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Martin Crowe: Sri Lanka loses a dear friend

Mar 4 (Island) The finest batsman to emerge from New Zealand, Martin David Crowe lost his battle with cancer and passed away yesterday at the age of 53. Crowe’s 17 Test hundreds are the most by a New Zealander to date while only Stephen Fleming and Brendon McCullum have scored more than his 5444 Test runs. Crowe had many facets to his cricket. A technically sound batsman, he played spin better than most batsmen outside the sub-continent. His innovative thinking by introducing spin more..

SL begins 2016 Davis Cup campaign today

Mar 4 (Island) Meeting fancied Thailand in their own backyard, Bangkok’s LTAT hard courts, Sri Lanka are sure to face an acid test in their 2016 Davis Cup campaign opener. Thursday’s draw of the event saw Sri Lanka’s former ace player Harshana Godamanna is slated in the opening singles rubber against Thai No.1, Puriwat Chatpatcharoen, a current world rank of 727, on the opening day morning. Friday afternoon singles will be a tough challenge for SL No.1, Sharmal Dissanayake, more..

Biggies at SL Investment Summit in S'pore

Mar 4 (FT) Sri Lanka Inc is set to make its biggest-ever concerted effort to woo Asian investors operating out of Singapore mid this month via a high-profile forum. Some of the top personalities in govt and private sector are to be featured in Sri Lanka Investment Summit: Uncovering Opportunities in Asia’s Rising Gem on 15 March in Singapore, organised by Finance Asia & Standard Chartered Bank as int'l sponsor. more..

DFCC Bank posts Rs 1,642 mn profit

Mar 4 (DN) Net profit after tax for DFCC Bank for the nine months ended December 2015 was Rs. 1,642 million at Group level and Rs. 1,068 million at the Bank level. This was as against Rs. 4,439 million and Rs. 3,240 million respectively for the 12 months ended 31 March 2015. "This year, as a result of our advancing the financial year-end to 31 December 2015, the reporting period for DFCC Bank has been reduced to nine months, DFCC Chairman C. R. Jansz said. more..

LOLC invests US$35 mn in four Male hotels

Mar 4 (DN) LOLC Group will invest on star class hotels and apartments in the Maldives under their associated company, Browns Hotels & Resorts. Construction will begin this year. LOLC CEO Kapila Jayawardene said that they have already obtained land for the four projects on long term leases. He said that they will build one business hotel in the capital Male. This will offer both apartments and rooms and will be a mixed development project and planned to be built and more..

Jt. Opp asks police, human rights commission to step in to see justice is done

Mar 4 (Island) The Joint Opposition said that it wanted the National Police Commission (NPC) to inquire into serious accusations directed against the police in respect of the cover-up of a recent accident in which Minister Champika Ranawaka was allegedly involved in. A senior Joint Opposition spokesperson said that the NPC could initiate an inquiry even without having received a complaint as in the case of the brutal police attack on more..

Sri Lanka probes loss of revenue from unused port weighbridge

Mar 4 (EN) Sri Lanka’s ports and shipping minister Arjuna Ranatunga has ordered a probe into revenue losses caused by non use of a weighbridge at Trincomaleee harbour through which coal, clinker and gypsum are imported. A statement said the weighbridge was installed in 2006 but not used properly till December 2015 as it had not been maintained and had got damaged. The weighbridge was repaired by the SLPA on Ranatunga’s orders at a cost of 2.5 million rupees. more..

Sri Lanka torture allegations continue as war crimes inquiry remains distant prospect

Mar 4 (ABC) Amid a tense political situation and ongoing allegations of torture, a promised inquiry into Sri Lanka's bloody civil war appears no closer. Sri Lanka's new govt had vowed to convene an internationally supervised probe into atrocities, allegedly committed by both govt forces and Tamil Tiger rebels during the decades-long conflict, which ended in 2009. However, with a worsening deficit and vocal opposition from nationalists to prosecutions, the coalition govt indicated more..

Committees galore probe countrywide power outage

Mar 4 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe appointed a 5-member committee to investigate the recent countrywide power outage. The PM’s Office said the committee, chaired by Advisor to Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs C. Maliyadda, comprised Thilak Collure, Prof. Sam Karunaratne, Prof. Kumar David and Neomal Palpola. The committee report would be submitted within four weeks. more..

