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Anytime is tea time in Sri Lanka and the Aussie brew is cold

May 21 (ST) With their selfies and the broadest of smiles, the hopeful Lankans embarked on their Champions Trophy quest mid last week and the act will be staged in Ole Blighty from June 2-18. Smiles apart, the proposition is quite tough. The Lankans have been drawn up in Group ‘B’, alongside three heavyweights: South Africa at the Kennington Oval on June 3, India at the same venue on June 8 and Pakistan on June 12. more..

Malaysia beat Sri Lanka 22-9

May 21 (ST) Sri Lanka’s solid grip and defence was clinically breached in the final stage by hosts Malaysia to win the decisive Asian Division I Rugby Championship test by 22-9 and clinch the title in Ipoh yesterday. The Tuskers forced the Malaysians to commit errors and took the upper hand of the match as the visitors led the halftime by a whisker at 6-5. The Malaysians adopted an attacking right from the start but Sri Lanka neatly countered almost all of them to take a close lead more..

Royal draw first Bradby blood

May 21 (ST) Royal College put forth a brilliant exhibition of sustained rugby to thwart Trinity College ambitions and put themselves in the line for a possible double triumph when they beat a fighting Trinity outfit 22-17 in the first leg of the Bradby Shield at Pallekele. Royal scored from two goals, a try, and a penalty, while Trinity got their points through a goal and two tries. For all the pre-match talk of Royal’s outsides, it was the pack that set up the triumph with more..

Maithri plans to go ahead with make or break Cabinet reshuffle

May 21 (CT) Govt commemorated the fallen war heroes on Friday near the monument erected at the Parliament Grounds under the patronage of President Sirisena who vowed the govt is committed in strengthening the Tri-Forces enabling them ensure national security. President commended the great service rendered by the members of Tri-Forces not only in the issue of national security, but also in the national more..

Junior TT Championships 2017: India grab the initiative in team events

May 21 (ST) India were riding high at the ongoing South Asian Junior and Cadet Table Tennis Championships 2017 at the S. Thomas’ College Indoor Stadium tables, yesterday. India were leading the points tables at the Cadet (Boys and Girls) and Junior (Boys and Girls) events. India with eight points and six points respectively occupy the first spot in the Cadet Boys and Girls Team events. The host country’s closest neighbour leads the Cadet Girls Team event with six points. more..

Royal Canadian Naval Ship HMCS Winnipeg in Colombo

May 21 (SLN) Canadian Naval Ship, HMCS Winnipeg - FFH 338 arrived at the Port of Colombo for a training and goodwill visit today (20). The ship was welcomed by the SL Navy in accordance with naval traditions, on her arrival. During the ship’s stay, its crew is expected to take part in a wide range of activities including passage exercises, on-board receptions and several sporting events organized by the SL Navy. The ship is scheduled to leave from the Port of Colombo on 25th May. more..

Face the Nation

Silver linings in a turbulent week

May 21 (SO) Finance Minister Ravi Karunayake´s mobile phone ran incessantly the past few days while a stream of visitors were seen at his apartment at Monarch Towers, next to the Cinnamon Grand Hotel in Colombo. They were all concerned about reports that come tomorrow, May 22, exactly 45 years after SL became Republic in 1972, Asia´s best Finance Minister may no longer hold that position. Political circles have been expecting the change of portfolio for Finance for some time now. more..

Sri Lanka and New Economic World Order

May 21 (ST) China hosting a mega event this week not only announced that it has arrived on the world scene as a major economic power-house, but telegraphed its vision for the next 30 years and more.  With the US now on reverse gear advocating nationalism and protectionism, China has become the new face of internationalism. How the roles have reversed. In an article (ST 2), a Sri Lankan-born UN diplomat lucidly explains China’s ambitious US$ 124 billion plans aimed at more..

'No one can point fingers at the military'

May 21 (SL) Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka claims he is a happy man who does not take any issue to heart, but despite his positive attitude he is disgruntled that the corruption committed by the previous govt is still not investigated and those responsible punished. He says the Rajapaksa’s are wolves in sheep skin, but they will never pose a threat to the stability of the current govt. more..

How deep is Sri Lanka in the global league?

May 21 (CT) There's no argument about the fact that President Maithripala Sirisena has a heck of a lot on his plate too much perhaps for one man to handle considering the fact that at Cabinet level or otherwise he has hardly any SLFP men worth their salt who can step in as effective advisors. The wretched unpalatable fact he also has to live with is that he is vexed with the option of having to trust, at least to some extent, his SLFP Ministers in Govt and in Provincial Councils. more..

Sri Lanka’s foreign policy is for its own interests not others

May 21 (SL) Visiting Indian PM Narendra Modi’s statement on Vesak Day that Sri Lanka’s security on land or in the Indian Ocean is linked and it is indivisible with India would have by now sparked off intense debate with sharp criticism from the Joint Opposition (JO) if not for the surprising and unannounced meeting between the Indian Premier and the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Indian High Commissioner’s residence during the visit. Rajapaksa can be considered more..

