catholics (65.3 %) and Protestants (3.35%). With numerous Catholic cathedrals, churches, shrines and grottos more..

Sri Lanka airport security to get more passenger friendly: official

May 11 (EN) Draconian security measures at Bandaranayake International Airport (BIA) after Easter Sunday bombings will be eased progressively, and will not be the new norm, Airports and Aviation Services a top official said. "When things get back to normal they (military) will get back to their duties and we will get back to our functions and it will be like what it was before," Chairman Dammika Ranatunga said. more..

Easter Sunday attack was ideological: US Army Col. Sellin

May 11 (FT) The most sophisticated coordinated terror attack in the history of Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday killed over 250 unarmed innocents while leaving hundreds more of people with life-changing wounds. This was the first assault on the nation by Islamist terrorism. The so-called Islamic State has taken the responsibility of the heinous crimes while local as well as foreign intelligence agencies warned of further more..

Mihin Lanka lost millions of dollars due to CEO Chandrasena’s ignorance

May 11 (ST) Former Mihin Lanka (Mihin) CEO Kapila Chandrasena’s poor directives issued to Mihin’s management led to two costly decisions where the airline lost millions of dollars. This was revealed by former Mihin Commercial Head Rohan Perera at the PCoI. The first was a decision to procure Boeing aircraft instead of Airbus, which had been Mihin and SriLankan’s go to option. Witness alleged that, this move was more..

'Edu Minister should monitor Madrasas'

May 11 (CT) Non-Cabinet Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva said that the power to regulate Madrasas should be given to the Minister of Education and not to the Muslim Religious and Cultural Affairs Ministry. “Buddhist Pirivena institutions are monitored by the Education Ministry. Then why can’t Madrasas too, be monitored by the same Ministry? There should be one common Law in the country,” Dr. de Silva said in Parliament. more..

Lottery sellers suffer under security situation

May 11 (ST) Around 120 lottery sellers in Colombo and other towns have suffered following the removal of their sales outlets (lottery booths) in a govt move to demolish unauthorised constructions after the Easter Sunday terror attacks. Lottery booths of the Development Lottery Board (DLB) and the National Lotteries Board (NLB) at crowded places in cities countrywide are being removed by local authorities including municipal councils more..

Maintaining peace: Lessons from the Qur’an

May 11 (DM) The Easter Sunday bombings came as a rude shock to me. When the news broke out that fateful Sunday morning that churches were being bombed, I found it hard to believe. My family was horrified. What manner of barbarians would take innocent lives and that too in a place of religious worship? I could not believe anybody could have done this in the name of religion, some criminals or hate cult maybe, but certainly not in the name of a peace-loving religion. more..

Family role in turning catastrophe into a blessing

May 11 (DM) On May 15th, the UN marks the International Day of Families. In Sri Lanka also the families – recognised worldwide as the nucleus of society -- need to play an effective role in restoring normalcy, inter-religious and inter-racial unity in diversity after the April 21 Easter Sunday massacres. According to the UN, all over the world families have been transformed greatly over the past decades in terms of their structure and as a result of global trends and demographic changes, more..

Mosques required to record sermons

May 11 (FT) Muslim Religious and Cultural Affairs Ministry issued a directive to all Mosque trustees to record all sermons including Jumma and to send it to the Ministry. The directive, which was also released to media, said that the decision had been taken on behalf of the entire Muslim Community. As per the provisions of the Muslim Mosques and Charitable Trust or Wakfs Act the Mosque Trustees are fully responsible for more..