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Lasith Malinga the Hero

Apr 10 (DM) As the entire country celebrated Sri Lanka winning the T20 cricket world championship in Bangladesh by beating the more fancied Indian team convincingly, there emerged an unlikely hero: stand-in captain Lasith Malinga. Lasith Malinga was for long the ‘bad boy’ of Sri Lankan cricket. He had irked cricket selectors, administrators and the public by his irreverent attitude. His commitment to his country was in doubt. On Sunday night in Dhaka though Malinga, being the winning captain, more..

Something fishy in this canned deal

Apr 10 (DM) Consumer rights and health action groups are expressing concern over the announcement last week that Japan will provide tins of canned fish to the value of about Rs. 202 million to Sri Lanka through the United Nations World Food Programme. On the surface it seems to be a good and generous deed, with no tincan agendas, but the consumer action groups see something fishy if not worse in a statement issued by the Japanese Embassy in Colombo. more..

Top UK diplomat in Sri Lanka intervenes in drug peddling case

Apr 10 (Hindu) The interest shown by a British diplomat in Colombo, in what seems to be a high-profile case of drug trafficking involving suspects from at least three countries, has raised eyebrows here. On April 3, Deputy High Commissioner at the British mission in Colombo sought an appointment with the IGP N.K. Illangakoon to discuss a recent heroin seizure. Diplomat had said a suspect arrested in connection with the case was an informant more..

President willing to meet CBK for talks on religious reconciliation

Apr 10 (CT) President Rajapaksa, has agreed to hold discussions, on religious reconciliation within the country, with a delegation from the SAPRI, headed by former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, on any day between 16 and 24 April. PMU said there had been a request seeking an opportunity for the representatives of SAPRI to hold discussions with the President and he had expressed his willingness to hold the discussion, but so far the date for talks had not been fixed. more..

NTC Chairman resigns making way for defeated UPFA candidate

Apr 10 (CT) Renuke Perera took over as Chairman of the National Transport Commission (NTC) yesterday after former Chairman, Roshan Gunawardane, submitted his resignation to the Transport Ministry. Gunawardane, stated that he had submitted his resignation on personal grounds. "I have been at so many places before this, and nobody has ever asked me why I was resigning from the place. I assumed this job on 2 Feb 2011 and the term isn't over but I have tendered my more..

Trade unions to protest against replacing Pension Dept gratuity payment

Apr 10 (Island) More than 400 trade unions in the public sector will meet today in Colombo to plan their future course of action against the govt introducing a loan scheme in place of the gratuity payment hitherto paid to retiring public servants by the Pensions Department. President of NTUC K.D. Lalkantha said that so far a govt employee going on retirement was paid a gratuity equivalent to two years’ salary and the amount was recovered more..

Sri Lanka’s borrowing costs hit record low

Apr 10 (FT) Sri Lanka’s borrowing costs have dropped to a record low, the latest sign of strong global appetite for frontier market credit. SL sold $500m of five-year debt on Tuesday with a coupon of 5.125% – its lowest to date – and attracted more than $4bn in orders. Interest was particularly strong from US investors, who took up almost half the deal. In January, Sri Lanka raised $1bn in a separate sovereign issue, offering a five-year bond with a 6% yield at a time of growing worries over more..

Batti blocks micro finance

Apr 10 (FT) Microfinance industry is up in arms over overnight restrictions placed by the Govt authorities in the Batticaloa District, a move which some fear could be extended to rest of the Eastern Province. Following a recent meeting, Govt Agent and District Secretary of the Batticaloa district has issued new guidelines for micro credit activities. One requirement is that micro credit institutions have to work with GA’s approval with Divisional Secretaries recommendations. more..

'Exam Dept has still not paid teachers who marked O/L answer scripts'

Apr 10 (Island) Teachers who evaluated the answer script of the G.C.E. O/L exam three months ago accused the Examinations Department of so far failing to pay their remuneration for the work they did even after releasing the results of the exam last week. General Secretary of CTSU Mahinda Jayasinghe said that nearly 40,000 teachers engaged in answer script evaluation from Dec 31 to Jan 24, during more..