'Wellawatte building not according to stipulated instructions'

May 21 (SO) Operations to find the bodies of the two missing people believed to be under the rubble of the Excellency Hall in Wellawatte which collapsed on Thursday morning went on till late last evening. According to the OIC in charge of Wellawatte Police, a male and a female, identified as a waiter and a labourer were later located ten feet below the rubble. The waiter, Ramar Niroshan’s uncle Paramesh arrived at the site upon more..

Shoddy building, flouting rules

May 21 (Island) Megapolis Minister Champika Ranawaka estimated after last week’s collapse of the seven-storey reception hall in Wellawatte that there are 10,000 illegally built homes and offices in Colombo and said that action would be taken to demolish them. Fortunately there was no wedding taking place in the hall at the time of the tragedy. The toll of dead and injured would have been much higher if that was the case. The minister promising action now is well and good. more..

One war, many memories

May 21 (SO) The battlefields of the Vanni, in May 2009, were the site of a military victory between state armed forces and the forces of an ethnic minority secessionist insurgent movement. Histories - scholarly, popular, apologetic and triumphal – are being written about the war that ended on May 18, 2009, with the overrunning of the final enclave held by the LTTE. Stories of valour are the inspiration of nations and communities, while stories of loss and defeat help in social reflection, more..

Govt to demolish 10,000 buildings after Wellawatta tragedy

May 20 (ST) In the aftermath of the construction accident in Wellawatta this week, Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development plans to take steps to remove all unauthorised buildings, including 10,000 already identified unauthorised structures. Critical of the ineffectiveness of govt agencies tasked with monitoring and regulating  construction and related real-estate development, Subject Minister more..

'India should actively get involved in Sri Lankan power sector growth'

May 20 (IANS) India should actively participate in Sri Lanka's growing power sector, both traditional and renewable, a top govt official has said. "India has a good opportunity and should actively participate. The two govts are active in exploring business potential," B.M.S. Batagoda, Secretary, Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy, said. He also said SL govt is looking at the possibility of three-way joint venture among more..

Minister fixes time to discuss alleged threat made to GMOA

May 20 (DM) Labour and Trade Union Relations Minister W.D.J. Seneviratne has fixed a time and date to discuss the complaint made by the GMOA in connection with the alleged threat by Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne. He will meet the GMOA on May 23 at 3 pm to discuss the matter. GMOA had made an official complaint to Minister Seneviratne requesting his intervention to solve the issue of an alleged threat made by more..

MP Raviraj Murder Appeal against HC order acquitting Navy officers

May 20 (FT) The Court of Appeal yesterday (19) fixed to be taken up on 30 June the appeal filed by the widow of assassinated TNA MP Nadarajah Raviraj against the order by the Colombo High Court in Raviraj’s murder case. The Bench comprised Justices Deepali Wijesundera and Lalith Jayasuriya. Appellant Sasikala Raviraj sought the Court of Appeal to set aside the High Court’s verdict of acquittal of the accused. more..

Sri Lankans who sheltered Edward Snowden in dire straits

May 20 (Roar) In the wake of the Hong Kong govt’s rejection of their asylum claims late last week, the Sri Lankans and Filipino who sheltered whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2013 are in fear of being locked up in immigration detention centres and separated from their children. Sri Lankans—Supun Kellapatha and Nadeeka Nonis, along with their two children and Ajith Pushpakumara—and Filipina Vanessa Rodel more..

Kautilyan machinations and Medamulana Machiavelli

May 20 (DM) Vesak festivity in Sri Lanka acquired an international dimension this year with the Island nation hosting the UN Int'l Vesak day. The icing on this Vesak event cake was the participation of Indian PM Narendra Modi as chief guest in the celebrations. Even though President and PM basked in the glow of Narendra Modi’s brief trip described officially as a religious visit, the political highlight of the Indian premier’s stay more..

CEB spends billions to purchase power from private plants

May 20 (SL) The power generation cost for the year 2017 is 187 billion rupees which include the cost of thermal plants operated by the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB), the Hydro plant operated by CEB, Private Thermal plants, and renewable energy comes under the purview of the Board. In the light of this, CEB has published their 20 year least cost long term generation expansion plan for the period 2018 to 2037. more..

Bambara attacks on the rise: Removing nests not the answer

May 20 (ST) A number of bambara bees (Giant Honeybee of Asia) attacks have been reported recently from various parts of the country — and an expert has warned that short sighted clearing up operations could be harmful ecologically. The latest incident was reported from Mundalama, in Puttalam on Wednesday, Vesak Poya Day, while some 70 people including children were observing sil. Some children had thrown stones at more..

Sleepy drivers dicing with death

May 20 (ST) Exhausted drivers who nod off at the wheel have emerged as a significant danger on the roads of Sri Lanka, alongside speeding divers. An academic says speeding and fatigue account for the majority of deadly injuries in road traffic accidents. About 60% of fatal and grievous injuries are caused by speed combined with fatigue, an expert on transport, Professor Amal Kumarage of the University of Moratuwa, said. more..

