Archive | April, 2014


President meets Sri Lankan community in Bahrain

Posted on 30 April 2014 by admin

President Mahinda Rajapaksa met with members of the Sri Lankan community living in Bahrain at the Ritz-Carlton on Tuesday evening at a reception organized by the Sri Lankan Embassy.

"Even though it took time, we are happy we were able to establish diplomatic ties with Bahrain," President Rajapaksa said when he took the opportunity to speak briefly to those who had gathered. He added that because of the opening of the Embassy, "the cooperation between the two countries has increased," and the Government has been able to better serve the Sri Lankans living in this Middle Eastern country.

The President told the audience about the high regard in which the King of Bahrain His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa held the Sri Lankan community in Bahrain and the positive comments he made during the bilateral discussions about the contribution of Sri Lankans in Bahrain to this country's economy as well. President Rajapaksa informed the audience that when he was presented with the prestigious Khalifa Medal yesterday, "I felt it wasn't for me but for the country (Sri Lanka) and all of you," for which the audience erupted with applause.

While encouraging each person to positively represent Sri Lanka, the President also requested the Sri Lankan community in Bahrain not to fall prey to misinformation. President Rajapaksa said the portrayal that there is religious tension in Sri Lanka, that some are trying to create, is inaccurate. He reassured the audience that he would not allow for any type of religious conflict in Sri Lanka to raise its head.



External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris, Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare Minister Dilan Perera, Labour and Labour Relations Deputy Minister Sarath Weerasekara, Provincial Council Member Nauzer Fowzie, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga and Sri Lanka's Ambassador to Bahrain Anura Rajakaruna were present at the vent.


















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2 trains collide head-on at Pothuhera – 68 injured

Posted on 30 April 2014 by admin

A major rail accident occurred around 8:45 am on Wednesday morning. The trains had collided near the Pothuhera Railway Station. The number of those injured in the train collision that occurred in Pothuhera has risen to 68 with four in critical condition. Two trains have collided head on in the Pothuhera area in Kurunegala.

One of the trains that had collided, was the Rajina train which had been plying from Matara to Vavuniya while the other express train was plying from Colombo Fort to Pallai.

The Railway Control Room says that the injured have been admitted to the Kurunegala General Hospital.

Update : Two trains collide head on in Pothuhera – 68 injured, 05 in serious condition – Minister travels to Pothuhera to determine who is at fault.

A technical engineer of the Sri Lanka Railways (SLR) yesterday blamed the railway authorities for not taking action to rectify the technical faults on the changing points of the railway tracks at the Pothuhera Railway station.

“The points of the railway track of the Pothuhera Railway Station were faulty for several years, but repeated requests failed to correct the situation".

68 passengers were injured when Palai bound Deyata Kirula intercity train collided head on with the Matara bound Rajarata Rajina express train while it was stationed at the Pothuhera Railway Station this morning.

Kurunegala Hospital Director Dr. Palitha Epa said that 45 patients are still receiving treatment at Kurunegala hospital and the condition of five of them is critical.

Deyata Kirula intercity train left Colombo at 6.50am and it had picked passengers of the Yaldevi express train after Yaldevi broke down at Veyangoda.

Rajarata Rajina which leaves Vavuniya at 3.20am generally passes Kurunegala at 8am.

Pothuhera is the only Station where two oncoming trains could be interchanged therefore Rajarata Rajina was stationed at Pothuhera for Deyata Kirula Intercity to pass. However Deyata Kirula has been driven on the same track on which Rajarata Rajina was stationed.

Kurunegala Hospital Director Dr. Palitha Epa said that 25 male patients, 14 female patients and six children are among the 45 patients currently being under treatment in hospital.

Soon after the accident, Railway Department’s Deputy Director of Transport Gamini Senevirathna reached the Pothuhera Railway Station.

Engines of both trains were damaged and several compartments of both trains were derailed after the accident.

Train services on the Northern line between Polgahawela and Kurunegala have been temporarily suspended after the accident.

The Railway Control stated that stranded passengers are transported by SLTB buses.

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SHARM DE ALWIS – doyen of sports journalism no more

Posted on 30 April 2014 by admin

Sharm de Alwis passes away.

