Archive | April, 2016


Royal maul Trinity through mud to win first leg 22-17

Posted on 30 April 2016 by admin

Royal’s powerhouse forward pack mauled their way through the hapless Trinity outfit to register a decisive 22-17 score amidst the heavy downpour of rain at the Royal College Sports Complex in the first leg of the 72nd Bradby Shield encounter.

Royal compiled their points off three tries, two conversions and a penalty while Trinity were only able to accumulate two converted tries and a penalty. The hosts snatched a much needed win to take 2nd place in division 1A of the schools rugby league whilst giving them a fice point lead going into the secind leg in Pallekelle.

Trinity came in to the game minus their skipper Rahul Karunathilake with the memories of the 49-0 loss still fresh on their minds. Trinityrecovered acting skipper Thushila Perera’s kick off and looked to run the ball from 40 meters out, however the Royal center Janidu Dilshan intercepted a poor pass off Anjana Bandara and rewrote history to touch down for the fastest try in the 72-year long history of the Bradby. Ovin Askey added the extra points and Royal were off to a dream start (7-0).


Courtesy: The Papare

Royal College vs Trinity College

It took Trinity fifteen minutes to approach their attacking 22 meter and when they succeeded in doing so, they scored through their forwards as Anjana Bandara touched down to open the scoring for the visitors. Sanushka Abeywickrema’s kick was on point despite the downpour of rain and Trinity drew level (7-7).

Royal’s Ovin Askey regained the lead with 22-meter penalty (10-7). Many a chance went begging for the Trinitians who controlled the middle stages of the first half as the Lions with majority of the possession couldn’t capitalize on the pressure due to poor ball handling.

The Royalists on the other hand were looking for the important lineout that could put them within in mauling distance. Their breakthrough came in the 27th minute when Royal shoved the Trinity forwards back from a 5-meter line out for the second try as Hooker Azmir Fajudeen touched down from the rear. Askey was on point with a 44-meter conversion. (17-7)

Half time  RC 17-7 TCK

Coach Eric Miller’s decision to substitute acting skipper Thushila Perera for Lashane Wijesuriya turned things around for the Lions andseemed to exploit every corner of the Royal defense. Wijesuriya’s presence was felt from the start as he kicked a difficult 25-meter penalty in the rain to bring the score to 17-10.

Royal had the fortitude to hold on to their defensive lines in the stormy conditions but when Trinity’s Shalindra Alahakoon came off the back of a 5-meter scrum and passed it on to Wijesuriya who offloaded to Diluksha Dange to score, Trinity were once again closing in onthe Royal score.

For the first time in Sri Lanka in a school encounter, referee Dinka Pieris went to the Television match official on the Dliuksha Dange try and TMO Vimal Perera declared that Wijesuriya’s offload was backwards and referee Pieris awarded the try.

Lashane Wijesuriya took it upon himself to bring Trinity back on even footing with a difficult conversion and with 20 minutes left on the clock, the game still was undecided. (17-17)

Royal College vs Trinity College

It was evident that the Royal maul was no match for the Trinity forwards and throughout the game, Trinity struggled desperately to hold back the Royal stampede. With the Royal Complex drenched in mud, the Royal couldn’t have asked for better conditions to prove theirdominance up front. For the next twenty minutes Royal mauled their way up from 22 meter mark and when they were awarded a 5 meter penalty, Ovin Askey didn’t hesitate to go for touch.

As Royal mauled on one final occasion in the 77th minute in the mud, the pressure proved too much for the tired Trinity forwards as Azmir Fajudeen touched down for a second time to mark their dominance in the game. Despite the missed conversion, Trinity didn’t have the fire power to stage a possible comeback in the remaining three minutes (22-17).

The Royal forwards made sure the ball stayed within their grasp for the remainder of the game and in doing so as the Tuskers registered a 22-17 win at the Royal Complex in the 1st leg of the Bradby as the field was invaded by euphoric fans who didn’t seem to mind the mud. Royal College will now travel to Pallekelle with a five-point lead as they attempt to defend the shield.

