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Many top slots up for grabs

Feb 22 (CT) First National Track and Field Trials will be held this Friday and Sunday at the Sugathadasa Stadium Colombo. These will be worked off as the first selection trials for the Asian Athletics Championship to be held on April 21-24 in Qatar. The trials will also be useful when choosing the pool for the forthcoming South Asian Games to be held later this year in Nepal. Local athletes will also have the chance to achieve the qualifying standards of the forthcoming IAAF World Athletics C'ship more..

Embuldeniya set for surgery after thumb dislocation

Feb 22 (CI) SL left-arm spinner Lasith Embuldeniya is almost certainly out of the Port Elizabeth Test after severely dislocating his left thumb while attempting to take a return catch on Thursday, the opening day. Embuldeniya left the field immediately clutching a warped and bloody thumb, before an X-ray revealed the extent of his injury. It is such a bad dislocation that Embuldeniya will likely undergo surgery on Thur evening. more..

Vishwa delighted dismissing world class Amla for a golden duck

Feb 22 (Island) Left-arm seamer Vishwa Fernando has done remarkably well in SA in both Test matches. Having picked up eight wickets in the Durban Test, he was on the money again with the new ball accounting for Dean Elgar and Hashim Amla in successive deliveries. Amla was in fact dismissed for a golden duck. "I am very pleased with the way I was able to get Hasim Amla out. He is a world class batsman and it was nice to dismiss him early today. I knew I had an lbw appeal more..

Can Thurstan or Isipathana end 20 winless year jinx?

Feb 22 (DN) 56th Battle of the Brothers schools cricket encounter ushers in the start of a series of Big Matches that will be the focus for the next two months or so and one hopes the Thurstan-Isipathana clash for the Blackham Wijewardene Memorial Trophy starting at the SSC today will end in a win for one of the sides as this encounter has not produced a winning result for the past two decades. Let this first Big Match of the school season set a winning trend for the rest of more..

Public sector change essential for growth: CIMA President

Feb 22 (FT) Public employees must step up to serve the masses by breaking through archaic systems, improving efficiency and self-learning, Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) President Steven Swientozielskyj said, warning that when the public sector is sluggish that could spill over into an overall development slowdown. Drawing extensively from his 40-yr experience in British rail industry, more..

Sri Lanka cuts statutory reserve ratio, releasing liquidity

Feb 22 (EN) Sri Lanka has cut the statutory reserve ratio, 1% to 5%, helping fill liquidity shortages in the banking system generated from earlier defence of a soft peg, while keeping policy rates unchanged. "The Board arrived at this decision following a careful analysis of current and expected developments in the domestic economy and the financial market as well as in the global economy, with the broad aim of stabilising inflation at mid single digit levels in the medium term to enable more..

Sri Lanka aims to boost Ceylon black tea exports to China

Feb 22 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka aims to increase exports of its popular Ceylon black tea to China and will launch a mega digital advertising campaign across China by May, Chairman of SL Tea Board Lucille Wijewardena said here Thursday. He said that China is one of the leading markets for SL tea and the govt aimed to raise its exports percentage into the Chinese market this year. Lucille said it was encouraging that people from China had started drinking black tea from Sri Lanka and more..

Budget will be important and interesting: Mangala

Feb 22 (FT) Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera said that the upcoming 2019 Budget, the first by the UNF Govt following the breakaway of the coalition with SLFP, will be important and interesting. Speaking at the American Chamber of Commerce SL’s new monthly event Breakfast Buzz, Samaraweera didn’t give specifics, but quipped the 2019 Budget to be presented on 5 March will be important and interesting. more..

Youth in Sri Lanka losing hunger for knowledge, says writer

Feb 22 (Hindu) The youth in Sri Lanka’s northern province, unlike the previous generation, does not seem to have a thirst for intellectual pursuits, according to Santhan Ayyadurai, a bilingual writer from Sri Lanka and the 2017 recipient of the Premchand Fellowship, the highest honour that the Sahitya Akademi confers on a foreign writer. Pointing out that people from the Jaffna peninsula were once known for their enterprise and yearning for acquiring scholarship against heavy odds, more..

