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Murali to spin for Gota

Sep 9 (Island) Former national cricketer Muththiah Muralitharan, yesterday, urged the electorate to pick a capable leader who could lead a team. Underscoring the importance of the leader consulting his team, Muralitharan said that it would be the responsibility of the leader to take decisions. The leader required right support, Muralitharan said, underscoring the importance of leading the team and not dictate terms. more..

B'desh Navy ship Somudra Avijan arrives

Sep 9 (SLN) Blangladesh Navy ship Somudra Avijan arrived at the port of Colombo on a goodwill visit today (7). She was warmly welcomed by the SL Navy in accordance with naval traditions on her arrival. The Commanding Officer of the visiting Bangladesh ship, Commander Zahirul Haque called on the Commander Western Naval Area, Rear Admiral Sumith Weerasinghe at the Western Naval Command Headquarters. They held cordial discussions on matters of mutual interest more..

State banks to offer collateral-free soft loans up to Rs. 1.5 m under Enterprise Lanka

Sep 9 (FT) Minister Mangala Samaraweera announced that the Govt has decided to offer interest subsidised loans up to Rs. 1.5 million under the Enterprise SL loan scheme without obtaining collateral. He said that there is no need for the women of the war widows association and the ex-combatants to look for two surety guarantees. Minister emphasised that the Govt was mindful of the hardships faced by the Northern people during the last 30 years and especially the hardships more..

Sumanthiran regrets boycott by Northern Tamils

Sep 9 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe who contested the prez election in 2005 was unfortunately defeated as a result of the Tamils in the North boycotting the elections, TNA MP M.A Sumanthiran said. He said it was essential to make another effort to fulfil the political aspirations of the people in the North without further delay. MP addressing Saturday's opening ceremony of the Enterprise SL Exhibition in Jaffna said the PM had pledged to implement more..

Editors resolve 274 complaints under right of reply option

Sep 9 (FT) National newspaper Editors resolved 243 complaints made directly to them by aggrieved readers in 2018 and 31 complaints with the involvement of the Press Complaints Commission of SL (PCCSL). During the year under review, PCCSL received 79 complaints from the public, of which 19 were outside its scope. The complaints resolved by the Editors come under Clause 4: Opportunity to Reply (Right of Reply) procedure laid down by The Editors’ Guild of Sri Lanka in their Code of more..

‘Enterprise Sri Lanka Exhibition, bridge of reconciliation to find new investors’

Sep 9 (DN) A separate fund will be created to assist in setting up businesses in Jaffna area said PM in Jaffna last week at a meeting held at the Jaffna Municipal Grounds after launching several development projects in the Jaffna area. He said that the fishing industry too will be improved so that fishermen can go fishing in the deep sea. “It should be mentioned that a new development plan has been prepared in consultation with the people’s representatives of the area to develop Jaffna. more..

Barter deal in the works for Sri Lanka, Iran

Sep 9 (FT) Proactive negotiations are underway towards finalising a crucial barter deal between SL & Iran to resolve impasse over tea exports and payment due on oil imports. The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) has a long outstanding payment liability worth $ 240 million on oil purchased from Iran. As a possible settlement midst US-led sanctions on Iran, a $ 10 million per month tea exports for 2 years is being worked out. more..

Sri Lanka Pro Surf League from Sept 25 to 29

Sep 9 (DN) The World Surf League (WSL) will be returning to the idyllic right-hand point breaks of Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka, in September for the So Sri Lanka Pro Men’s Qualifying Series (QS) 3,000 event. Approximately 100 surfers from more than 22 nations will take part in the five-day contest sponsored by the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau will draw a massive international field of competitors all vying for important QS points as they look to qualify for elite Championship Tour. more..

