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Asia Cup: Bangladesh hold nerve to seal final berth

Mar 3 (CI) Those who watch cricket regularly will tell you that in a tight contest, the winning side will always show some signs of their impending triumph. Mahmudullah's upright blast over extra cover at the start of the 17th over can only be described as the shot of the tournament so far. In a tight chase of 130 against Pakistan, it was only fair that Mahmudullah struck the blow that took Bangladesh to the Asia Cup final. Despite Shakib Al Hasan's brain freeze to Mohammad Amir in the 18th over, more..

Sri Lanka’s economic relations with India: Myth and reality

Mar 3 (Island) Hostility to India or any form of negative feeling with regard to economic relations between the two countries does not, by any means, underpin the strong reservations evident across a wide spectrum of SL society in relation to the proposed treaty. Given obvious considerations of scale, capacity and influence, there is no doubt that an equitably structured bilateral relationship is desirable for SL. more..

The last decade and the next six monts

Mar 3 (DM) With every major step it takes in every important direction, the Wickremesinghe- administration seems to run into difficulty, losing popularity and social legitimacy. The further it goes on any front, the narrower its social support becomes. To put it more simply, with every step it takes, fewer people seem to go along with the Govt while more people seem to dissent. Overall there is a palpable sense of discontent and dismay. What is the reason for this apparent erosion? more..

The govt like no other

Mar 3 (DN) Incumbency in government brings along with it many burdens. Countless pitfalls await governments which have to get their act together and not only satisfy the multitude of promises made during election campaigns; they also have to live up to the heightened expectations of voters. In many ways, it is easy to be popular if a party is in the opposition because it will be tasked with pointing out the errors of commission and omission of the govt of the day. more..

In Sri Lanka, barriers fall in a land marred by bloodshed

Mar 3 (NYT) We had just crossed the causeway leading from the Jaffna Peninsula to the Vanni, the northern Sri Lankan mainland, when the colossus came into view: a pair of bronze hands, mounted on a plinth, raising aloft a model of this teardrop-shaped island nation. A marble frieze on the wall that encircled the statue showed columns of helmeted troops and tanks rolling past swamps and palmyra trees, the spiky palm indigenous to more..

Sri Lanka under spotlight in Berlin as investment location

Mar 3 (DM) Some of the approximately 300 participants of the German Sri Lankan Business Forum in Berlin felt like transferred to a fairy tale world, when Annette Heimlicher, CEO of the Swiss position sensor producer Contrinex, marvelled about her settlement experiences with the new govt of the island in the Indian Ocean. In the beginning of 2015, the 550-employees of the high-tech company, which has been producing in China and Hungary already, was urgently looking for a new location. more..

Bank of Ceylon records highest profit of over Rs. 25 billion

Mar 3 (CT) Bankers to the Nation, Bank of Ceylon (BoC), in an iconic close at end 2015 has raised the bar by recording the highest ever profit of Rs 25.3 billion made by a single commercial entity in the country. This is a 25% growth over the previous year. Post-tax profit at Rs 16.1 billion recorded 19% growth over end 2014. The BoC Group recorded Rs 25.5 billion pre-tax profit achieving a 19% increase over the previous year while post-tax profit was Rs 16.2 billion with a 13% increase over 2014. more..

China positive on trade, investment says Malik after visit

Mar 3 (LBO) China is positive about Sri Lanka’s prospects as a strategically located platform for trade, investment and tourism, a statement issued following Minister Malik Samarawickrama’s recent visit to China said. “They saw opportunities for strengthening bilateral cooperation and looked forward to PM Ranil Wickramasinghe’s visit to China in April to take the relationship to a new level,” he said. more..

SriLankan Airlines eyes turnaround

Mar 3 (LBO) SriLankan Airlines is poised for a shift in strategy, ranging from privatisation to network restructuring, in a bid to achieve sustained profitability, Ajith Dias, chairman of SriLankan Airlines told the Oxford Business Group. SriLankan Airlines has been faced with an increasingly difficult operating environment as rising competition, tighter margins and lobbying by local vested interests have weighed on the carrier’s performance. In an effort to turn its fortunes around, more..

