Archive | February, 2014

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Asia Cup: Sangakkara (103) and Ajantha Mendis help Sri Lanka beat India

Posted on 28 February 2014 by admin

Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews won the toss but put the Indians to bat in their first meeting for the coveted Asia Cup. India started off well but mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis came up with a match winning performance taking 4 wickets for 60 runs. Withtwo straight wins against Pakistan and India, Sri Lanka are almost certain to go through to the finals. Sri Lanka has to meet Bangladesh and Afghanistan in the next two games and it is most likely they will one at least one, if not both. This will clinch them a place in the finals against either India or Pakistan. Hats off to mighty Sangakkara. He was superb today. What a brilliant knock. Sri Lanka's middle order was very poor today. Mahela Jayawardena, Dinesh Chandimal and skipper Angelo Mathews were all out cheaply.

Sri Lanka 265 for 8 (Sangakkara 103, K Perera 64, Jadeja 3-30) beat India 264 for 9 (Dhawan 94, Mendis 4-60, Senanayake 3-41) by two wickets

Kumar Sangakkara made an under-pressure century to steer Sri Lanka to their second straight win and to the brink of a place in the Asia Cup finals. After India had posted what seemed an insufficient total, Ravindra Jadeja sparked an unlikely comeback midway through the Sri Lankan chase, but with Sangakkara making light of a tricky surface, India were never really favourites.

India's age-old problems with death bowling was exacerbated by the dew, and Sangakkara captialised on a series of full tosses and seemingly put India beyond the game, caning 32 off three overs to boil it down to 12 off the final two overs. When Shikhar Dhawan misfielded in the 49th over at deep square leg after another full toss, it brought up Sangakkara's 18th ODI century and victory seemed a formality. Sangakkara allowed himself a fist pump to mark the milestone. Yet another full toss spiced up the game, though, as Sangakkara miscued a waist-high delivery from Mohammed Shami to leave Thisara Perera and Ajantha Mendis needing seven off nine deliveries.

Ajantha Mendis levelled the scores with a thick outside edge past the keeper for four. With one needed in the final over, and two wickets in hand, Perera chipped the first ball to Dhawan at mid-off, and was delighted to see a straightforward chance put down. A scrambled single followed on the next delivery to finally confirm Sri Lanka's win.

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Air Vice Marshal Kolitha Aravinda Gunatilleke assumes duties as 14th Commander of the Sri Lanka Air Force

Posted on 27 February 2014 by admin

Air Vice Marshal Kolitha Aravinda Gunatilleke will assume duties as the 14th Commander of the Sri Lanka Air Force today (Feb.28th). He is the Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Air Force. The Change of Command Ceremony will take place at the Air Force Headquarters at 9 am today (Feb.28th).

Air Vice Marshal Gunatilleke joined the SLAF in 1980 as an officer cadet of the 8th intake of officer cadets. He graduated from the Air Force Academy, China Bay in 1982. In 1986 he underwent his Qualified Flying Instructor training with the Pakistan Air Force. He saw action regularly and was deployed in support of all ground operations carried out against the LTTE. In recognition of his outstanding bravery, courage and commitment, AVM Gunatilleke was awarded the Rana Wickrama Padakkama and Rana Sura Padakkama gallantry medals.

He has accumulated over 4000 flying hours flying as a transport pilot, attack pilot and as an instructor. He had under went foreign trainings including in Pakistan, India, USA. He was also a member of the first batch who was conferred with the Master of Science (Defence Studies) degree in Management from the General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University.

AVM Kolitha Gunatilleke is married to Roshani and they are blessed with a daughter, Anushka. In his times of leisure and relaxation, he enjoys music, dancing and reading.

Courtesy: Daily News – February 28, 2014.

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Oman Air launches new codeshare agreement with SriLankan Airlines

Posted on 27 February 2014 by admin











News Release.

Muscat, 26th February, 2014:

Oman Air has signed a brand new codeshare agreement with SriLankan Airlines, the national carrier of Sri Lanka, which will offer even greater choice and convenience for customers of both airlines.