Sailor Sisira Kumara wins selection trial for SA Games marathon

Sep 9 (Island) Little known Sisira Kumara clinched the National Youth Sports Festival men’s marathon title in a time of two hours, 32 minutes and 07 seconds at Gampaha on Sunday. Thus he became eligible to represent the country at the forthcoming South Asian Games ahead of veterans as the Youth event was considered as the final selection trial for the regional Games. Kumara was the only athletes to run the grueling distance under two hours and 40 minutes as 2nd placed R.D.N.S. Karunaratne more..

'Players are more relaxed when there is no head coach'

Sep 9 (DN) Chief selector and team manager Ashantha de Mel made a startling statement when he said that SL players were more relaxed and performed better without a head coach. De Mel’s stunning assessment comes following the conclusion of the Test and T20 International series against NZ where he was the team’s manager. Sri Lanka drew the two-Test series one-all and lost the 3-match T20I series 2-1 with a young side more..

Swimming: St. Joseph's, Visakha Champs

Sep 9 (CT) St. Joseph's College and Visakha Vidyalaya overcame closest challengers St. Peter's College and Mahamaya College, Kandy in the Boys' and Girls' categories respectively to emerge as champions in the 46th annual SL Schools Swimming Championship concluded at the Sugathadasa Swimming Complex. After 5 days of exciting competition with over 3000 participants taking to the waters, an unprecedented 41 new records were set in both the individual events & relays, more..

Sri Lanka U-19 to win over UAE

Sep 9 (Island) Fielding excellence against UAE helped Sri Lanka to book a berth in the semi-finals of the Under-19 Asia Cup in Katunayake yesterday. All-rounder Navod Paranavithana excelled for SL scoring 61 opening the innings and then he picked up four wickets with his left-arm spin to restrict UAE for 274 for nine in 50 overs chasing a target of 327. The 52 run win enabled SL to qualify for the semi-finals and now they will battle with Bangladesh in the remaining group game more..

Keep Cricket clean: Sangakkara

Sep 9 (ST) SL cricket legend Kumar Sangakkara was critical in underlining the responsibility of domestic cricket clubs’ to keep the sport clean from corruption, as the country’s reputation hangs in the balance with the blend of occurrences in the recent past. Former SL skipper Sangakkara, was felicitated by his domestic side, the NCC, on his recent feat of being appointed President of Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC). more..

Editorial: Waiting for Mahendran

Sep 9 (Island) Prez Sirisena is in a mighty hurry to bring ex-CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran to justice, over the bond scams. One may recall that he went out of his way to help cover up the bond scams and take Mahendran off the hook, in 2015. He made a mockery of his commitment to good governance by dissolving Parliament before the first COPE report on the bond scam was presented, and, thereby, prevented it from having an adverse impact on UNP’s electoral performance. more..

A tale of three PMs: Narendra Modi, Boris Johnson and Ranil Wickremesinghe

Sep 9 (Island) The three Prime Ministers may not have much, even anything, in common. However, the extreme contrasts between them and their situations are quite revelatory of the equally extremely divergent ways in which the political systems of India, the UK and Sri Lanka are currently unfolding in spite of their common origins. PM Modi is at the pinnacle of power in India, even though the beginning of his second term in office is having rather rough starts in quite a few areas. more..

Anura Kumara Disanayake

Hobson’s choice with Prez Candidates

Sep 9 (Island) Two recent articles published in The Island were eye-openers. The first was titled Presidential Elections and the Peoples Options by a group of eminent persons collectively known as Friday Forum. The other was titled Milinda reminds seven cold economic truths as politicians go into overdrive with promises by former politician and minister Milinda Moragoda. Friday Forum has highlighted several of the ills prevailing in the country and its governance. more..

Chaos …

Sep 9 (ST) Though it was a bright and sunny morning, the mood was anything but bright. “Balannako akki, traffic hinda hungak parakkuwuna (See Sister, because of the traffic, I am very late),” grumbled Mabel Rasthiyadu. She was complaining because it had taken several hours to get to a friend’s place off Galle Road. “Aei, mokakde wune (Why, what happened)?” asked Kussi Amma Sera. “Aei, danne nedda, loku meeting ekak thibuna hinda, hunga-denek parakku wuna vedata yanna more..

