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Moody’s 3-year contract to begin in March

Feb 28 (Island) Negotiations between Sri Lanka Cricket and former Head Coach Tom Moody are in the last stages and the Perth based Australian is expected to take over as SL’s Director of Cricket as early as first week of March. Following recommendations by the Cricket Committee headed by former skipper Aravinda de Silva, SLC entered into negotiations with the former all-rounder who featured in two World Cup winning more..

Mathews favourite to lead T20 side

Feb 28 (ST) As captain-designate Dasun Shanaka is likely to miss the T20 leg of the West Indies series due to a visa issue, SL could bring in one of the three seniors to lead the side. The names of former skippers Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal and Thisara Perera have all been discussed but the scale is in Mathews’ favour. For this, however Mathews has to give his consent. The team management in Antigua which includes head coach Mickey Arthur & Manager Jerome Jayaratne more..

Criminal negligence

Feb 28 (ST) My dear Cheerio Sirisena, I thought of writing to you because you are once again making headlines even though you are no longer the big boss that you used to be. Unfortunately for you, the headlines you are generating are not favourable for you and I’m sure you are wondering what would happen next. I'm referring to this commission report that says criminal proceedings should be instituted against you for not doing your job properly at the time of the Easter bomb attacks 2 years ago. more..

Whom Imran bowled out and how he left

Feb 28 (ST) It was 4.40 p.m. last Wednesday when the BIA’s Air Traffic Controllers cleared Pak Two for take-off. Pakistan Air Force Gulfstream G450 rolled off from runway 22, veered westwards, and gradually climbed to 35,000 feet. It cruised at that flight level far off from the Thiruvananthapuram coast in South India, over the Laccadives sea. It headed in the direction of Karachi and there onwards to Islamabad. more..

The incredible cost of ignoring credible intelligence

Feb 28 (ST) The Presidential Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the Easter Sunday bombings must surely have set a world record by hanging out to dry the very person who appointed the Commission. The Commission’s final report unfortunately has got embroiled in needless controversy by the President not releasing it immediately upon receipt. Only an ultimatum from the Cardinal to make it public, or face the consequences (whatever they were to be) fast-forwarded its release into public domain. more..

Vaas goes to Parliament as cricket’s latest casualty

Feb 28 (SO) Chaminda Vaas joined the list of ex-players to be forced out of national cricket coaching which has exposed a cruel and forbidden system that the powers that be are yet to address as the sport has been placed in the dock awaiting its fate or salvation. Vaas and cricket have not only gone to parliament for debate but has shed light on a free-for-all set up at SLC where nepotism and cronyism is the name of the game that has led to an unprecedented crash of the team. more..

Divided people in a distorted democracy

Feb 28 (Island) Geneva Calamity comes more from the thinking of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, than that of the former Chilean politician who is now the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. It is such thinking of disaster advancement that made our Foreign Minister tell the Geneva meeting in his virtual address that SL acted in self-defence in the fight against the LTTE’s terrorism. Was it self-defence that led to the actions of more..

What is microplastic pollution?

Feb 28 (TM) Plastic is the most prevalent type of marine debris found in our ocean. Plastic debris can come in all shapes and sizes, but those that are less than five millimetres in length are called microplastics. Microplastics come from a variety of sources, including from larger plastic debris that degrades into smaller and smaller pieces. In addition, microbeads, a type of microplastic, are very tiny pieces of manufactured polyethylene plastic that are added as exfoliants to more..

Death of entire tracts of trees; vaccinated amidst confusion

Feb 28 (Island) Cass listened thrice to a Facebook video sent toher by a wildlife enthusiast which has Himeshi Weerasiri speaking from her heart; simply, eloquently and transparently sincerely. She addresses the President and continues with you but Cass discerns the you includes the PM, Ministers and govt bureaucrats. Hence if the President listens to what she had to say, (which we hope he will), he must not be angered. Even the highest in the world must listen to the voice of the people and more..


Retrieval of Muslim burial rights & Aftermath

Feb 28 (CT) At last, after nearly 12 months of agony and trauma, and close to 350 forced cremation of Corona-killed Muslims, Prez Nandasena Gotabaya Rajapaksa (NGR) had relented and issued a gazette notification restoring a controversially lost Muslim human right. Muslim community would indeed have a great sigh of relief, and there may be several among them, who would claim credit for this so-called achievement, including the 5 MPs, who treacherously voted in favour of more..

That fateful night with DIG Anura Senanayake

Feb 28 (CT) When I heard the news of retired Senior DIG Anura Senanayake’s death, my memories took me back to a fateful night at the Dehiwala police station in May 2008. On that night, journalist Keith Noyahr, the then Deputy Editor of the now defunct The Nation newspaper, was abducted and brutally tortured by a hit squad. When the abduction took place, at around 10 PM near the entrance of Noyahr’s Dehiwala residence, I was the only one in the editorial at Rivira attending more..

Minister Ali Sabry decries Bachelet’s report

Feb 28 (SO) Justice Minister Ali Sabry said that the Govt totally condemns UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet’s one-sided report which has completely ignored all positive developments taking place in SL. He said when they come out with such damning reports, it further polarises the community here on the ground. He said “That is why we are saying, they need to be cautious, reasonable and understand more..