The game that was also a league encounter saw Royal climbing to the second spot in the segment 1A while Trinity will be pushed down to third as the first round of the school games comes to a close this weekend.’s player of the match: Azmir Fajudeen of Royal College

Score breakdown:

Royal College 22 (3T 2C 1P) Tries by – Azmir Fajudeen (2), Janidu Dilshan / Conversions (2) and Penalty by Ovin Askey

Trinity College 17 (2T 2C 1P) Tries by – Anjana Bandara, Diluksha Dange / Conversions (2) by Sanushka Abeywickrema / Penalty by Lashane Wijesuriya

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Questions raised over safety of large visitor influx to Nuwara Eliya in April

Posted on 30 April 2016 by admin


By Shelton Hettiarachchi – Courtesy: Sunday Times.


Questions raised over safety of large visitor influx to hill town in April

The unfortunate incident where a motorcyclist taking part in the races in Nuwara Eliya skidded off course and crashed into spectators leaving 16 persons injured, has raised many questions about the safety of people who flock to the area each year in April during the holiday season.

Residents in the area say that there is no proper racing track but each year ad hoc arrangements are made and a racing track put in place which has proved to be a danger to spectators as well as to the competitors.

One person who was injured seriously in the accident is receiving treatment at the ICU of the Kandy General Hospital. The crash occurred on April 16 opposite the main gate of the Victoria Park in Nuwara Eliya.

There is also the issue of compensation for victims of these accidents, many of whom suffer broken limbs. So far the organisers have not come forward to offer any compensation to them, the accident victims said.

The Nuwara Eliya season wound up this week but once again questions are being asked regarding the best approach to handle the large influx of holiday makers to the area.

The people who come here in April leave in two weeks but the residents have to ensure that the beauty and cleanliness of Nuwara Eliya is maintained for the next 12 months so that next year when the visitors come back they can enjoy the beauty of this city. Visitors too should act responsibly when they are here and ensure that they do not dirty the city and harm the environment, is the opinion of residents.

It's a sea of heads and traffic as all roads lead to Nuwara Eliya during the season

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Action plan to boost bilateral trade between US and Sri Lanka

Posted on 29 April 2016 by admin


Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrama led Sri Lanka delegation to the 12th US-Sri Lanka Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) Council Meeting in Washington which adopted a path breaking Action Plan to boost bilateral trade and investment.

The Council meeting was Co-chaired by United States Trade Representative Michael Froman and Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrama. United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power participated as well, encouraging the Sri Lankan government to continue its vital progress on democracy, accountability, and human rights. Ambassador Froman noted that the election outcome has ushered in a new era of U.S.-Sri Lanka economic cooperation.  Joint Statement issued at conclusion of the meeting is attached.

US Trade Representative Ambassador Michael Froman in his opening remarks stated that “it is our first significant opportunity for engagement on trade and investment issues since the Sri Lankan presidential election last year.”  And he further stated “With the Joint Action Plan that we will announce today, we hope to set forth a series of concrete and specific initiatives to strengthen Sri Lanka’s trade and investment regime and mobilize more of the Sri Lankan population to participate in a trade-oriented economy.”  Full Statement attached.

Ambassador Samantha Power speaking at the Inaugural Session stated “As part of its determination to deal with abuses of the past, the (Sri Lanka) government had committed to justice and reconciliation processes which will serve all Sri Lankans. I have never seen a country take such swift strides in such little time.”  And she emphasized that “The United States we will seek to leverage our assistance this year to further support broad-based economic growth.”  Full Statement attached.

Minister Malik Samarawickrama in his Inaugural Statement, among other issues, highlighted that “government is seeking to stabilize the economy and implement a development strategy that is capable of giving our people sustained accelerated growth and a million jobs in the next 5 years.  We are determined to break out of the cycle of stop-go policies, which have characterized our past.  For this, we need to create a sustainable growth framework.”  And Minister highlighted that “increased market access for Sri Lankan exports will be crucial for building a more prosperous, stable and peaceful Sri Lanka.”  Full Statement attached.

Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam speaking at the Inaugural Session noted that “today is a landmark for TIFA process between our two countries, as we have representation at Cabinet-level from US side after long years.  And in fact we have two officials of Cabinet rank from your side present, signaling no doubt, United States support for the ongoing transformation in Sri Lanka.” Full Statement attached.

At the conclusion of the meeting, both governments pledged their commitment to deepening their engagement over the coming months in order to develop a detailed implementation plan for the Action Plan, with formal launch envisaged later this year.  Joint Action Plan attached.

During his visit to Washington, Minister Malik Samarawickrama met with several US investors and addressed a Business Roundtable Discussion hosted by the US Chamber of Commerce.  Minister also met with several members of US Congress, including Representative David Price, Representative Steve Chabot and Representative Joe Crowley.