CPC too bans tuition classes on Poya days and on Sundays

Apr 10 (Island) The Central Provincial Council has decided to ban private, tuition classes on Sunday morning to noon and on Full moon days from next month. Chief Minister Sarath Ekanayake said that it had been decided to regulate the private tuition classes in the Central Province in consultation with Governor Tikiri Kobbekaduwa. Accordingly private tuition classes from year 01 to year 11 will not be permitted to be held from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sundays and on Poya days. more..

Diplomacy with Lanka has been spot-on

Apr 10 (Hindu) In April 1977, just after the Janata Party govt assumed office, the eminent Soviet foreign minister Andrei Gromyko arrived in Delhi, looking visibly nervous. Having backed Indira Gandhi’s Emergency Rule, Gromyko expected a cold reception in South Block. His counterpart Atal Bihari Vajpayee smilingly put him at ease saying: “Indo-Soviet relations are strong and do not depend on the political fortunes of any individual or political party.” Happily, that type of statesmanship more..

BBS strikes

Apr 10 (CT) BBS, which stormed the maiden media briefing of the Jathika Bala Sena (JBS) yesterday, vowed that they will not allow any sena to rally against them and will not tolerate Muslim extremists using Buddhist monks, to attack the organization. "We never used a Muslim to attack even the most extreme Muslim elements. So why are they using people in saffron robes, who do not belong to either the sangha fraternity or more..

2.5 million: Mission impossible?

Apr 10 (CT) The post-war Sri Lankan tourism industry has experienced a significant rate of growth with regard to the number of tourist arrivals. However, this will not be sufficient to reach 2.5 million arrivals by 2016, as per the game plan of the tourism authority. "The tourism oriented promotional campaigns during the past few years have not been consistent, and this has contributed in a major way towards the country underachieving its potential in terms of tourist arrivals" more..

Hail, Hales, and Gayle's angry Gangnam

Apr 10 (CI) Netherlands, Nepal, Ireland, Hong Kong. All delivered memorable performances in this expanded World T20, the opening round adding exotic new flavours to cricket's rather narrow palate. Hong Kong's defeat of the hosts provided the biggest early upset, while Netherlands' outrageous win over Ireland gave them a place in the record books. As the only Associate to progress, Netherlands further enhanced their status with a one-sided thumping of England. more..

Sri Lanka firms get nod to borrow US$335mn from abroad

Apr 10 (LBO) Sri Lankan firms have got the nod to borrow 335 million US dollars abroad 2013 by the Central Bank, while debt markets also supplanted bank loans in 2013, as commercial bank credit to private firms slowed. Official at the Central Bank said its exchange control department under a scheme of approving foreign loans of 10 million US dollars or greater had given the nod to 335 million dollars worth foreign loans. more..

Massive profits earned by sugar factories post take over

Apr 10 (DN) Sevanagala and Pelwatte sugar factories recorded a massive profit of Rs. 14,860 million in 2013 after these companies were taken over by the govt. These companies were sold by the UNP govt to a close friend for a song. They were taken over by the govt on Nov 11, 2011 fulfilling another pledge in the Mahinda Chinthanava policy framework. Over Rs. 297 million derived from the company’s profits in 2013 were distributed among the employees and the farmers at the more..

Sri Lanka sovereign bond will not impact exchange rate: CB Governor

Apr 10 (LBO) Sri Lanka's 500 million US dollar sovereign bond sale this week will impact the exchange rate as the Central Bank is expected to buy the proceeds, though foreign reserves will go up, Governor Nivard Cabraal said. "We would probably take the entirety of the proceeds to the central bank," Cabraal said. "So it is unlikely that it will have an impact on the overall exchange rate." However there was as long term "positive outlook" with foreign reserves expected to reach more..

Govt. overhauls taxes and levies laws to boost revenue

Apr 10 (FT) Tightening the tax collection measures to increase the revenue received at State coffers, govt has amended the Special Commodity Levy Act No. 48 and Companies Act No. 7 of 2007, Default Taxes Act No. 16 of 2010, and Monetary Law Act. Moving the motion in Parliament, Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya claimed to offer “more welfare for the public and to further streamline the tax collection” mechanism. more..