Rothschild interested in Port City

Feb 28 (CT) On 15 Jan 2021 Nathaniel Rothschild, a British Born Financier settled in Switzerland visited Port City as part of his business tour of the island. He is the first possible key investor to visit Sri Lanka after the change of Govt. Port City has placed several blocks of reclaimed land including a Marina for sale. Backers can choose from 15 billion dollars of investments to build a city within a city. SL born British politician and former European Union MP Niranjan Deva Adithya and more..

A challenge for Global South

Feb 28 (SO) According to reports from Geneva, more countries will defend Sri Lanka at the virtual 46th session of the UNHRC, whose Chief Michelle Bachelet had earlier presented a biased and inaccurate report on Sri Lanka, based mostly on unverified bits of information circulated by sections of the Tamil Diaspora and some Western nations. Among this chorus of voices is China, which is significantly a veto-power wielding Permanent Member of the UN Security Council. more..

Living with COVID-19: A year in review

Feb 28 (CT) The country has been in the throes of the COVID-19 infection for a year now. The number of infected cases is reaching the 100,000 mark fast. The current number of cases the country has recorded since March last year is a mind blowing 81,466. Total number from the clusters that emerged from the Minuwangoda garment facility and Peliyagoda Fish Market reached 77,868. The bright side is that 76,513 of them more..

For families of the disappeared, the international community is their last hope

Feb 28 (GV) It is a small shed with cement brick walls and an asbestos roof facing a dusty street. Car horns blare and trucks rattle past. Outside on a weedy patch of grass three baby goats bleat as they play. The walls are lined with photographs. They are mostly young boys and girls, some even in crisp white school uniforms and ties. There is a girl in a bright pink saree and another with jasmine flowers entwined in her hair. One is an ID card photograph; another is a posed studio shot. more..

People’s issues will not be swept under the carpet: President Gotabaya Rajapaksa

Feb 28 (SO) Pakistan PM Imran Khan paid a two-day official visit to Sri Lanka on Feb 23-24 on the invitation of PM Rajapaksa. It was clearly evident that the Pakistan Premier’s visit would help further strengthen Pakistan-SL relations and enhance mutual cooperation in diverse fields. PM Khan was accompanied by a high-level delegation, comprising Ministers and senior govt officials. This was the first visit by the Pakistan PM to SL since the formation of the new Govts in both the countries, more..

Covid-19 Situation Report

SL informs OIC about its decision to allow burial of Muslim Covid-19 victims

Feb 27 (DM) Sri Lanka was to inform in writing to the General Secretariat of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) yesterday about its decision to allow the burial of Muslim Covid-19 victims. The Govt decided to reverse its mandatory cremation policy based on recommendations by the technical committee of experts appointed to look into it. The gazette notification giving effect to this decision was issued on Wednesday night under the signature of Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi. more..

'All individuals in the tourism industry will be vaccinated within the next few weeks'

Feb 27 (DM) While avoiding strict quarantine rules and lockdowns in the country, it had been a month since the launch of the Bio Bubble system for the tourists who arrive in the country, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) Chairperson Kimarli Fernando said in an interview with the CNN. She said to coincide with this programme to promote the tourism industry, all individuals in the tourism industry would be vaccinated within the next few weeks. more..

Guidelines for Circular on burial of COVID victims drafted

Feb 27 (AD) Guidelines for the Circular permitting burial of bodies of COVID-19 victims has been drafted, says Director-General of Health Services Dr. Asela Gunawardena. He added that locations for the burial of COVID victims will be identified within 3 – 4 days. Drafting of guidelines was completed after the committee of experts appointed to examine methods for disposal of COVID victims met earlier today. more..

Turkey welcomes Sri Lanka’s decision to bury COVID victims

Feb 27 (TM) Turkey has welcomed the decision taken by SL authorities to bury those who died from the coronavirus in line with Muslim beliefs, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman said. Hami Aksoy said the Muslim community was expecting the change in the practice of cremation for those who died has been applied because of special geological conditions. He said certain officials in Sri Lanka expressed that there is no necessity for the cremation practice regarding public’s health. more..

Rs. 1mn. school bag boon for 1,000 students of Monaragala from Port City Colombo

Feb 27 (Island) Port City Colombo recently made a donation of 1,000 school bags valued at nearly Rs. 1 million to schoolchildren of low income families in the Monaragala District who are entering their first year of schooling in 2021. The donation was handed over to Vijitha Berugoda, state minister of Dhamma Schools, Pirivenas and Bhikkhu Education, as a contribution to the State Ministry program Dinamu. The donation was made at the Port City Colombo premises. more..

More crisis as SLC forced to name new captain

Feb 27 (Island) Less than a month after Parliamentary watchdog committee – COPE severely censured officials of SLC for inefficiency and lack of transparency, the sport’s governing body has been exposed once again after the captain they named for the upcoming series in the Caribbean has been left stranded in Colombo unable to get a visa to fly to West Indies. Dasun Shanaka was named as the captain for more..

Assault on law student; Colombo Law Society wants perpetrators produced...