On SLFP’s 68th convention

Sep 9 (ST) There were quite a few interesting asides at the SLFP’s 68th annual convention at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium last Tuesday. Other political parties were invited to attend not by individual names but the names of the party. When ACMC leader Rishad Bathiuddin arrived, a section of the crowd began heckling him. There were hoots and shouts of go back. However, he stayed put until the sessions were over. more..

Three cheers for Lakshman Kiriella!

Sep 9 (CT) Ranil Wickremesinghe cannot burst out when he should burst oust. .…In leadership, one has to throw a fit now and again, to show or even simulate anger in the face… Lao Tzu’s leadership concept is no style for a leader in 21st century & living in the kind of cultural context that generates the kind of capricious politics we find prevalent in Third World countries like SL. In SL, rough elements and political conmen operate all the time & politics seems to be the prize for everyone. more..

On politicians & the emperor with no clothes

Sep 9 (ST) Delusions of grandeur that Sri Lanka’s political class wraps around itself are much like that beloved children’s tale of old, where the ruler is cajoled by tricksters into believing that he is wearing garments of stupendous beauty visible only to clever minds, whereas in actual fact, he is wearing nothing at all. Unsurprisingly, this story by Danish writer Hans Christian Anderson has ventured far beyond the kindergarten to be adapted as biting political satire. more..

'Candidate will be selected at correct time'

Sep 9 (TM) UNP stalwart Minister John Amaratunga said the selection of the party’s prez candidate will be made at the correct time following the correct process. Minister further noted that he did not see anything wrong with Sajith Premadasa campaigning and he did not expect the party to take any disciplinary action in this regard despite there being a suspension on campaign activities. Q: Why is the UNP taking so long to select & name more..

People’s power movement is not simply an election front

Sep 9 (CT) Since it’s election season, presidential, provincial and mid-next-year parliamentary, every conversation invariably drifts that way. All are agog about Who will be the DNF candidate? What is the latest prediction? and so on. That’s natural but only a side-line for today’s column. Sure, the election later this year is important and every entity in PP will strive to strengthen Anura Kumara’s performance, but PP is not simply an electioneering machine; it is a long-term strategy. more..

Who wants to be President anyway, when real power resides with the PM?

Sep 9 (ST) In the event of Gotabaya being cleared of any disability to contest the forthcoming polls and does indeed contests it and wins it, the impression widely shared by many in the Pohottuwa gang that overnight brother Mahinda will be sworn in as PM, is – sorry to say and dash their high held hopes – grossly mistaken and their optimism widely misplaced. The election of a new candidate does not make the Articles in the Constitution quiver in the slightest. more..

New alliance with Premadasa not working out: Sirisena shifts bets back with SLPP

Sep 8 (ST) Just weeks before nominations for this year’s prez election, Prez Sirisena, painted a self-portrait of himself at last Tuesday’s 68th annual convention of the SLFP. That was an epitaph of sorts on his dual role, wearing two most coveted political mantles since 2015. One is the Executive Presidency, which he has held till today for 4 years, 7 months and 30 days. The other is the SLFP leadership which was bestowed more..

Sajith vows he would not give up presidential candidacy fight

Sep 8 (AD) Deputy Leader of the UNP, Minister Sajith Premadasa says he would not give up the fight for presidential candidacy. He stated this addressing an event held at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium last evening with the participation of the UNP’s Provincial Council poll candidates who contested in the previous election. Ministers Ranjith Madduma Bandara, Kabir Hashim, Harin Fernando and Chandrani Bandara were also present at this event. more..

Video: Cannot please foreign countries just to do away with their influence: Gotabaya

Sep 8 (AD) The administration of former Prez Rajapaksa never yielded up the economically important locations of Sri Lanka to foreign countries, says the presidential hopeful of SLPP Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Addressing the convention of MEP held at Awissawella today (7), the former defence secretary said such places of economical importance are now in the hands of foreign influence. The presidential hopeful stressed that Sri Lanka at present has been subjected to more..