SL’s unsung hero on World T-20 triumph

Apr 10 (Island) Following Sri Lanka’s splendid triumph in the World T-20 over bitter rivals India, players with flamboyance have earned all the accolades. Kumar Sangakkara was outstanding during the run chase, Lasith Malinga was brilliant during the death overs while Thisara Perera’s monstrous hitting helped Sri Lanka to win with ease, but the contributions of left-arm spinner Rangana Herath have gone unnoticed. After being benched for Sri Lanka’s first three games, more..

Govt. has blessings of Maha Sangha – Basil

Apr 10 (FT) Basil Rajapaksa, Minister of Economic Development stated that President Mahinda Rajapaksa has instructed to seek advice and blessings of the all religious leaders including the reverend Maha Sangha in the developing process of the country since the history records that it has been possible to convert the country into an independent, unified and prosperous country whenever the country was governed by the leaders under guidance of the Maha Sangha. more..

SriLankan expects US$25mn topline from airline alliance

Apr 10 (LBO) State-run SriLankan Airlines said joining oneworld, a global alliance of airlines is expected bring it 25 million US dollars a year in incremental annual revenues and allow customers easy travel to the Americas. SriLankan is joining the alliance from May 01, after upgrading its passenger support system and some processes to comply with oneworld requirements. SriLankan CEO Kapila Chandrasena said oneworld which more..

Odel buys Colombo 7 land for Rs. 800 m; flagship mall coming

Apr 10 (FT) To boost its business, Odel has acquired additional land adjoining its main outlet in Colombo 7 for Rs. 800 million. The company said the newly-acquired land will enable it to carry out an anticipated expansion plan by which it will be able to create a flagship mall in Colombo. The land acquired include premises bearing assessment numbers 17, 17/1, 17/1A, 19, 19A at Dr. C.W.W. Kannangara Mawatha, Colombo 7, adjoining its present premises at Alexandra/Ward Place, in Colombo 7. more..

SC upholds hereditary right of Kapurala

Apr 10 (Island) Supreme Court on April 4, declared that Pathmasiri Adhikaram of Boralesgamuwa had a right to function as a Kapurala for a period of one month each year in the Ruhunu Kataragama Maha Devalaya. Adhikaram had a hereditary right to the post of kapurala in the above mentioned devala. The SC in its recent order upheld the order of the Civil High Court of Appeal of Mt. Lavinia. The Civil High Court had in turn, upheld an order of the District Court of Mt. Lavinia, which said on more..

Illusory Economy versus the Real Economy

Apr 10 (GV) The Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) has penned a compelling article entitled “Practical, not Conventional, Wisdom has driven Sri Lanka’s Rebuilding and Reconciliation” which was posted on the official website of the CBSL on Thursday 3rd April 2014 and abruptly removed on Monday 7th April 2014 for reasons best known to CBSL. However, this author has downloaded the Governor’s article more..

Indian Coast Guard apprehends Lankan fishermen

Apr 10 (Hindu) The Indian Coast Guard has seized two tonnes of sea cucumber worth over 70 lakh in the international market from 16 Sri Lankan fishermen in Lakshadweep islands, 188 nautical miles off Mangalore. Rajamani Sharma, DIG of Indian Coast Guard and Commander of Coast Guard in Karnataka, said the Indian Coast Guard Ship ICGS Rajdoot apprehended the Sri Lankan boat Colombo Marine on April 7 for poaching on the high seas in Indian exclusive economic zone more..

Sri Lanka Tourism should make hay while the sun shines

Apr 10 (Island) Hundreds of visitors to this years ITB Berlin Travel Exhibition in March were mesmerised by Sri Lanka’s stand which was a model of the entrance to the historic Yapahuwa temple depicting stone pillars They stopped by and were taking photographs. The visitors beaming with smiles were overjoyed by seeing the elephants (not real) at the entrance to the stand which were a great attraction and were taking photographs to their hearts content. But majority of them didn’t bother to walk more..

