Thursday, April 19, 2018

UNP back benchers ask PM to appoint Mujibur Rahman as Dy. Speaker

A group of United National Party (UNP) back benchers had requested Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to appoint UNP MP Mujibur Rahman as the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, an MP said today.

They have reported to have submitted the letter signed by 20 MPs

TUs to hold joint May Day rally on May 1: JTU

Trade unions will hold their joint May Day rally as usual on May 1, the Joint Trade Union (JTU) said condemning the government’s decision to reschedule the rally to May 7.

In a statement, JTU Joint Secretary Anton Marcus said the government had not even discussed postponing the May Day with

Schoolgirl, allegedly afflicted with stigmatized disease, offered national school

Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam has offered national school admission to the schoolgirl from Ganemulla who was allegedly afflicted with a stigmatized disease.

Issuing a statement, the Education Ministry said this matter was taken up after Social Empowerment Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake brought it to light. It said studies of the victim had been disturbed due to stigma.

“Several media reports uncovered that the schoolgirl was insulted by school authorities solely due to her health condition and that she was likely to lose her school over the issue. Furthermore, Minister Kariyawasam has taken steps to provide employment to the victim’s father,” the statement said.

However, the minister pledged to appoint an independent supervisory board to resolve matters similar to this depressing incident and to regulate the functions of all government and international schools. (Kalathma Jayawardhane)


Only President can win 2020: Duminda

The General Secretary of the SLFP Duminda Dissanayake yesterday said that he did not like to respond to the remarks made by SLFP Parliamentarian Dilan Perera on him and UPFA General Secretary Mahinda Amaraweera.

“Here is a man who lives on lies and contradictions. It was this same Perera who once said he was to take poison if he could not

President stresses need for solidarity to eradicate poverty

Delivering the keynote speech at the Commonwealth Business Forum held in London, President Maithripala Sirisena highlighted that all stakeholders must work together to eradicate poverty, address climate change and to build peaceful inclusive societies.

“I call upon everyone present here to join hands with the Commonwealth countries as well as others to bring prosperity with best business

CHOGM related meeting cancelled due to British Parliament situ

President Maithripala Sirisena, who met a group of Sri Lankans in London, said political clashes were not only in Sri Lanka and even British Premier Theresa May had to cancel the meeting with CHOGM leaders to be held at Tuesday noon, owing to the situation in British Parliament.

“Some people in our country think political clashes are only in Sri

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Met Dept. warns of severe thunderstorm, heavy showers for next 12 hours

Thunderstorms accompanied by severe lightning and thunder can be experienced in the Western, Sabaragamuwa, Central, Southern, Uva and North-western provinces during next twelve hours, the Meteorology Department warned.

The Natural Hazards Early Warning Centre said that heavy rain falls of about 100 mm was also expected in some areas until 01.30 am tomorrow.

“There is a possibility of experiencing temporary strong gusty winds of up to 70 to 80 kmph during thundershowers,” it said.

When contacted, Met Department Duty forecaster said the adverse weather was a result of the Inter Monsoon conditions.

With regard to the current statistics and data, she said the department expects the weather to let up tomorrow.

However she said there might be a possibility that the weather pattern could be experienced once again after April 25. (Thilanka Kanakarathna)


Politicians are destroying cricket in Sri Lanka: Murali

Sri Lankan cricket is a mess because politicians have taken over, and with little or no knowledge of the game they are destroying the institution with every passing day, cricket legend Muttiah Muralitharan said.

In an interview with Indian Economic Times, Muralitharan spoke about the changes in Sri Lankan cricket and why wrist spinners offer better dividends in good batting conditions.

The Conversation:

What is wrong with Sri Lanka cricket?

From the days of Sanath Jayasuriya, Kaluwitharana, Aravinda de Silva and Arjuna Ranatunga to today, it has undergone a sea change. Don’t go so far back. In 2014, we won the World T20 beating India in the final in Dhaka and in 2011 we made the final of the 50-over World Cup in India. So what we are seeing today is a very recent development. To tell you the truth Sri Lankan cricket is currently in a mess. Politicians have taken over the running of the game and with little or no knowledge of the game they are destroying the institution with every passing day. Cricket is all about confidence. Giving the players the confidence to perform. Making them feel great when they wear Sri Lankan colours. I did not become a champion bowler in one day. For 4-5 years, Arjuna kept giving me the confidence. That’s how I became who I am. Now every time a batsman goes out to bat he is told you have to score or else we will bench you. The same is true for bowlers. In the last one year Sri Lanka has fielded some 60 players across all formats. 60 players in one year! This is irrational and tells you there is no vision how the game should be run. Such frequent chopping and changing will only end up destroying the game further.

But have the players done justice to the opportunities they have been given?

Take the case of Kusal Mendis. All of us thought he was a bright spark and will serve Sri Lanka cricket for a long time. He started out extremely well. However, within months he was out of the team. One bad series and dropped. Such things do little to inspire confidence among cricketers.

Moving away to something different now. We’ve recently seen India prefer Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal over Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja because they get more purchase in overseas conditions. Wrist spinners rather than finger spinners seem to be the flavour. Your take on this.?

Wrist spinners will always give you better dividends in overseas conditions. Or more simply put in good batting conditions. There can’t be any debate on this matter. They are expected to pick more wickets and I can clearly see and understand why the Indian selectors have done what they have done. There’s always an element of mystery to wrist spinners and until this mystery is decoded they will deliver for the captain. I don’t know whether Ashwin or Jadeja will be back but the reasoning behind the call is fairly obvious. And both Kuldeep and Chahal have done well and justified the faith shown in them.

Are you saying that to be successful every spinner today will have to have something mysterious in his repertoire?

While that is correct I’m also saying you have to keep your core intact. I always emphasised on bowling off-spin first and then trying out other things. Bowling too many doosras, for example, can impact your off spin bowling and it has happened to people in the past. That’s what modern day spinners need to keep in mind.

Coming to IPL, very good start to the season for your team.

It is a marathon and the race has just started. What we’ve done is create a team that has real good balance. Many people asked why we chose Wriddhiman Saha. It was a clearly thought out strategy. Last year we did not have good spin back-up options after Rashid Khan. This year we do. We have picked Sakib Al Hasan as our first choice left-arm spinner. When you have two quality spin bowlers in your team, it’s essential you have a good keeper. Else, the chances created by the spinners are wasted more often than not. So in that sense we’ve done what we could have. Now only time will tell if the planning gives us the results we are hoping for.

A word on David Warner’s absence — you must be missing him.

His are big shoes to fill. He has been an exceptional player for us and for any team he has played for. But there is little that can be done and I have to say Kane Williamson has led the team very well in Warner’s absence. He has the experience and has held the dressing room together quite nicely.


Rtd. Major General Karunasekara re-remanded

Former Military Intelligence Director and Chief of Staff of the Army, Major General (Retired) Amal Karunasekara was re-remanded till May 2 by Mount Lavinia Magistrate today.

Major General Karunasekara was arrested in connection with the

Social media ban: Undue pressure from diplomats: President

When the Sri Lankan Government took action to impose the curfew, banning the social media and declaring the State of Emergency to control the Sinhala-Muslim unrest in the Kandy District in March, there were undue pressures from certain