Champika on TNA to join govt

Feb 22 (DN) Minister Champika Ranawaka invited the TNA to accept ministerial portfolios and join the govt to make a more effective contribution towards developing Jaffna. He was speaking to the media after inspecting the progress of construction work at the new Jaffna bus stand. Speaking in the presence of MP M.A. Sumanthiran and Northern Governor Suren Raghavan, Ranawaka said Sumanthiran and other TNA MPs had helped the govt to protect democracy and likewise they should accept more..

Malinga to lead Sri Lanka in World Cup

Feb 22 (DN) One of Sri Lanka’s most experienced World Cup campaigners Lasith Malinga is certain to lead his country to the mega event in England later this year after the intervention of Sports Minister Harin Fernando led to patching up differences between Malinga and two other former white ball captains Thisara Perera and Angelo Mathews. “The captaincy won’t be an issue after the Sports Minister had a meeting with more..

Navy assists to identify the sand mining areas in Trincomalee

Feb 22 (SLN) After issuing a temporary order of prohibition for sand mining around the Mahaweli river from 15 to 28 of Feb, SL Geological Survey and Mining Bureau has planned to carry out a field survey in order to assess the sand mining process in Trincomalee district from 21st to 23rd Feb and they have obtained the assistance of SL Navy for this mission. Accordingly, large number of places used for sand mining were inspected during the field survey conducted yesterday (20) and more..

Ministers urged to cooperate with COPE, COPA process

Feb 22 (Island) Presenting the first report of the Committee on Public Accounts in Parliament, yesterday, for the period from June 6, 2017 to Dec 08, 2017, COPA Chairman SLFP MP Lasantha Alagiyawanna said that the subject ministers of the entities that had been investigated, were expected to provide explanations within two months. According to Alagiyawanna, the report included 27 investigations on 25 public institutions. He pointed out that the COPA report also included more..

14 judges badger him for promotions: Prez

Feb 22 (EN) Prez Sirisena told parliament that 14 judges were appealing to him to secure their promotions after having been over looked by independent Constitutional Council. President attending an adjournment debate on the conduct of the CC, which is empowered to veto presidential appointments to the superior courts and several other key institutions, accused the independent body wrong doing. more..

Navy arrests 13 TN fishermen

Feb 22 (Hindu) SL Navy has arrested 13 fishermen – eight from Mandapam near Rameswaram and five from Jagadapattinam in Pudukottai district – along with three vessels on a charge of trespassing into the territorial waters of the island nation after crossing the IMBL while fishing on the high seas. Reports received here said the fishermen, who ventured into the sea on Wednesday morning, were fishing on the high seas when the Sri Lankan Navy personnel arrested them in the evening. more..

Parakrama to be new Deputy Chairman/MD at Aitken Spence

Feb 22 (FT) Top professional Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake has been appointed as the Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Aitken Spence PLC with effect from 15 March. This is following the retirement of longstanding Rajan Brito from the post next month after 17-year stint. However, he will continue to serve on Aitken Spence Board as a Non-Executive Director. Brito joined the Board in April 2000 and was appointed Deputy Chairman and Managing Director in January 2002. more..

Sri Lankan probe: Former CEO acquired four Airbuses etc without Board approval

Feb 22 (Island) SriLankan had decided to acquire four Airbus A350-900 and obtain on lease four more and they amounted to more than 50% of the total SriLankan assets in 2013, Yasantha Dissanayake, Head of Financial Management at SriLankan said. PCoI was informed that CEO Kapila Chandrasena had decided to go ahead with the transaction without obtaining approval from the Board of Directors. more..

Dudley to secure release of poor in remand prisons

Feb 22 (Island) Dudley Sirisena, Businessman and the brother of President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday said that he would help secure the release of all suspects in remand prisons, who languish there as they were unable to pay fines below Rs. 10,000 or their families had no money to post bail. Addressing a news conference of the Araliya Group at Kadawatha, he said, he would discuss the matter with the Commissioner General of Prisons. He said he would do so on in three stages. more..

SLC stake holders elect official under probe for match fixing

Feb 22 (Island) In a surprise move, Sri Lanka Cricket stakeholders have voted for Ravin Wickramaratne, who is under probe for match fixing. Wickramaratne was elected as Vice-President at yesterday’s SLC AGM obtaining 82 votes. There were five contestants for the two slots of Vice-Presidents and Shammi Silva and Pramodaya Wickramasinghe withdrew their nominations making it a 3 cornered contest. Along with Wickramaratne, K. Mathivanan was elected Vice-President. more..