A doyen of sports journalism, the likeable Sharm de Alwis passed away yestersayi after a short illness. Born in Kandy on March 17, 1934 to Duwadisawage Victor Vincent De Alwis (better known as Captain De Alwis) and Pearl Wijesinghe, he was the first born of his siblings thus inheriting the respect and adoration as "Aiya".

Having attended both Wesley College and Trinity, he recalls his fondest memories at Trinity the school he also served as secretary of the OBA for over three years.

He was in the Trinity boxing pool even though he was not able to represent the College and when in Wesley together with his mate Babu Ahamath they managed to coax boxing in to the sports curriculum.

His big break in boxing came when he captained Shell Company in 1954 to '56 and went on to win the Cup in the Pin and Fly weights at the Mercantile Intermediate Boxing Meet (1955). He also held the cup for the 'Best Boxer' for three consecutive years and remained an unbeaten boxer.

His boxing career stood at a standstill when he left for England where he studied Advertising, Market Research, Marketing and Public Relations at the London University for four years.While in London he travelled around Europe for three months on his Lambretta scooter bringing back both souvenirs and tales which were enjoyed by his children and grandchildren.

On returning home, after many successful years in advertising and marketing at William Biscuits, J.W. Thomas, Grants, Senarathne and Don Carollis, in 1972 with the birth of his third daughter whom he considered 'lucky', he made a giant leap and pioneered his own company 'Kangaroo Packing and Shipping' which he steered with the help of his wife Loretta. He is also a freelance writer on sports, travel and social comments.

He leaves his wife, children and grandchildren who will miss him very much.




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Tea in ‘thumbs – up’ mood, first quarter earnings top Rs. 50.3 billion

Posted on 29 April 2014 by admin

January to March results put tea circles in an ‘all smiles’ situation particularly because earnings exceeded those of last year over the same period by as much as Rs 8. 3 billion. Additionally, exports of 75.2 million kilos indicate increase in quantities exported, by 4.3 million kilos, a Forbes & Walker tea market report said.

However , the Asia Siyaka weekly tea market report had an equally interesting story that India too had increased crop exports although weather indicators were that tea growing areas in Assam had longer dry spells with warmer temperatures. Irrigation systems installed in those plantations had ensured crop potential was not affected. It also meant in those tea growing areas weather was not really of critical concern.

The report further said prices realized were not in keeping with increased costs.

CTC ( Cut Tear and Curl), was selling at $ 1 . 68, which was low. The Colombo market average was around $ 3 . 70. However, as the Indian Tea Association said Assam produced 620 million kilos of tea last year, but the price drop was attributed to poor quality. Indian tea traders reportedly were unable to raise prices.

The Asia Siyaka report further said The Tea Research Association of India, on its part, had conducted studies and confirmed a drop in rainfall and rise in temperatures.

By Steve A. Morrell – Courtesy: The Island

Global warming, which was an expected phenomenon this year, further aggravated the ‘Indian problem’, particularly because Ceylon Tea and Kenya were in competition for top slots.

Ex estate catalog tea sold at increased demand and the all round performance was said to be quite promising.

However, low grown Ceylon Tea maintained their demand markets in Iran, Turkey, Dubai, Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Additionally, CIS countries continued their strong support for Ceylon Tea.

Value addition exports had increased to as much as 62 % in 2013. These exports had not diminished currently and were sustained. But bulk tea demand did not fare as well.

Tea exports to end March, included, Russia, CIS and additionally, Japan, Germany and Middle East countries, which continued to support Ceylon Tea.

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Spate of bank robberies in the island

Posted on 29 April 2014 by admin


Colombo and suburbs have been hit with a spate of daring bank robberies this year. Robbers in motor cycles and SUV vehicles covering their faces in disguise with helmets and face mask, toting guns and other weaponry take part in these daring robberies. A private bank branch in Kohuwala has been ransacked by robbers. Two armed robbers who had allegedly ransacked the branch of a private bank in Kohuwala, had fled towards Piliyandala.

Police Media Spokesperson SSP Ajith Rohana says that there have been thefts reported from various locations over the past two weeks where robbers have made off with a total of close to Rs.30 million.

The most recent incident was reported on Monday morning from Kohuwala. A sum of Rs. 1.5 million had been stolen from the branch of a private bank in Kohuwala.A special police team of Kohuwala police station led by IP Chaminda Edirisuriya and Crime OIC, SI W. B. A. Sumathipala yesterday morning arrested the main suspect and two confederates alleged to have robbed three banks and attempted one at Kirulapone, wearing full-face helmets within four months. Among the suspects is a Civil Defence Force member, who harboured the other two in his house in Kandy.