Sri Lanka, Pakistan look to mend batting chinks in dead rubber

Mar 4 (CI) With tails between their legs, two of the better nations in T20 history prepare to play out a dead rubber, two years after they had contested the final of this tournament. Their routes to this match were similar enough. Both teams had more trouble defeating the UAE than expected. They were each floored by a clinical Bangladesh side, and were comfortably bested by India, despite a few heartening performances in those games. They are also ailed by roughly similar concerns. more..

Attack on Dematagoda Chaminda: Police suspect underworld gang warfare

Mar 4 (DN) Police suspect that a dispute between two underworld gangs led to the attack on the prison bus that was transporting Chaminda Ravi Jayanath alias Dematagoda Chaminda from courts to the Welikada Prison. According to sources, there is a long drawn out rivalry between the two underworld gangs of Dematagoda Chaminda and Bluemendhal Sanka. Several members of these two gangs have died due to this rivalry in the past. “Bluemendhal Sanka had tried to kill Chaminda more..

Govt intends repealing PTA: Mangala

Mar 4 (DM) Foreign Affairs Minister in his address at the meeting of the Governing Council of Community of Democracies in Geneva said the govt was in the process of repealing the Prevention of Terrorism Act and introducing a new counter-terrorism legislation that is in line with contemporary international practices. Minister Mangala Samaraweera said the govt, had been working closely with the international community, more..

More SOEs expected to be listed on CSE

Mar 4 (Island) The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) is expecting more and more State Owned Enterprises (SOE) to be listed in the market, where, currently, only a minimal number of such SOEs are listed, its CEO Rajeeva Bandaranaike said. "If state owned enterprises are listed, it will certainly be a boost to the market. We are now expecting a large number of state owned enterprises to be listed at the CSE. At present the market is a little down but will pick up soon, he said. more..

HNB to step up overseas lending

Mar 4 (FT) Reaffirming its stance to continually push for better financial performance, Hatton National Bank’s MD/CEO Jonathan Alles said that HNB is currently eyeing funding opportunities in the Maldivian leisure sector. “We went into Cambodia and supported their micro finance sector and put in around $ 50 million there last year. This year we ventured into Maldives again after a lull of two years due to a few bad experiences; however this time the strategy is to be very selective,” he said. more..

Red Cross hails Indian housing programme

Mar 4 (Hindu) The owner-driven model, adopted in a housing programme funded by Indian govt in Sri Lanka, can serve as a “source of inspiration,” and as a case study of good practices, Elhadj As Sy, Secretary General and CEO of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, said. Answering a question whether the model could be replicated in other post-conflict regions, Mr. Sy said that more..

Champika will be arrested: Sujeewa

Mar 4 (CT) Acting State Minister for International Trade, Sujeewa Senasinghe, said the law is equally applicable to the ministers and accordingly, Minister Champika Ranawaka, who is alleged to have been involved in an accident in Rajagiriya recently, will be arrested shortly. Minister Senasinghe made this remark when a reporter questioned him at the government media briefing yesterday, as to why Minister Ranawaka has still not been apprehended by the police. more..

Special Cabinet meeting today

Mar 4 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena has decided to hold a special Cabinet meeting at 3 p.m. today to discuss the current economic situation in the country. Sources said the meeting will, among other topics, mainly focus on the amount of loans obtained by the previous regime and which measures could be taken to pay off such loans, both in the short and the long-term. This was disclosed to the media yesterday by Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Harsha de Silva, more..

Cabinet to meet on contingency liabilities, new taxes

Mar 4 (EN) Cabinet may have a special sessions to discuss plans to deal with debt repayments, Minister Gayantha Karunathilake said, with expectations that taxes will be hiked to reduce the budget deficit in a mini budget. Minister Ravi Karunanayake said last week that hidden liabilities had been discovered and the government had to come up with measures to deal with it. "There was discussion that a special cabinet meeting could be convened in more..

CID to examine Mr. Devananda's CCTV camera's hard disk

Mar 4 (DM) CID filing a report in the Chief Magistrate’s Court sought to obtain the hard disk that was in use on May 15, 2012 in the CCTV Camera of MP Douglas Devananda's Political Office at No.121 Park Road, Colombo 5. Murder Investigation Unit of the CID who were conducting investigations into the killing of Wasim Thajudeen made this request from Additional Magistrate Nishantha Pieris stating that the hard disk was required by them in their investigations into more..