Jinxing the game

Apr 10 (FT) President Rajapaksa is a true Sri Lankan hero in many respects. As the Head of Sri Lanka’s first post-war Govt, the Mahinda Rajapaksa story evokes much political romanticism. The quintessential ‘ape miniha,’ he is the Sinhalese hero who started life in a remote southern village and rose to the highest echelons of power in Colombo. Over the course of his 8-year presidential stint, President Rajapaksa has often donned the more..

Editorial: Killing the sporting spirit

Apr 10 (Island) Sri Lanka’s spectacular win against India in Sunday’s ICC World T20 finals is still being celebrated. The boys who did the country proud have returned, bringing home the much-coveted cup. It will take weeks, if not months, for the euphoria to die down. However, this comment is not about Sri Lanka’s victory. Reports have said that some Indian cricket fans threw stones at Yuvraj Singh’s house in the aftermath of India’s defeat. They were irked by his poor performance more..

Accountability issues and India’s foreign policy considerations

Apr 10 (Island) The ‘talk’ even regionally, and not only locally, currently, could very well be India’s recent decision to abstain when the third US-sponsored resolution on accountability issues in Sri Lanka was put to the vote at the UNHRC. India is on record as having abstained from voting on the resolution for what it saw as its ‘intrusive approach’ to issues in Sri Lanka, besides other reasons that relate more to Indo-Lanka relations, but no less important could be India’s foreign policy more..

BBS strikes

Looking beyond election results

Apr 10 (Island) Govt won the elections in the Southern and Western Provinces convincingly - but that is superficial if the result is analyzed objectively. Eyebrows will be raised if the opposition finds a common candidate for the presidential elections. It may look a cakewalk for the govt but the race can become a serious challenge at a presidential election if a formidable common candidate, who can benefit from a flood of votes from the North against the incumbent, emerges. more..

Rescuing patriotism from the extremists

Apr 10 (GV) It is almost five years since the military victory of May 2009 brought an end to three decades of armed conflict. Yet, the prospects for securing a stable and inclusive peace in Sri Lanka appear bleak. The first victim of “peace” was the APRC. This long and important process for developing a consensus-based political solution was marginalised and shelved. The second victim is ethnic and religious relations. Emergent Buddhist extremist groups have been allowed to more..

Ranatunga lauds 'special team effort'

Apr 10 (CI) Sri Lanka's first Word Cup-winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga has lauded the team's World T20 win as a "special team effort", which bodes well for the future of the team. Sri Lanka's most successful batsman, Mahela Jayawardene, was not among the top-ten tournament run-scorers, while their most penetrative bowler, Nuwan Kulasekara, finished ninth on the wicket-takers' list. more..

Let’s not to put the cart before the horse

Apr 10 (CT) It is reported in the Media that the President Mahinda Rajapaksa invited the Leader of the TNA for direct talks over the Tamil Question. While appreciating such a move, it is imperative to look at this move in the context of much discussed reconciliation process of the country. When we put reconciliation into practice, transcending theoretical discourse and adopting a pragmatic and clear approach befitting the Sri Lankan context is vital. Let’s start this discussion by quoting more..

Buddhist monks and JVP fight for besieged Muslims’ rights

Apr 10 (DBS) Abandoned by the govt, Muslim politicians and threatened by Sinhala extremists who are law unto themselves Buddhist monks leading the campaign to solve Muslim squatters’ housing problem at Wilpattu, JVP, fighting for the rights of the Muslims and the Muslims carrying the coffin of a Buddhist monk at a funeral procession provide glimmer of hope for the country torn apart by a few hundreds of Sinhala extremists. I suspect these extremists as mercenaries of local and more..

'LTTE fronts ban comes after years of tolerance'

Apr 10 (SO) SL's Permanent Representative to UN Dr. Palitha Kohona said the proscription of 16 organisations under UN resolution 1373 which called for international cooperation for suppressing terrorism financing, was what required now after years of patient tolerance of the actions of these fronts. He however opined that SL ban, to be fully effective, it must be mirrored in the countries where these organisations operate freely. more..

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