SL businesses waste 4% revenue annually

Mar 3 (FT) SL organisations wasted an average amount of 4% of revenue every year, according to a new study. Among the most common causes for losses were projects which were cancelled after their inception – with 38% admitting to wasted costs in this area – followed by delayed projects (66%) and overpaying for goods and services (26%). CIMA polled more than 2,000 finance professionals, of which 59% admitted their organisations lack any kind of strategy to drive cost competitiveness. more..

Three Sri Lanka U-19 cricketers suspended

Mar 3 (Island) SL Schools Cricket Association has suspended three Sri Lanka Under-19 players for a number of schools cricket matches for violating the code of conduct in two separate quarter-final clashes in the trouble-plagued bottom half of the Inter School Under-19 cricket tournament. Wanindu Hasaranga and skipper Charith Asalanka (both from Richmond) and Avishka Fernando from St. Sebastian’s are the players suspended. more..

Media Minister to visit journalists in the North

Mar 3 (GDI) Minister Gayantha Karunathilake will visit Northern province on 26th March to meet the provincial journalists to discuss their problems. Both state and private media representatives will also take part in this three-day visit with Minister who is scheduled to meet the family members of disappeared journalists. According to the minister, measures have been taken to build houses for the families of missing journalists with the contribution of the three state media. more..

Constitutional reforms: Committee to brief President, PM

Mar 3 (DN) Committee on Public Representations to the Proposed Constitutional Reforms will inform President Sirisena on the progress of its work on March 15, its Chairman Lal Wijenaike said. He said PM Wickremesinghe too would be briefed about the progress of work within the next few days. Wijenaike said the Committee would also would solicit ideas and views from former President Chandrika Kumaratunga Opposition Leader R. Sambandan and former CJ Shirani Bandaranayake. more..

CB urges banks to increase SME lending up to 25%

Mar 3 (FT) Central Bank urged banks to step up lending to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with the aim of empowering the backbone of the economy. The call for more financial support for SMEs comes as the Government is planning to launch a national SME Policy Framework. Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran said access to finance is of paramount importance, adding that the banking sector should aim at increasing its more..

We can’t comment on umpiring: Mathews

Mar 3 (CT) There have been several blunders and poor decisions by the umpires which have been largely highlighted during the ongoing Asia Cup Twenty20 Cricket Tournament here in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Even the Indian Captain M.S. Dhoni had criticized the way the umpires used the technology. On Tuesday, it was Sri Lanka who were at the receiving end when the hard hitting all-rounder Thisara Perera started to get going with a six and two fours during his six ball 17. more..

Bangladesh relishing success of SL recipe

Mar 3 (Hindu) Bangladesh is relishing a Sri Lankan influence in its emergence on the international cricket map. Chandika Hathurusingha is a name that rings loud as the perceived minion increases it footprint in the sport. And when Mashrafe Mortaza, Mustafizur Rahman, Shakib Al Hasan, Soumya Sarkar or Sabbir Rahman get together to challenge the might of the sport’s superpowers, they credit it to the inputs of their coach Hathurusingha. It wrought a poetic justice when B'desh prevailed over SL more..

Champika in hit-and-run drama

Mar 3 (CT) In a dramatic turn of events, two young men who gave chase to a black Jeep which attempted to escape after running down two motorcyclists in Welikada last Sunday said that the driver of the jeep at the time of the accident was in fact Minister Champika Ranawaka. Two eyewitnesses, who are friends of the 24-year-old motorcyclist Sadim Sampath, said that while the injured motorcyclists were being transported more..

TNA yet to achieve political target

Mar 3 (CT) "We have not achieved our target yet. Our political journey will continue until we achieve our political ambition of self-determination within a merged North and East under a federal form of Constitution in a united Sri Lanka. Until then our political activities will continue. We hope a reasonable political solution could be found through talks," declared R Sampanthan, Leader of the TNA while addressing a meeting of members of the ITAK and members of public on Monday more..

Recruitment based on proper criteria: Prof. Madduma Bandara

Mar 3 (DM) Amid the controversy over Minister Lakshman Kiriella recommending the appointment of a lecturer, Kelaniya University Vice Chancellor Prof. Sunanda Madduma Bandara said the university authorities had often received similar letters and it was nothing new. However, he said the university authorities had to adhere to the propper recruitment criteria despite such recommendations from politicians. “I do not know why there is a hue and cry about this letter. more..