The agreement, which came into effect on 23rd January 2014, allows Oman Air’s customers to book seats on SriLankan Airline’s services from Muscat to Singapore, Male, and China via Colombo. In turn, Sri Lankan Airlines’ customers will be able to book onto Oman Air’s flights from Colombo to Zurich via Omani Capital Muscat.

Oman Air operates Airbus A330s and Boeing B737s on the routes covered by the agreement, whilst Sri Lankan Airlines operates Airbus A320, A330 and A340 aircraft out of Colombo to Male and Singapore.

Sri Lankan Airlines, Chief Executive Officer, Kapila Chandrasena said: “SriLankan Airlines and Oman Air have had a long history of cooperation since the signing of the bilateral Air Services Agreement between Sri Lanka and the Sultanate of Oman in 1981. The present partnership further strengthens the longstanding cooperation between two airlines and will serve to boost tourism and trade between the two countries.”

Oman Air’s Chief Executive Officer, Wayne Pearce, welcomed the agreement, saying:

“We are delighted to be joining with Sri Lankan Airlines under the terms of this codeshare agreement and look forward to working together to meet customer demand on these extremely popular routes. This new agreement will increase both choice and convenience for customers. It allows Oman Air’s customers to book with us to fly to Singapore and increases available connections from Colombo to Male.

“At the same time, Sri Lankan Airlines’ customers can now enjoy Oman Air’s award-winning hospitality and the highest possible standards on flights between Muscat and Colombo and between Muscat and Zurich.

“And because Sri Lankan Airlines has, like Oman Air, been an award winning carrier, renowned for its warmth and hospitality, our passengers can be confident that they will receive outstanding comfort and service, wherever they choose to fly.”

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Burly Anton Perera no more – Memorial Service on March 1st at Woodland Hills, CA

Posted on 27 February 2014 by admin

News reached us last week of the demise of one of the greatest schoolboy sportsman of yesteryear. Anton Perera – a long time resident of Southern California passed away in a Los Angeles Hospital on February 20, 2014. He is survived by his beloved wife of 51 years – Marlene, son Yohan (Joey) and two daughters Sharlene and Sheryl and eight grandchildren. A memorial service for the repose of his soul will be held on Saturday, March 1, 2014, at 11 am at St. Bernadine’s Church at 24410 Calvert Street in Woodland Hills, California. The family has announced that the service will be a celebration of his life and times.

Anton Perera was a household name in the late fifties and early sixties. An intensely talented all-round sportsman, Anton broke into the limelight in 1957, as an athlete and cricketer. He was only 15 years old at the time. Anton was a legend at St. Peter's College. He was one of the most celebrated sports icons who left an indelible mark on the Peterite landscape as a talented athlete, exceptional cricketer and also played rugby until his coach Jackie van Twest advised him not to play as it would hurt his athletics.

Anton was also a good Tennis player and I am not quite sure if he played for college, at the Public Schools Championships. His father was a tennis player of national repute.

Blessed with a strong physique – Anton captained the Under-16 athletics team of his Alma Mater – St. Peter’s College to win the Junior Tarbat Trophy at the All-Island Schools Athletic Championships. He was a Public School champion in the Discus, Javelin and Putt Shot. He also performed well in the 100 metres and did the sprint relays. This was a time the Peterites had a crack athletic team. He captained the Junior Athletics Team in 1957 which went on to win the Junior Tarbat at the Public Schools Championships. Desmond Moraes, Rontjen Perera and Linus Jayawardane (since departed) were the other members of the team.

Some names of Peterite athletes during his time that come to mind are Ranjit Wijeyesekere, Ranjit Weerasena, David Van Dort, Errol de Silva, brothers Andrew & Godfrey Goonetilleke, Rontjen Perera, Neville Salvador, E.L. Fernando, N.B. Wilson, Didacus de Almeida, Roger Wright, Kevin Ruberu, Vinitha Rakajaruna, Elmo Perera, Carlyle Rudolph, Ranjith Alwis, brothers Winston & Stafford Tambimuttu, and a host of others of repute who later joined Ace Athletic Club or CT & FC.

