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'Sri Lankan cricket going through dark ages'

Nov 30 (Yahoo) Hashan Tillakaratne, the former captain, has said that Sri Lankan cricket is currently going through "the dark ages" and that an elected body is the way forward. "Under Arjuna Ranatunga the interim committee is divided," Tillakaratne said. "The most popular sport in this country is cricket. Arjuna is not allowed to do the work he wants to do by other interim committee members. more..

Prabha strikes a defiant note

Nov 30 (ST) Hours ahead of Tiger guerrilla leader Velupillai Prabhakaran's "Maveerar" ("Great Heroes") Day speech on Thursday, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Air Chief Marshal Donald Perera sent out an urgent message to Commanders of the Army, Navy, the Police Chief and the Director General of the Civil Security Division (CSD). He directed that troops, police and CSD personnel remain under "highest security alert" immediately. In particular, he told them to enhance security in the Colombo area and the southern coast. more..

Sri Lankan helicopters bomb rebels

Nov 30 (AP) Sri Lankan air force helicopters on Sunday bombed Tamil Tiger rebels who were trying to block troops from capturing their de facto capital, the government said. The Defense Ministry said in a statement that the helicopters attacked rebel positions in Murikandy village, south of the rebel headquarters, Kilinochchi. Meanwhile, the military said it recovered the bodies of four rebels believed to have been killed in fighting Saturday in Otiyamalai village in the northeastern Mullaitivu district. more..

Sri Lanka banks on Russia, Iran to lift its sagging tea industry

Nov 30 (PTI) Faced with a slump in tea exports on account of the global slowdown, Sri Lanka is depending on countries like Russia and Iran to bail out the tea industry next year. "The tea industry crisis is not a result of the internal problems of Sri Lanka. Russia and Iran will be coming to the Sri Lankan market in January and then the problem will be solved," a senior Sri Lankan Minister W D J Seneviratne told Parliament. more..

3 INGOs to be sent home

Nov 30 (ST) At least three International NGOs will be asked to cease their operations in the country for poor performance and failing to adhere to certain regulations, a senior government official disclosed yesterday. The three organisations have been identified as two Norwegian-based INGOs – Norwegian People’s Aid and the FORUT -- and the Nertherlands-based ZOA. “Investigations show that these organizations had a poor record in their work and it has been recommended that they be asked to shut down their operations in the country,” more..

CPC tried to transfer all accounts to foreign banks

Nov 30 (ST) The controversial oil hedging crisis has taken a new turn with reports of a possible multi-faceted complicity between foreign banks and Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) officials where in one case there was an attempt to transfer all CPC accounts to the two foreign banks – now at the centre of a Central Bank probe, an investigation by The Sunday Times Business Desk shows. more..

EPF under fire at 50 years, calls for independent management

Nov 30 (LBO) Calls for independent management for Sri Lanka's state-managed Employees Provident Fund are gaining more support, with less than half of respondents to a survey saying returns were "reasonable", an influential weekly has said. Fifty years after the creation of EPF The Sunday Times newspaper said only 45.95 percent of respondents to a poll said the fund had achieved its objective of providing 'a reasonable retirement benefit to its members.' more..