The main suspect, Jagath Lasantha (38) aka Manju of Piliyandala and other suspect, Wasantha Sanjeewa (35) of Galgamuwa are alleged to have robbed two branches of Nations Trust Bank at Malabe and Kohuwala on December 26, 2013 and February 24, 2014 and a branch of Citizen Development Bank in Moratuwa. They also made an abortive attempt to rob the Kirulapone branch of Seylan Bank on April 24.

Police spokesman, SSP Ajth Rohana, addressing a hurriedly arranged media briefing, said yesterday that the police had recovered a helmet, a jacket, a revolver, locally made weapon, three motorcycles used to commit the crimes and a car bought with the stolen money.

The SSP said the two suspects would be detained for questioning after obtaining a court order.

Caption: Police officers, who arrested the main suspect and the other two suspects, show to the media the helmet used to rob the banks and other items on the table such as a revolver, jacket ammunition and a, locally made weapon. Police spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana looks on.

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SriLankan flies with oneworld from Thursday

Posted on 28 April 2014 by admin






Reaching one of the most significant landmarks in its 35-year history SriLankan Airlines will join oneworld on May 1 and roll out its first aircraft decorated with the oneworld livery. The launching ceremony would be held at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Airport in Mattala with the participation of SriLankan officials, oneworld representatives and local and international media.

SriLankan Airlines by joining oneworld estimates an incremental revenue of around US$ 25 million per year initially with the figure expected to increase with the passage of time. Sri Lankan is the first airline to join the alliance from the region and was not required to make a significant investment to join oneworld but only a revamping of its systems which was a timely need.

oneworld is a unique airline alliance consisting of 14 major airlines. oneworld member airlines work together to deliver consistently a superior, seamless travel experience, with special privileges and rewards for frequent flyers, including earning and redeeming miles and points across the entire alliance network and many more unique advantages to its members.

Fizel Jabir ( writing to the Daily News

Air Lanka was relaunched in 1979 and had a proud history of owning the first A340 in Asia. On April 1, 1998 Air Lanka was partially privatized, when Emirates purchased a 40% stake, with management rights for the next ten years. As part of a plan encompassing introduction of a new corporate culture into Air Lanka and enhancements to service quality throughout the airline, an order was placed for Airbus A330-200 airplanes, twin-engine ‘stablemates’ to the A340. One of the most significant milestone in the airline’s history came on July 13, 1999, when a new logo, airplane livery and most importantly, a new name SriLankan Airlines was launched. The distinction of featuring the latest colour scheme went to the airline’s fourth, A340, whose first landing in Colombo heralded the official unveiling ceremony for SriLankan Airlines’ new corporate image. A few months later, the first of the A330s arrived to another festive welcome.

The Sri Lankan Government became the major stake holder of the airline once again in July 2010.




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Trinity – Royal Old Boys rugby on May 17

Posted on 28 April 2014 by admin


The Old Trinitans vs Old Royalist rugby games played for E.L. Fernando memorial trophy will take place May 17 at the Royal College complex. This event is organised by the Royal College Rugby Match Committee and the Old Trinitians Scrumage, according to the organisers they are hoping to kick off from 4 pm.

E.L. Fernando was one time principal of Trinity College, and one who did a lot for rugby. When he was the principal in 1971 only one game was played and won by Royal under Fred Perera and the Trinitians were led by Y.A.S. Ping.

Royal won the match by 22 points to 3 and the second game was not played. This game is being brought back after several years, and this time the organising committee of both schools are going all out to make it a memorable one. Last evening both committees were seen in a lengthy discussion regarding the arrangements in Colombo at Carrier Guidance Center of Royal College.

These two teams first met in 1983, which game the Trinitians pocketed. So the game is being revived after many years and it is hoped that this will be continued like the Bradby. There will be over 35 Tag games, in which some of the top ruggerites of both schools are expected to play. The main game is going to be between the two Old Boys teams, in which the cream of the prouducts of the two schools are expected to play.