PM-led Cabinet Committee on Economic Management to get more power

Mar 4 (FT) The Cabinet Committee on Economic Management (CEM) headed by the Prime Minister has received new powers to fast-track investment projects. The CEM was established to make recommendations to the Cabinet of Ministers on implementation of laws and related subjects concerning economic affairs, monetary and financial policy, national investment program, facilitating private sector investments, investments and economic development of the country. more..

EC ready to hold local polls once delimitation review report was received

Mar 4 (Island) Chairman of the National Elections Commission Mahinda Deshapriya said they would conduct LG election once the review committee report was received and certain technical and practical errors were rectified in the Amendment to the Local Govt Elections Act. Addressing the media, for the first time after setting up of the Commission, he said that no minister could decide on the dates of election. more..

The poisoning of Sri Lanka must stop

Mar 4 (DM) The mission for a Wasa Visa Nethi Ratak-- a mission to make Sri Lanka free of poisonous agro-chemicals and thereby free of poisoned or polluted food including rice, vegetables and fruits -- will be officially launched on Sunday, March 6 with a three-day exhibition and sale of organically produced food items. This Wasa Wisa Nethi Ratak was one of the main promises made during the election campaign which climaxed with the people’s silent revolution bringing more..

To claim or not claim the legacy of reforms

Mar 4 (DM) Let me begin by assuming something that defies all logic. Let’s assume that PM Ranil Wickremesinghe wants to be remembered as the man who democratized the nation through relevant and robust constitutional amendments that ensure transparency and accountability, re-establishes Rule of Law, gives coherence to the ideal of Separation of Powers, give meaning to representational democracy (electoral reform a la the 20th Amendment) and complementary measures more..

Millions trek to Sri Pada; crowd control uphill task

Mar 4 (ST) With another long weekend falling in the first week of March and Medin Full Moon Poya Day also falling on a Tuesday later on, authorities expect a similar influx of pilgrims to Sri Pada next month as the one experienced early this week. Severe congestion was reported at Sri Pada this week, with tens of thousands of pilgrims choosing the long weekend – Monday being Nawam Poya Day — to make the trek up more..

Rs 100 M garment factory for Muttur East

Mar 4 (CT) Leader of Opposition and Leader of the TNA, Rajavarothayam Sampanthan, on Wednesday laid the foundation for a massive garment factory, which is to be constructed at a cost of Rs 100 million by the Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) with the financial support of private enterprises. The land selected is situated at Seethanaveli village in Muttur East. Sources said about 500 youths would benefit by the factory. more..

Sri Lanka awash with narcotics

Mar 4 (Island) Narcotics continue to be smuggled into Sri Lanka on a large scale via sea routes from South India and from Pakistan according to the annual report of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB). INCB annual report was launched in Colombo yesterday by the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Colombo in collaboration with the National Dangerous Drugs Control Board (NDDCB) Sri Lanka at more..

Power games rife as KLS Energy & CEB clash

Mar 4 (SL) The Ceylon Electricity Board Engineers Union (CEBEU) says a businessman with connections to senior govt officials is demanding that a 35MW plant be allowed to operate and that power be purchased at a high rate of Rs. 23 per unit (the Standard Power Purchase Agreement (SPPA) rate paid in 2009). As the CEB stood firm against this, the company in question, KLS Energy Lanka (Pvt) Ltd. (a Malaysian company) filed more..

No harm to national security under development process: Arjuna

Mar 4 (AD) Minister Arjuna Ranatunga at a meeting held at the District Secretariat auditorium in Trincomalee pledged that no damage would be made to the national security in developing the country. He asserted that the govt would give priority for the country’s legal procedure and proceedings when considering any agreement with foreign investors. “The fact where they come from either Singapore, China, Japan or more..

Ambulance service: GMOA proposes domestic mechanism

Mar 4 (DM) The GMOA said the proposed India-aided ambulance service should be operated under a domestic mechanism in order to preserve our rights. GMOA Assistant Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge stated that an ambulance service, on a domestic mechanism, was effectively operated in the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) based in the Kilinochchi Hospital. “NPC has successful launched an ambulance service based in more..