LCC makes spot tender for 2.7mn metric tonnes of coal

Sep 8 (ST) Long-term tender floated by Lanka Coal Company (LCC) for the supply of 2.7mn metric tonnes of coal for the Lakvijaya power plant had no takers at all. Officials opened the bid on July 26 to find that nobody had bid for it. Just three days before the closing date for the term tender, however, LCC also floated a spot tender for 300,000 metric tonnes of coal. It was opened on Aug 16. It remains unclear why a spot tender was called more..

Bond scam forensic audits not final

Sep 8 (SO) Forensic audit reports of the bond scandal has still not been finalised and the first report is expected only by the end of Sept, CB Governor Dr Indrajith Coomaraswamy said. According to him two reports are expected in Oct and the final two are to be finalised in Nov. “Between the end of Sept and Nov of this year we can expect all audit reports to be finalised and sent to us,” he said. Prez Commission inquiring into the Bond scam recommended a forensic audit to be more..

Around 20 candidates likely for prez poll

Sep 8 (ST) At least 15 registered political parties have informed the Elections Commission that they would be contesting the upcoming prez election, senior official said. He said 12 of them had officially informed the Commission of their plans to contest the poll while three others had verbally conveyed their decision. “We believe there will be around 20 candidates for the election,” he said. The official said the Commission had requested political parties to convey their intention more..

Nine countries under close watch Extreme vetting prior to visa approval

Sep 8 (CT) Immigration and Emigration Dept has placed nine countries under close watch, prior to issuing visas to their citizens, a senior official said yesterday. He said the countries from Africa, South Asia and elsewhere have not been blacklisted, but an extreme vetting process is carried out on every single application prior to issuing visas to their citizens. "A large number of visitors from these countries have been already more..

UN peacekeeping duties HRCSL clears 632 military officers

Sep 8 (CT) Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) states that it has currently issued clearance certificates to 632 SL military officers, out of six teams chosen to be sent for UN peacekeeping duties, from a priority list of nine teams. Issuing a media release in this connection, the HRCSL has stated that various allegations had been made in the Press that it has not meted out justice when issuing clearance certificates for local military officers selected for UN peacekeeping duties. more..

Tourism service providers will be issued annual licenses within a day — Minister

Sep 8 (Island) Minister John Amaratunga, announced that Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) has expedited issuing annual licenses to tourism providers and the process could be completed within a day if the relevant documentation was in order. Minister conceded that there were many complaints from allied service providers, who had to travel to Colombo to submit their applications for the annual license, which took many days to process. more..

Video: UNP’s top brass did not discuss nominating PM as prez candidate: Kabir

Sep 8 (AD) Chairman of the UNP Minister Kabir Hashim says the meeting of the party’s senior members held yesterday (6) did not at any time talk through the nomination of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe their prez candidate. He said the meeting focused on nominating an apt candidate to run for the presidency. He added that PM Wickremesinghe and Minister Sajith Premadasa will hold a special discussion tomorrow more..

Dialog files action against TRC

Sep 8 (ST) The country’s largest mobile operator, Dialog Axiata PLC has filed action in courts against the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) over propagating unfair practices in giving out certain spectrums. They allege that a 1800 4G band used mainly for broadband services to provide Internet which is a much sought after spectrum telecom frequency had been allocated to Mobitel (headed by Prez’s brother, Kumarasinghe Sirisena) by the TRC without open competitive bidding. more..

PM only said he likes the candidacy: Harin

Sep 8 (AD) Minister Harin Fernando says the reports claiming PM Ranil Wickremesinghe will contest in the presidential election are false, as the party leader only expressed his liking towards the presidential candidacy. Minister said the party leader would discuss the matter with his deputy counterpart, Minister Sajith Premadasa, and reach a solution. However, the public prefers the deputy leader, the sports minister added, emphasizing that the step taken forward will not be taken back. more..