Tamil Tiger detainees ready for rehab if that will lead to release

Mar 3 (ENS) B Deniswaran, Minister of Fisheries in Northern Province, says that former cadres of the LTTE, now lodged in prisons at Anuradhpura and Colombo, are ready to go for rehabilitation if, at the end of rehab, they will be released. Govt had earlier rehabilitated and released 12,000 LTTE cadres who had surrendered at the end of Eelam War IV in May 2009. He said that some politicians and ministers had more..

Purawesi Balaya demands answers from govt for sudden sacking of Lacille

Mar 3 (Island) Purawesi Balaya urged President Maithripala Sirisena to reveal the reasons for the removal of Secretary to PRECIFAC, Lacille de Silva on Tuesday. Addressing the media at the Centre for Society and Religion (CSR), Co-convener of Purawasi Balaya, Gamini Viyangoda said the way the PCISAF secretary had been removed with no reasons given at a time a serious inquiry was being conducted against ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa was not unfair and unacceptable. more..

Sri Lanka cricket team spend time with Bangladesh’s children with special needs

Mar 3 (BDN) Sri Lankan cricket team spent some time with a group of adolescents and young adults with autism and other neuro-developmental disorders at the Hotel Le Méridien in Dhaka, where the team are staying. Parents Forum, which works with those people, said they wished the Sri Lankan’s cricket team all the best during the joyous event on Wednesday. The group was from the Parents’ Forum’s Vocational Training Center at Mirpur. This Center is the first ever initiative to more..

Sri Lanka announces joining of landmine treaty in Geneva

Mar 3 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka will accede to the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, or Ottawa Convention, and hopefully the international community will support its ongoing landmine clearance program, a high-ranking diplomat said. Ravinatha Aryasinha, ambassador of Sri Lanka to the UN in Geneva, announced the news during a conference pledging landmine action conducted here on Wednesday. "I am pleased to inform, that at a meeting of more..

President calls for immediate report on Modara harbour deal

Mar 3 (FT) President Sirisena directed Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development to submit a detailed report regarding an alleged fraud where the Modara fisheries harbour was leased to a private company for 25 years in 2014. Fisheries Minister at the time was Dr. Rajitha Senaratne. President made the directive after considering newspaper articles regarding the incident. A special inspection group has visited the harbour to collect accurate details about the deal. more..

The ball is now in govt’s court!

Mar 3 (CT) T.G. Jayasinghe, Chairman of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) said that, the fuel pricing formula that was prepared in order to pass on to consumers the advantage of the drop in price of crude oil in the world market, was submitted to the Cabinet. It has now been presented to a Cabinet Sub-Committee. He said that, he cannot state whether the price of fuel in the market in this country will be reduced in relation to the price of crude oil being reduced in the world market. more..

SLFP vows to bring MR loyalists to heel

Mar 3 (Island) Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena warned that rebel SLFPers would face further disciplinary action, including the possible loss of parliamentary seats unless they changed their current strategy. He urged them to toe the party line or face the consequences. The dire warning was given at a media briefing, close on the heels of President, in his capacity as the SLFP leader replaced 22 electoral organisers. more..

The voice from the wilderness

Mar 3 (DM) With the conservation of the environment including biodiversity getting the highest priority in the world because of a possible ecological catastrophe, Sri Lanka joins the international community in marking World Wildlife Day today on the theme the future of wildlife is in our hands. The UN in a statement says World Wildlife Day is an opportunity to celebrate the many beautiful and varied forms of wild fauna and flora and to raise awareness of the multitude of benefits more..

World Wildlife Day 2016 and Sri Lanka

Mar 3 (DM) World Wildlife Day 2016 is celebrated around the world on March 3rd under the theme The future of wildlife is in our hands. African and Asian elephants will be the main focus of the Day under the theme. On 20th Dec 2013, at its 68th session, the UN General Assembly decided to proclaim 3rd March, the day of signature of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), as UN World Wildlife Day to celebrate and raise awareness of more..

Media freedom: To what extent?

Mar 3 (SL) The media has always been subjected to various opinions and criticisms. The criticism that the PM made against certain media institutions and media personnel is much talked about these days in the country. He criticized the conduct of certain media channels both in public and in parliament on several occasions in the past few months. However, PM’s move has met both positive and negative comments by various parties. more..

No one has the power to decide on LG polls: Deshapriya

Mar 3 (DM) Elections Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said the Election Commission would not postpone elections on the need of any interested person and that no one had been vested with the power to declare elections. “According to the Local Govt Ordinance, Elections Commissioner can decide on the holding of elections six months prior to the expiry of the term of office of the respective local councils,” more..