Feb 27 (TM) While vehemently condemning the alleged attack on a law student by a group of police officers of the Peliyagoda Police, the Colombo Law Society requested the AG to direct the police to immediately produce the perpetrators in Court. In a statement, Colombo Law Society’s Prez Vijaya Gamage & Secretary Sanath Karunaratne said that no citizen should be subjected to police brutality and any such act should not be tolerated by any means and should be heavily refuted. more..

Gazette has been issued but no Muslim Covid victims body has been released for...

Feb 27 (EN) Although the Islamic world has welcomed the decision by the Sri Lankan government to permit the burial of Muslim victims of Covid 19, in practice no bodies of the victims who follow the religion have been released for burial, civil society leaders say. Hilmy Ahamed Vice-Chair of the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka says none of the remains of Muslims who have passed away from the Covid 19 virus has been released for burial and the bodies are in the mortuary freezers. more..

Tighter laws sought to curb online harassment of women politicians

Feb 27 (DN) Former member of the Election Commission of SL Professor Rathnajeevan Hoole said that alleging female candidates of sexual misconduct on social media was a terrible thing and that no woman would come forward and contest an election if tighter laws are not introduced to prevent maligning on social media. Prof. Hoole recounted that during the 2020 Parliamentary election, female candidates in the Eastern Province as well as more..

JCHSTU stops trade union action

Feb 27 (CT) Joint Committee of Health Service Trade Unions (JCHSTU) halted its trade union action against alleged malpractices in recruiting health sector workers after two days on Friday (26). JCHSTU General Secretary N.M.S.D. Nawaraliya expressed that the Govt affiliated trade union membership will be removed from the joint committee for their lack of cooperation in trade union activities. “We have postponed the meeting that was supposed to be held on Friday. more..

India cannot abandon us: Sri Lanka

Feb 27 (DM) Seeking India’s proactive support at the UNHRC, where a resolution on Sri Lanka will be soon put to vote, the Secretary to Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, “India cannot abandon us”. “If the world is one family, as your Foreign Minister has said, then we are immediate family, isn’t it,” Admiral Jayanath Colombage (retired) said, citing External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar’s reference to vasudhaiva kutumbakam in his recent address to the Council. more..

An ornamental police force

Feb 27 (ST) Public Security Minister Sarath Weerasekara will meet senior women police officers this week to discuss longstanding impediments to their promotions within the Police Department. The meeting has been scheduled in the face of a Fundamental Rights petition filed by 33 Senior Superintendents of Police against the Sept 2020 promotion of Bimshani Jasin Arachchi as DIG, the first woman to hold such a position in SL. more..

More Army men involved in narcotics racket

Feb 27 (CT) More Sri Lanka Army personnel are involved in transporting drugs from the South of the country to Colombo, Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) said. A Senior PNB Officer noted preparations are underway to arrest a Corporal of the Army connected to this drug smuggling ring. This information was revealed when questioning a Lance Corporal, who was arrested by the Panadura Anti-Vice Narcotics Squad recently, with 43 kg of drugs worth approximately Rs 450 million. more..

Duo nabbed with heroin, Ice & Rs.1.5m cash

Feb 27 (DM) Two including a woman have been arrested by the STF with 1 kg of heroin, 750g of Ice (methamphetamine) and over Rs.1.5 million in cash yesterday. STF team attached to the Gonahena camp arrested a man along with 750g of Ice in Ragama area yesterday. In addition the STF recovered over Rs. 1.5 million in cash from the man, which believed to have been earned through drug trafficking and peddling. While interrogating the suspect, the STF arrested another woman more..

Int'l energy companies question Govt

Feb 27 (CT) The top energy project by U.S./Canada based energy companies, Sithe Global and Greenlink Global Consulting Inc, (Greenlink) that geared to invest in a USD 1.4 billion Hambantota Energy Project (HEP) in 2009, has urged Prez Rajapaksa and PM Rajapaksa to initiate a probe why the project was shelved by the former Yahapalana Govt and is calling for a probe. Greenlink said they would be compelled to more..

Over 1,400 suspects with warrants arrested in four-hour raid

Feb 27 (AD) Nearly 3,871 suspects were taken into custody during a four-hour raid carried out island-wide, says Police Spokesperson DIG Ajith Rohana. The raid was conducted a total of 18,357 police officers from 6.00 pm to 10.00 pm on Thursday (25) on the directives of Inspector General of Police. Among the arrested are 1,430 suspects with arrest warrants, 562 suspects who were wanted over various criminal offences, 1,108 individuals linked to drugs and illicit liquor related offences, more..

CRYSBRO recognised for its entrepreneurial excellence at Star Awards 2020

Feb 27 (Island) Affirming their leadership in SL’s poultry industry, the country’s largest producer of poultry CRYSBRO was recently recognised for their entrepreneurial excellence at star awards 2020. Organised by the Department of Industrial Development and Entrepreneurship Promotion under the Ministry of Industries of the Central Province, the annual State Awards ceremony saw CRYSBRO’s subsidiaries Farm’s Pride (Pvt) Ltd win a Star Award and Midland Breeders (Pvt) Ltd more..