By Hafiz Marikar

Royal's under 35 team is tipped to be led by N. Dhason who led the school in 2009, the year Trinity was led by Viswajith Wijesinghe lost both Bradby legs, 12-22 and 15-31. In this year's U-35 game Trinitinas will be captained by Milinda Gunawardene who led the school in 2008 to beat Royal team which was led by S. Lenaduwa 24-12 and 00-12. The Royal over 35 team will be led probably by Sampatha Agalawatha the 1984 Royal captain, under whom they beat Trinity (first leg 6-3 and the seocd game ended in nil all draw) or Rohantha Peries, the 1978 captain. That year the first game ended in a nil all draw and in the second leg it was Royal who seal the victory 8-4. Trinitiy was led by Janaka Kiridena.

So, this Old Boys' game Trinitains have not yet made a decision as to who is going to lead them in the key game. Trinity ruggerites who are keen to take part in the over 35 Tag encounter can contact Rohan Kumarasamy 0773644546 or Nishantha Wickremage 0773125500. Old Royalists can get in touch with Rohantha Peries on 0777550209 or Sampath Agalawatte 0777867800. For the main game and Chuckers; Trinitians should contact Sean Foster 0775921303 or Murad Ramzeen 0779531516 and the Royalist Naren Dhason 0777608225 or Shehan Pathirana 0777132213.

– See more at:

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Sri Lanka Tourism statistics show 1,274,593 arrivals in 2013

Posted on 28 April 2014 by admin

The image associated with this news item is of tourists coming out of Bandaranaike Intl Airport (BIA) in an organized tour from Germany and destined to enjoying the sun and sand at the picturesque Unawatuna Beach in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka. This South Asian island nation is one of the most romantic Asian destinations that is in high demand. The land of serendipity brings spiritual tranquility and a chance to rediscover oneself. The beauty of this tiny island is simply breath-taking. Known for its enchanting ancient ruins, endless soft-sanded beaches, imposing mountains, colorful festivals, tempting water sports, dense wild-life, diverse ethnical groups and off the top hospitality from the local residents Sri Lanka is bound to make you come back again. Since 2009, the tourism industry in Sri Lanka has undergone a major industrial revolution with hotels, restaurants and other significant tourism attractions springing up literally overnight. The government of Sri Lanka has given the tourism industry top priority and hopes to convert the island nation into one of the most sought after destinations in the world.

Sri Lanka Tourism has validated the tourism arrival figures for each month of 2013 and according to the latest validation, Sri Lanka in total has received 1,274,593 tourists during 2013. The new validation was carried out based on the statistics provided by the computer data collection method of Immigration and Emigration Department of Sri Lanka.

MONTH 2012 2013 % Change
January 85,874 110,543 28.7
February 83,549 113,968 36.4
March 91,102 113,208 24.3
April 69,591 80,737 16.0
May 57,506 74,838 30.1
June 65,245 90,279 38.4
July 90,338 107,016 18.5
August 79,456 123,269 55.1
September 71,111 90,339 27.0
October 80,379 107,058 33.2
November 109,202 109,420 0.2
December 122,252 153,918 25.9
TOTAL 1,005,605 1,274,593 26.7




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This Day in History: April 27th

Posted on 27 April 2014 by admin

On this day in 4977 B.C., the universe is created, according to German mathematician and astronomer Johannes Kepler, considered a founder of modern science. Kepler is best known for his theories explaining the motion of planets.

Kepler was born on December 27, 1571, in Weil der Stadt, Germany. As a university student, he studied the Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus' theories of planetary ordering. Copernicus (1473-1543) believed that the sun, not the earth, was the center of the solar system, a theory that contradicted the prevailing view of the era that the sun revolved around the earth.

In 1600, Kepler went to Prague to work for Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, the imperial mathematician to Rudolf II, emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. Kepler's main project was to investigate the orbit of Mars. When Brahe died the following year, Kepler took over his job and inherited Brahe's extensive collection of astronomy data, which had been painstakingly observed by the naked eye. Over the next decade, Kepler learned about the work of Italian physicist and astronomer Galileo Galilei (1564-1642), who had invented a telescope with which he discovered lunar mountains and craters, the largest four satellites of Jupiter and the phases of Venus, among other things. Kepler corresponded with Galileo and eventually obtained a telescope of his own and improved upon the design. In 1609, Kepler published the first two of his three laws of planetary motion, which held that planets move around the sun in ellipses, not circles (as had been widely believed up to that time), and that planets speed up as they approach the sun and slow down as they move away. In 1619, he produced his third law, which used mathematic principles to relate the time a planet takes to orbit the sun to the average distance of the planet from the sun.