Power plant construction tender: Batagoda, Lakdhanavi battle it out in Ravi’s presence

Feb 22 (Island) Minister Ravi Karunanayake, assured that the govt’s decision in repect of the construction of two 300 MW liquefied natural gas (LNG) power plants wouldn’t be reversed. Sri Lanka couldn’t further delay decision on Kerawalapitiya power plants under any circumstances, Karunanayake said after the conclusion of an open forum at his ministry, where Ministry Secretary Dr. Suren Batagoda had more..

CC not independent with political representatives in it: MR

Feb 22 (CT) The Constitutional Council (CC) should change as it is not independent, Leader of the Opposition, Mahinda Rajapaksa claimed yesterday (21). “The CC should change. How can it be independent when the PM, his representatives and other political Party representatives are there?” he queried. Meanwhile, when journalists inquired about Parliamentarian Ranjan Ramanayake’s recent comments on drug use by certain MPs, Rajapaksa refused to comment. more..

Pigeon race from Kilinochchi to Colombo

Feb 22 (CT) The 57th battalion of the Army had organised a pigeon race, which commenced from Kilinochchi recently. The event was held at the Kilinochchi Maha Vidyalaya Playground and 241 pigeons were released simultaneously for the race. Out of the 241 pigeons that were released, 214 of them had covered a distance of 280 kilometres before arriving at the pigeon stronghold in Colombo yesterday morning. The pigeon race was witnessed by a large gathering in Kilinochchi and more..

President likens CC to abused child

Feb 22 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena, said in Parliament that the Constitutional Council was politicised and there had been a political hand behind the recent appointments and promotions made by it. Participating in the debate on the Constitutional Council, the Prez said: "The 19th amendment was like a child that we brought up together. The same amendment gave birth to the Constitutional Council. more..

Let’s be vigilant when we eat out!

Feb 22 (DM) Colombo municipal Council (CMC) inspecting eateries in Borella just few days ago, closing down one and filling cases against three leaves room for us to check what we purchase when dining out. As many as seven eateries were scrutinised during these inspections and some were severely warned because their kitchens were in a deplorable state. Borella is a crucial interchange junction for many who commute by bus, bike or tuk tuk and they have the habit of stopping for a more..

For whom are the PCs?

Feb 22 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s four-day visit to the North last week seemed to have been aimed at the forthcoming Presidential and Parliamentary Elections, in the light of the plethora of large-scale development projects he announced during the tour. He announced the upgrading of Palali Airport as the third int'l airport of the country, development of the Kankesanthurai Harbour, construction of a highway connecting Trinco, Vavuniya and Mannar and resuming the ferry more..

Constituting the Constitutional Council and Civil Society Reps

Feb 22 (DM) Passing of the 19th Amendment in the most disgusting manner with unwanted, undemocratic provisions smuggled in was yet hailed as democratic victory highlighting the Constitutional Council (CC) and Independent Commissions. Importance of the CC and its independence was nevertheless in question from day one. The political rivalry that flickered in the cold between Prez Sirisena and UNP Govt of PM more..

Mother’s murder of child reveals dark trend of child cruelty

Feb 22 (ST) A 21-year-old mother has spent this week under arrest over the mysterious disappearance of her child after confessing that she had assaulted her four-year-old daughter and thrown her into the Kala Oya tank. The little girl, from the Neelambemma area in Puttalam, has been missing since January 30 and has still not been found despite a search operation by navy and police divers, with support from local residents. more..

Abolition of executive presidency: Maithree, Mahinda, Ranil agree

Feb 22 (Island) Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa has, at a recent meting with the SLPP heavyweights, said that the executive presidency should be abolished. Sources told that he had sought the opinion of those present on his suggestion. Some of them had endorsed it while others remained noncommittal, sources added. Sources said Prez Sirisena was also agreeable to abolition of exec presidency. more..

Sri Lanka divided after rugby ‘coach from hell’ slaps teen – World Rugby steps in

Feb 22 (SCMP) Sri Lanka’s rugby community is in a frenzy of deep soul-searching after footage emerged of a World Rugby-appointed high school coach from hell slapping a player three times in a show of high-handed discipline during a training session. While the actions of the widely respected St Peter’s College coach Sanath Martis elicited the usual storm of outrage on social media – especially by more..