But it was Cricket that Anton was best known. His baptism into the First XI was in 1957, at the age of 15 – under the captaincy of Jayantha Fernando. In the big match, Anton clean bowled opener Claude Perera and then took out two prolific Josephian batsmen Priya Perera and Tissa de Soysa. He had match figures of 3 for 69 in his first big match that was drawn. Anton played from 1957 to 1960, both years included. St. Peter`s were captained by Russel Duckworth in 1958, Brian Seneviratne in 1959, and Premasiri Athukorale in 1960. I cannot remember which year, but Anton caused a sensation at the SPC Vs. Ananda game. He took 8 wickets for 21 and at least six Ananda players were injured. Following year, the Peterites had a rough time at Campbell Place when they met Ananda. I believe Police were at hand to ensure no brawls took place.

During this time, he was rated the fastest Schoolboy bowler in Ceylon with Ananda`s Sonny Yatawara a close second. Anton's opening partners were Maurice Deckker (1960), Desmond Dharmaraja (1958 & 1959) and Anton Paulpillai (1957). Anton best partnered with Maurice Deckker when the Peterites had the most fiery opening bowling attack at the time in school cricket.

Cricket at St. Peter`s enjoyed a great period in the 50s and 60s – there was a galaxy of stars who represented the school by the canal.

Anton`s team mates who played alongside him are shown below:

  • 1957 – David Muthumani, Nihal Wijesena, Darrel De Silva, Jayantha Fernando, Brian Seneviratne, Russel Duckworth, Lakshman; Serasinghe, Premasiri Athukorale, Christy Marthalingam, Anton Paulpillai;
  • 1958 – Randy Layman, Adiel Anghie, Desmond Dharmaraja, Elmo Gunasekara;
  • 1959 – Richard Alles, Mark de Silva, Richard Heyn, Tyrone Le Mercier;
  • 1960 – Maurice Deckker, Didacus de Almeida.

Anton played Club Cricket for SSC whilst in school and would have certainly played for All-Ceylon had he not left for the USA in 1962 at the age of 20. He lived in the San Fernando Valley in Southern California with his wife Marlene and their three children. He was involved in developing and promoting cricket in Southern California in the sixties and played locally with Dr. Tony Don Michael (another Peterite), Thomian Dr. M.L. Idroos (STC), Dr. C. Balakrishnan (Jaffna Hindu), and a host of other players who made California their home in the post-sixties.

Nihal Perera, a Peterite of my vintage who now lives in the U.S. has sent in this comment. “Very sad to hear he is no more. Still remember him almost skittling out St. Thomas' in their 2nd innings ending at 39/9 (St.Peter's almost snatched victory from the jaws of defeat as they say) and he ended up with 7 for 11. Fr. Arthur Fernando called him on to the stage on the Monday after & presented him with a pair of boot laces (since he had constant issues with the laces coming undone during his Herculean effort). Man with a big heart.”

Another Peterite colleague and good friend of Anton's – Kevin Ruberu (domiciled in Australia) says, "Anton was one of the best sportsman that we ever had. He was on top of his cricket and athletics. In athletics, he was a superb all-rounder (shot putt, javelin, long jump, 100 m sprint – he excelled at); I think he also played some tennis and rugby (not encouraged by Jackie Van Twest of course).“

Anton visited Sri Lanka often and had many friends all over the world. He was one of the most popular sportsman to emerge from St. Peter`s College. One distinct character trait that stood by Anton throughout his life is that he had a mind of his own. Most times, he was right in his convictions. He called a spade – a spade, and there was no “beating around the bush“ with him. With Anton, it was a case of `what you see is what you get`.

A quote from Abraham Lincoln: "And in the end it is not the years in your life that count, It's the life in your years." Anton enjoyed a lot of life in his years. He was a good family man, an exceptional human being, loyal to his multitude of friends and a very good Catholic to his dying days. He made three visits to Toronto during his 52 years in California.

May his Soul Rest in Peace!

BY UPALI OBEYESEKERE – The Sri Lankan Anchorman.

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Seven new destinations added to SriLankan

Posted on 26 February 2014 by admin

Expanding a long-standing partnership with Malaysia Airlines, SriLankan Airlines extends its network in the Austral-Asian Region adding seven new codeshare destinations in Australia, Vietnam and Malaysia. To cater to growing demand between Australia and Sri Lanka, SriLankan Airlines will provide daily services to Adelaide,Brisbane and Perth via Kuala Lumpur.