Kepler's research was slow to gain widespread traction during his lifetime, but it later served as a key influence on the English mathematician Sir Isaac Newton (1643-1727) and his law of gravitational force. Additionally, Kepler did important work in the fields of optics, including demonstrating how the human eye works, and math. He died on November 15, 1630, in Regensberg, Germany. As for Kepler's calculation about the universe's birthday, scientists in the 20th century developed the Big Bang theory, which showed that his calculations were off by about 13.7 billion years.

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Sri Lanka appoint Marvan Atapattu as national coach to replace Paul Farbrace

Posted on 27 April 2014 by admin

One of Sri Lanka's technically sound Test batsmen, former captain Marvan Atapattu has been named as Sri Lanka's head coach, replacing Paul Farbrace, who resigned to take up the role of assistant coach to England coach Peter Moores. The 43-year-old, assistant coach of Sri Lanka, who hit 16 centuries in 90 Tests for Sri Lanka, steps up from assistant coach and he was also the national side's batting coach for three years. Atapattu's first assignment will be Sri Lanka's tour of England. Atapattu, who has scored six double centuries for the country in Test career, will have to work with Interim Assistant Coach Ruwan Kalpage until South Africa's tour of Sri Lanka in August this year. Fast bowling coach Chaminda Vaas remain in his role as bowling coach. The SLC media release said : "The appointments will be for the upcoming Ireland and England tour and the South Africa tour of Sri Lanka." Last year, he was shortlisted as one of the two finalists for the coaching position when SLC looked for candidates from all over the world after South African Gram Ford's tenue.

By Sanjeewa Jayakoday – Courtesy: Daily News

[Fast Track]

Born: November 22, 1970, Kalutara,

Sri Lanka Major teams: Sri Lanka, Asia XI, Delhi Giants, ICL World XI, Sinhalese Sports Club

Tests: (1990-2007) 90 matches, 5,502 runs @ 39.02, 16×100, 17×50, HS 249; 1 wicket @ 24.00, BB 1-9, 58 catches ODIs: (1990-2007) 268 matches, 8,529 runs @ 37.57, 11×100, 59×50, HS 132*, catches 70. First-class: (1988-2007) 228 matches, 14,591 runs @ 48.79, 47×100, HS 253*; 19 wickets @ 36.42, BB 3-19, 149 catches.

School: Ananda College Colombo 1989: Sunday Observer Schoolboy Cricketer 1990: Aged 20, made Test debut against India at Sector 16 Stadium, Chandigarh and was dismissed for no score in both innings against India. Atapattu was famous for three consecutive ducks in his first three Test innings and made his first Test run in his fourth innings against Australia at SSC in 1992. Again he got out for a duck in the same match. And recalled in 1994 against India at Ahmedabad, where he made two 'ducks'. 1996: Atapattu was a member of Sri Lanka's historical World Cup winning side in 1996. Test double centuries:

Atapattu made six double centuries, the sixth batsman to do so after Sir Don Bradman's 12, Kumar Sangakkara and Brian Lara's 9 each. Mahela Jayawardene and England's Wally Hammond have scored seven double tons each. 2004: Became Sri Lanka's Test captain after Hashan Tillakaratne. Under his captaincy Sri Lanka won Asia Cup in 2004. 2006: Lost captaincy. He played two half centuries including 80 in his late Test series in Augstralia. 2007: He played rebel Indian Cricket League towards the end of his career, before taking over coaching assignments. 2009: Had a coaching stint with Fingara Cricket Academy, Sri Lanka and the same year he became Canada's batting coach and helped them qualify for the 2011 World Cup. 2010:

Appointed National Coach of the Singapore. April 19, 2011: Appointed Sri Lanka's Batting Coach ahead of Sri Lanka's tour of England after Tillakaratne Dilshan was named Test captain. 2013:

He was in line to become the successor to National Coach Graham Ford. Eventually Paul Farbrace was selected. Atapattu was promoted to the post of Assistant Coach. April 25, 2014: Appointed Sri Lanka National Coach ahead of crucial Sri Lanka's tour of England after Englishman Paul Farbrace quit.

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