Revolutionary step in education for a modern Sri Lanka: PM

Feb 22 (GDI) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe says that Sri Lanka will be modernized with a revolutionary change in education. Participating in a ceremony held to launch the National Education Program that ensures a thirteen-year education for every child at the Temple Trees on Thursday (21), The Premier said educational system of the developed countries has been designed to fit the present day. more..

SLFP unopposed to contesting polls under flower bud symbol

Feb 22 (FT) SLFP breakaway fraction said that they would not oppose contesting upcoming elections under the symbol of the flower bud, which is the symbol of the SLPP backed by Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa if policies match their standards. “If the majority wants to contest under that symbol, we would not be hesitant to contest under the symbol of the flower bud as long as the policies of the campaign aligned more..

Ravi, Ganesan & Salley visit Gnanasara Thera

Feb 22 (CT) Minister Ravi Karunanayake, Minister Mano Ganesan along with Governor of the Western Province Azath Salley visited Welikada Prison to look into the wellbeing of imprisoned General Secretary of the BBS Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara yesterday. During the visit the imprisoned monk told the delegation that he had been incarcerated for a wrongdoing that he alleges was not committed by him. more..

Delay in PC polls: EC says Legislature, SC should address concerns

Feb 22 (DM) It is up to the legislature and Supreme Court (SC) to sort out the imbroglio over the delay in conducting PC polls, Elections Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said. He said the Elections Commission could not take a decision on under what electoral law the PC polls could be held. "The commission is awaiting the ruling on the FR petitions filed. Anything can happen at any time and we keep our fingers crossed. more..

Gammanpila wants CC membership changed

Feb 22 (CT) UPFA MP Udaya Gammanpila yesterday called on the Constitutional Council (CC) Members, who were appointed by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and then Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan to resign and allow the Premier and new Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa to fill those posts. He noted that five of the 10 Members of the CC should be appointed by the PM and the Opposition Leader jointly. more..

Politician involved in acquiring property

Feb 22 (DM) A Minister’s name is associated with the activities of an alleged fraudster to retain a highly residential property in Colombo 7 in a fraudulent manner. It has been revealed as to how this alleged fraudster has executed a falsified deed of transfer and a fraudulent vacant possession agreement which is worth Rs.1500 million. This Minister is alleged to have attempted to exert force to prevent an Attorney-at-Law more..

Know your enemy

Feb 22 (CT) The 2012 Welikada Prison massacre which left 27 prisoners dead in a joint operation conducted by the STF and the Army, took place when the then SLFP/UPFA leader, President Rajapaksa was in power. Though the then Govt went through the motions of conducting investigations, nothing very much happened. At the 8 Jan, 2015 Presidential Poll, Rajapaksa lost to incumbent SLFP/UPFA leader, President Sirisena, aided by incumbent PM and his UNP. more..

What went wrong with Sri Lanka?

Feb 22 (FT) If SL wants to get out of the present miserable situation, it needs to make a profound change, a paradigm shift in the way it views at everything including the religious, political and economic issues. Such a change could be made only by looking insightfully at the question of what went wrong with SL and finding the right answer to the question. SL remained a shining example among the other Asian countries by the time it gained independence from the British rule in 1948. more..

ජෝන් බාස්ගේ ඉඩම් මංකොල්ලය !!

Ranjan appears before UNP committee probing cocaine allegations

Feb 22 (AD) State Minister Ranjan Ramanayke has appeared before the UNP committee probing the cocaine allegations against parliamentarians. The State Minister was informed yesterday to appear before the committee this morning. On Feb 20, the UNP appointed the committee to probe the allegations levelled by Minister Ranjan Ramanayake at the parliamentarians for using cocaine. The committee is headed by Minister Lakshman Kiriella while State Minister Eran Wickramaratne, more..

Bogawantalawa Tinsin estate workers evacuated

Feb 22 (CT) 51 persons of 12 families have been temporarily removed from Tinsin estate in Bogawantalawa, as there was a risk of Line Rooms older than 100 years collapsing. According to Police, the Line Rooms are in an unstable condition and some granite blocks have already been damaged and were unsuitable for the people to live. They also said the authorities were taking steps to construct new houses for plantation workers who are at risk owing to living in dilapidated housing units. more..