Ousted SLFP organizers pledge their support to Jt. Opposition

Mar 4 (Island) SLFP politicians who were recently removed as party organisers pledged to throw their weight behind former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Walallawita Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman, Udeni Athukorala, said they were ready to bring many party supporters for the rally scheduled to be held on March 17, at Hyde Park in support of the Joint Opposition headed by former President Rajapaksha. more..

Police spokesman behind media-driven arrests

Mar 4 (EN) Sri Lanka's police spokesman orchestrated the controversial arrest of an army major and his driver so that he could give a sexy sound bite to radio and television networks, a police investigation has revealed. ASP Ruwan Gunasekera ordered the Officer in Charge of the Opanayake police station last month to arrest both the army driver and his passenger following a fatal accident on February 18. more..

Sri Lanka December exports down on weak tea, garment shipments

Mar 4 (EN) Sri Lanka’s export earnings continued their downward trend for the tenth consecutive month in Dec 2015, falling 18.7% from a year ago to US$ 817 million, with both tea and garments down sharply. The central bank said the trade deficit increased 4.4% to US$ 827 million in Dec 2015, with imports weakening for the sixth consecutive month, down 8.5% to US$ 1,645 million from the year before. more..

Warrant re-issued on Emil Kanthan

Mar 4 (DN) The Colombo Special High Court yesterday re-issued the open warrant for the arrest of former senior LTTE leader Emil Kanthan, wanted in connection with the attempted murder of former Minister Douglas Devananda. At a previous occasion, the Court temporally recalled the open warrant issued on former North and Eastern Provinces LTTE Financial Head Emil Kanthan, enabling him to surrender before Courts. more..

Prisoner transport: how secure is it?

Mar 4 (CT) The report of an attack on a Black Maria transporting remand prisoners to the Welikada Prison from the Court premises in Hulftsdorp in broad daylight on Wednesday, injuring a prisoner, was indeed alarming. A group of unidentified gunmen, who opened fire at the prison vehicle injuring Chaminda Jayanath aka Dematagoda Chaminda, the third accused in the Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra murder case, managed to escape the scene. more..

The evocative minor chords of Dunno Budunge & The current discord

Mar 4 (CT) One month ago, a bit of musical whimsy staged a century ago was extracted and extrapolated upon a set of circumstances, which, in turn, fostered an outpouring of comment and diatribes. This should be a cause for surprise and it certainly was worrying in that this needless controversy illustrates a fragmented Lankan community and underscores the already existing lines of societal fracture. On reflection over these recent eruptions of public distaste, poor taste more..

පැතිකඩ වැඩසටහන

Shares end weaker; rising rates weigh

Mar 4 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares edged down for a fifth straight session on Friday to a near 2-yr low in thin trade as concerns over rising interest rates and a ratings downgrade pushed investors away from risk assets, traders said. Benchmark share index closed 0.06% lower, or 3.50 points, at 6,057.22, the lowest close since April 7, 2014. Its next support level is expected to be 5,800 points, analysts said. "Declining trend is continuing with the selling pressure remaining. more..

Simple test to assess hearing

Mar 4 (Island) The College of Otorhinolaryngologists and Head and Neck Surgeons (CO and HNS) introduced a simple test to assess the hearing ability of individuals. Addressing the media in view of World Hearing Day, Past President of the CO and HNS Dr Chandra Jayasuriya said that a simple test known as the Whispered Word test could be carried out on the spot to help an individual to find out his/her hearing ability. Any lay person can perform it on another. Theme for this year World Hearing Day more..

'I have never been in politics for power'

Mar 4 (FP) Chandrika Kumaratunga, is much more than a former president and prime minister. She is the architect of the political arrangement which showed strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa the door. She may not be a minister or hold a party position, but remains the glue which holds together this govt of national unity, headed by SLFP President Maithripala Sirisena and run by UNP PM Ranil Wickremasinghe. more..

Actress files FR against Rupavahini

Mar 4 (CT) Film and teledrama actress Nadi Chandrasekera and her father filed a Fundamental Rights petition against Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation for violating their fundamental rights by stopping the telecast of their teledrama, Sandapamula. Bench granted leave to proceed with the petition and to hear the petition. According to Nadi and her father, authorities of Rupavahini agreed to telecast the teledrama, Sandapamula, which was produced by them. more..