National parks, Marine parks are major concern

Mar 3 (DM) Wildlife has become a major concern for many animal rights activists and biodiversity experts when considering the issues that have come to the limelight during the recent past. From the human-elephant conflict to poor management strategies in national parks, deforestation and other inhuman processes that have been carried out by various factions to destroy nature are a few among the many topics that need to be discussed. more..

Don’t panic, but fight leprosy

Mar 3 (ST) Four weeks after the world marked International Leprosy Day, a Sri Lankan doctor says that although the oldest recorded disease in the world does not create panic now, it is far from being eradicated with at least 2,000 new cases being reported every year in the past decade in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka’s Anti-Leprosy Campaign Director, Dr. M.L.S.N Fernando, says 40% of the recorded cases are from more..

Video: Wimal questions Kiriella’s behaviour

Mar 3 (DM) Condemning the manner in which the Minister Lakshman Kiriella addressed a journalist of Ada Newspaper during a telephone conversation, Joint Opposition called all media rights organisations to come forward and raise their voice against the Minister’s remarks. Minister’s unethical vocabulary he used to scold the Ada journalist Amit Maduranga, was heavily criticised by people, after an audio clip more..

Champika Ranawaka refutes news reports on Rajagiriya accident

Mar 3 (AM) Minister Champika Ranawaka made a statement regarding an automobile accident which occurred last Sunday, on his Facebook page. Explaining his version of the accident, stated that certain media institutions and social media were spreading biased news. He stated that law had been carried out and his driver who involved with the accident had been arrested and courts had suspended his driving license. more..

Unemployed graduates organise fresh protests across country from March 12

Mar 3 (Island) Unemployed graduates who were attacked by the police in Colombo while they were marching towards the PM’s Office demanding jobs two weeks ago will launch a fresh protest with bhikkhu associations, teacher trade unions, undergraduates, fisher and farmer societies and parents in main towns of the country. Convener of CAUG said that they wanted 32,000 vacancies in public sector filled with graduates, more..

Court to issue verdict in trial of Seya murder on March 15

Mar 3 (AD) The verdict in connection with the murder and rape case of Seya Sadewmi will be issued by the Negombo High Court on March 15. The decision made when the case was taken up for hearing before Judge Champa Rajaratne this morning. Earlier, the court was apprised that the DNA samples found on Seya Sadewmi match Kondaya’s brother Saman Jayalath. This was informed after the CID submitted more..

'Raviraj shot using weapon supplied by Pilleyan'

Mar 3 (AM) A weapon allegedly supplied by Pilleyan was used in the shooting of former MP Nadaraja Raviraj, the court was told during the Magisterial Inquiry into the murder. The weapon has then been given to an individual named Charan who then handed it over to another person, the court was also told. Anjelo Roy, a witness in the case, told the court that a man who was on the pavement approached Raviraj's car and shot at it. more..

Diverse views on the ETCA

Mar 3 (DM) The ETCA is a bi-lateral trade agreement with India. That is about all that is certain. Although only a few know what the official agreement will entail, fears are already running loose. Therefore it is time for some clarity and discussion on the Indo-Lanka Economic and Technological Cooperation Agreement that has triggered scary rumours. Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne explained what the agreement was all about. more..

Killing butterflies at Sri Pada

Mar 3 (CT) Adam's Peak or Sri Pada is one of the places almost every Sri Lankan would have visited at least once in his or her lifetime or wishes to do so. It is for many the Mecca of Sri Lanka. From Dec to May, over 200,000 people climb 5,500 steps to get to the top of the sacred pinnacle at 2,243 metres above sea level. Adam's Peak however is not only a sanctuary for the beliefs of many but it is also a wildlife sanctuary under law. And while much of its beauty is largely due to the fact that more..

Health Ministry political employees come to work only close to pay day!

Mar 3 (Island) Director General Health Services, Dr Palitha Mahipala appointed a committee to investigate a complaint made by the Director District General Matara Hospital, Dr Malkanthi Mediwatte against several minor employees who reported to duty only on days close to the pay day. Spokesman for the Health Ministry, Nipun Ekanayake said the Director had complained about the strange situation during the Matara District Committee meeting. She had said that the minor employees, more..