Daily connections to Sydney and Melbourne via Kuala Lumpur already exist.

With this addition SriLankan will provide code share services to five major cities in Australia. Additionally, Saigon and Hanoi in Vietnam and the islands of Penang and Langkawi in Malaysia have also been added as code share destinations via Kuala Lumpur.

These new code share destinations will further enhance our service to this fast growing region which according to official figures, had the highest growth of tourist traffic of 25.3 per cent in 2013," said Mohamed Fazeel, SriLankan's Head of Commercial Operations.

Courtesy: Daily News

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News Release — Cracking Down on Citizenship Fraud: the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act

Posted on 25 February 2014 by admin

Calgary, February 19, 2014 — Today Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander reinforced the government’s commitment to tackling citizenship fraud through measures proposed in Bill C-24, the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act.

Under the new legislation, the government will have the authority to develop regulations to designate a regulatory body whose members would be authorized to act as consultants on citizenship matters. This change will help protect applicants and deter third-party fraud.

Bill C-24 reinforces the value of citizenship by cracking down on fraud and ensuring Canadian citizenship is only offered to those who play by the rules. Proposed measures include:

  • stronger penalties for fraud and misrepresentation (a maximum fine of $100,000 and/or five years in prison);
  • expanding the grounds to bar an application for citizenship to include foreign criminality which will help improve program integrity;
  • and making it an offence for unauthorized individuals to knowingly represent or advise a person on a citizenship application or hearing for a fee.

Quick facts

  • Ongoing large-scale fraud investigations conducted by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have identified more than 3,000 citizens and 5,000 permanent residents linked to major investigations—a majority of them related to residence.
  • In addition, nearly 2,000 individuals linked to the citizenship fraud investigations have withdrawn their applications.


“The government is cracking down on citizenship fraud by enforcing stronger penalties for those who do not play by the rules. Changes to the Citizenship Act reinforce the value of citizenship and will help ensure new Canadians are fully prepared to participate in Canadian life and have a stronger attachment to our country."

Chris Alexander, Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister

“Stronger penalties for those who commit citizenship fraud will protect the integrity of Canadian citizenship. The government's changes to the Citizenship Act reinforce the message that Canadian citizenship is valued around the globe and will be afforded those who recognize that it comes with duties and rights, privileges and responsibilities."

Chris Alexander, Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister

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Slump on CSE continues for ninth day running – Small scrip dividend from Commercial Bank

Posted on 25 February 2014 by admin

February 25, 2014, 12:00 pm

The slump on the Colombo bourse continued for the ninth day running yesterday on a low turnover of Rs. 426.9 million, down from the previous day’s Rs. 499.4 million, with 122 losers way ahead of 63 gainers while 122 counters closed flat.

The one bright spot in an otherwise gloomy scenario was the announcement of a very modest scrip dividend by the Commercial Bank which, in addition to a final cash dividend of Rs. 2 per share will give shareholders one new voting share for every 63.611111 shares held and one non-voting share for every 52.611111 shares held.

“It’s a very small bonus,’’ noted a broker. “It won’t mean much to the big shareholders while a retailer with a few hundred shares will hardly get anything. Yet we’ve seen a scrip dividend after quite some time.’’

The dates for these dividends were unannounced and are to be notified.

SLT also announced a first and final dividend of 85 cents a share following shareholder approval at an AGM on Apr. 9 with the share trading XD from Apr. 10 and with payment on Apr. 23 while Dockyard announced a first and final dividend of Rs. 4 per share for 2013 XD on Mar. 6 and with payment on Mar. 17.

The CSE is now at its lowest level since Dec. 27 last year and all gains made this year have been wiped out as the foreign sell-off continued, brokers said.

There was a single crossing of JKH, the counter which carried the market on its upward run, with 158,160 shares done at Rs. 209 contributing Rs. 33.1 million to the day’s turnover. JKH was also the most traded stock on the floor, with nearly 0.3 million shares done between Rs. 206 and Rs. 209, closing two rupees down at Rs. 207 contributing Rs. 60 million to turnover.