Battling the labour shortage in Sri Lanka

May 20 (DM) The labour force, synonymously known as the Economically Active Population in the country has immensely contributed to the country's economy. Although figures for the unemployment rate have remained at a bare minimum, the issue of recruiting foreign workers in major industrial sectors in the country has raised concerns. Close to 200,000 foreign workers have been employed in different sectors and more..

If India joins OBOR, we could have an Asian economic union

May 20 (DM) India last week once again spurned China’s ambitious economic agenda for the world – the US$ 950 billion One-Belt-One-Road project. This time it did so in full view of the world media. A cartoon drawn by India’s world renowned Satish Acharya said it all.  It showed a Bengali Tiger, depicting India, proudly walking away from a road sign marked as Chinese Circus. The Tiger tells China, depicted as a man with a belt in his hand, that belts are for dogs.  more..

Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development

May 20 (DM) Tomorrow is the UN World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development – virtues that are important for Sri Lanka in this post-conflict era. According to the UN, three-quarters of the world’s major conflicts have a cultural dimension. Bridging the gap between cultures is urgent and necessary for peace, stability and development. Cultural diversity is a driving force of development, not only for economic growth, but also as a means of leading a more fulfilling more..

'CIABOC reduced to a mere name board'

May 20 (Island) The CIABOC has been weakened to such an extent that the outfit is now useless, Anti-Corruption Front (ACF) says. Advisor to ACF Rajith Tennakoon asserted that the situation had deteriorated following the resignation of Director General Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe in Oct last year. Wickramasinghe quit as CIABOC DG close on the heels of a public statement President Sirisena made, denouncing the outfit. more..

Lak Sathosa probe led to Lacille’s removal

May 20 (Island) Former Secretary to the PRECIFAC Lacille de Silva alleged that the yahapalana govt found fault with him for investigating corruption at Lak Sathosa during Rishad Bathiudeen’s tenure as the minister in charge of the state enterprise. De Silva, who had been former Director General, Administration of Parliament alleged that the govt didn’t extend his tenure in March 2016 due to probe on the import of 250,000 metric tonnes of rice by Lak Sathosa. more..

Qatar Airways flight makes emergency landing in Sri Lanka after fire

May 20 (Xinhua) A passenger plane with over 200 passengers on board made an emergency landing at BIA late Friday evening. Sri Lanka's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said the Qatar Airways flight made the emergency landing after reporting a fire on board. Qatar Airways flight Dreamliner was flying between Thailand and Doha when it made the emergency landing at BIA. "QR 841 was carrying 202 passengers and made an emergency landing," Director General, CAA H.M.C Nimalsiri said. more..

Join hands to boost development in Northern Province: PM tells local politicians in Jaffna

May 20 (FT) In an effort to boost the development drive in the North, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday called upon all local politicians and civil society activists to join the efforts of the Govt to bring in investment to the Northern Province.   “We would like to start infrastructure development now.  Rebuilding, resettlement and reconciliation is going on. Now let us look at growth oriented, job creating development in Jaffna. more..

No grace period for dengue breeders

May 20 (NS) In light of the spread of dengue within the country, public health inspectors informed that they would start filing legal action in the first instance without granting grace periods against those found to be maintaining mosquito breeding grounds. The number of dengue mosquitoes and the number of dengue patients are increasing. The Public Health Inspector’s Union of Sri Lanka explained that there were many such sites in the Western Province, particularly various vessels which more..

New Irrigation Act to be presented

May 20 (DN) A new Irrigation Act will be presented to Parliament to help expedite irrigation projects expedite, Irrigation and Water Resources Management Minister Vijith Vijayamuni Zoysa said. He made this observation yesterday at a press conference held at the Irrigation and Water Resources Management Ministry auditorium. He also said that there was no strong laws passed to protect the thousands of irrigation projects in the country and this Act would fill the void. more..

Cabinet reshuffle on Monday

May 20 (DM) The UNP, has finally consented to the proposed Cabinet reshuffle to scheduled for Monday. Initially, UNP had opposed any changes to the portfolios assigned to its members. However, the party leadership had given the green light for a change in the portfolios after a meeting with President yesterday. Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake is to be appointed as Foreign Minister; Minister Mangala Samaraweera more..

SL’s tourism industry is flourishing: Survey

May 20 (FT) The latest islandwide poll conducted by research firm Kantar TNS, reveals that nearly 90% of respondents believe that Sri Lanka’s tourism industry is booming. They cite the higher inflow of tourists to the country and their ability to visit any part of the island in the post-war era as key reasons for this. A notable majority (75%) of survey participants also believe that our service standards are extremely high, while 10% say otherwise and 15% sit on the fence, so to speak. more..

SAARC business visa hurdle bane to inter-regional trade and investment

May 20 (DN) Obtaining long term business visa for interregional travel in the SAARC region is still an issue, said SAARC Chamber of Commerce Chairman, Suraj Vaidya. He said that although businessmen promoted inter regional trade and created investment and employment opportunities he or she is only given a one or two year visa. “However if I apply to USA I can get 5 years and EU even a visa for 10 years. This is very sad since the region does not recognize businessmen.” more..

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