“The various projections made on the technical charts about at what point the fall in the JKH price would be arrested has gone wrong,’’ a broker said. “We’re yet to come to that point with various prices for available big blocks being talked off.’’

The big sellers are mainly foreign with high net worth locals and institutional interest on getting what is available at the best possible price, brokers said.

JKH warrants W0023 closed 10 cents down at Rs. 61 on nearly 0.4 million while DFCC closed 80 cents down at Rs. 141.20 on over 0.1 million shares.

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Sri Lanka beat Pakistan in Asia Cup opener

Posted on 25 February 2014 by admin

Sri Lankan cricketers congratulate Lasith Malinga (2L) after he dismissed Pakistani batsman Misbah-ul-Haq (R) during the opening match of the Asia Cup one-day cricket tournament between Pakistan and Sri Lanka at the Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium in Fatullah, on the outskirts of Dhaka on February 25, 2014.

(AFP/Dibyangshu SARKAR) FATULLAH, February 25, 2014 (AFP) – Sri Lanka defeated defending champions Pakistan by 12 runs in the opening match of the five-nation Asia Cup one-day tournament in Fatullah on Tuesday. Lahiru Thirimanne hit a century as Sri Lanka scored 296-6 after electing to bat first, and then bowled out Pakistan for 284 in the penultimate over of the day-night match. India play hosts Bangladesh at the same venue on Wednesday. Afghanistan is the fifth team in the tournament.


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S. Thomas’ battle it out with Trinity

Posted on 25 February 2014 by admin

S.Thomas’ College Mount Lavinia took major honours in their match against Trinity College for the Ranil Abeynaike Memorial Trophy which concluded at Asgiriya International Stadium.

The Trinitians who were at 91/3 overnight scored 205 with Kaveen Hiniduma top scoring with 75 runs. Skipper Madushan Ravichandrakumar and Tharindu Ratnayake shared four wickets apiece for the visitors. The lads from Mount Lavinia made 118 for 8 declared with Raveen Sayer capturing 4 wickets for 60.

The homesters who were following a target of 208 runs were 121 for 4 at close. S. Thomas’ : 295/9 in 69.4 overs (Rashmika Opatha 36, Tharindu Ratnayake 80, Sachitha Jayatilleke 31, Madushan Ravichandrakumar 28, Helakamal Nanayakkara 52, Sahan Wijesinghe 22, Charith Sudaraka 3/66, Amrith Srimahan 2/32, Chatura Jayasundara 2/11) and 118/8 declared in 33 overs (Yohan Mendis 24, Helakamal Nanayakkara 22, Sachitha Jayatilleke 26, Raveen Sayer 4/60, Charith Sudaraka 2/28) Trinity (91/3 overnight): 205 in 50.1 overs (Kaveen Hiniduma 75, Ron Chandraguptha 38, Tharindu Ratnayake 4/59, Madushan Ravichandrakumar 4/59, Chenutha Wickramasinghe 2/14) and 121/4 in 31.3 overs (Nushan Weerasinghe 27, Arjuna Jayasinghe 38, Ron Chandraguptha 28).

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HOTEL MIRAGE now in operation at Marine Drive, Colombo 6

Posted on 24 February 2014 by admin

Hotel Mirage opens today.

The Mirage Hotel (Pvt) Ltd, latest addition to the star class accommodation will declare open by President Mahinda Rajapaksa today. To build the hotel the company has invested Rs. 600 million, to build this four star luxury hotel in Wellawatta.

The Mirage Hotel (Pvt) Ltd, Managing Director, Prabath Fonseka told Daily News Business that Sri Lanka tourism is booming after the ending of the war and the country has return to normalcy. Since the end of terrorism the number of tourist arrivals has increased sharply.

“There is an increased demand to establish hotel rooms in the country. Therefore the hotel sector needs to be injected with investments of this magnitude to meet the demand in hotel rooms to boost capacity”, he said. The management plans to build a four star city hotel comprising all modern facilities including 64 luxury rooms, swimming pool, three restaurants, spa, business centre and other amenities.

The hotel will be generating 150 more job opportunities for Sri Lankan youth. The property is located in Marine Drive in Wallawatta with easy access to the beach.

Courtesy: Daily News

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