Prior to the commencement of the US-Sri Lanka Trade and Investment Framework Council Meeting, Minister Malik Samarawickrama held a bilateral meeting with Ambassador Michael Froman, US Trade Representative at the Office of the US Trade Representative.

Delegation of Sri Lanka to the TIFA Council Session included :Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrama, Ambassador for Sri Lanka to the USA Prasad Kariyawasam, Secretary to the  Ministry of Labour and Trade Union Relations Gotabaya Jayaratne, Head – Agency for International Trade Saman Kelegama, Director General of Commerce Sonali Wijeratne,Director General of the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka Duminda Ariyasinghe,  Senior Assistant Secretary of the Ministry of Labour and Trade Union Relations A. Wimalaweera, Asst. Legal Advisor of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Tilani Silva and Minister/Commercial of the Embassy of Sri Lanka Bandula Somasiri.


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Minister Malik Samarawickrama meeting with the United States Trade Representative
Ambassador Michael Froman



Minister Malik Samarawickrama meeting with Ambassador Michael Froman
and Ambassador Samantha Power


Minister Malik Samarawickrama speaking at the United States-Sri Lanka Trade and Investment Framework Council meeting


Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam speaking at the
United States-Sri Lanka Trade and Investment Framework Council meeting

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Obituary: Arthur Hakel – Old Josephian sportsman of the sixties

Posted on 29 April 2016 by admin

SJC LOGODeath Announcement shared by Susilough de S. Wijeyeratne – Old Josephian cricketer

Arthur Hakel the Josephian Sportsman of the late 60's Passed away this morning and his remains will lie at 59 Medawelikada Rd, Rajagiriya late in the evening today, the funeral will be on Sunday 1st May at 4.00 PM at the Borella Cemetry. Arthur played Cricket under Lalit de S Wijeyeratne and Brian Obeysekere in 1968 and 1969 as the opening Bowler he played Soccer and Captained the Athletics team of 1968, In Athletics he held the National Schools record for Javelin which was his pet event, in Soccer he played in the last line of defence. He was true sportsman of St Joseph's College and gave his all for Josephian Sports, He was once the Chairman of the Athletic Committee and also a member of the Cricket Committee. He was also the President of the Past Cricketers Association. He was a silent worker and went about his task to see his work bore fruit. A very humble and loveable person, surely will be missed by lots of Josephians.

God Bless you Arthur will be missed, and May you Rest in Peace

Arthur's son Adrian played Rugby and did Athletics for College

Adrian Hakel (Arthur's son) email address :


HAKEL – ARTHUR. Dearloy beloved husband of Angela (nee Hingert), devoted father of Natalie, Vanessa, Andrea and Adrian, fond father-in-law of Devapriya Perera, Sheyantha Abeykoon and Alwyn Martinesz, precious grandfather of Melissa, Dirane, Lyara and Jaiden, loving brother, brother-in-law and uncle, passed away peacefully and is now at rest with Jesus. His mortal remains lie at No. 59, Medawelikada Road, Rajagiriya. Cortege leaves residence on Sunday, 1st May 2016 at 3.30 p.m. Burial at 4.00 p.m. at General Cemetery, Borella (R.C. Section).  058752

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Obituaries: April 30 (Sat)

Posted on 29 April 2016 by admin

ABEYESEKERA – FRED Deceased on 27th April 2016, cremated on 28th April 2016. Son of Mr & Mrs D.A. Abeyesekera of ‘Andabel’ Hali-Ela, husband of Indrani, father of Dushy, Stubbs (Victor) and Rukmani Anne, grandfather of Dwayne Gyan, Chamil, Navini, Anya & Divya, brother of Daphne Rosemary and Patricia. A service will be held at St. Paul’s Milagiriya at 3 p.m. on Saturday 30th April 2016. 056780

AMIT – TUAN KASOOMA. Son of Marhoom T.K.Y. Amit and Marhooma Rahmani Amit, brother of Marhoom Sumari, Marhooma Waseela, Ratna, Dottie, Sagara and Marhoom Endra, brother-in-law of Shirly Meedin, Marhoom Nizam Ismail, Marhoom Tharvis Yoosuf, Marhoom T.H. Jumar, Shirly Hamidon and Neena Ousmand. Inshalla Janaza will leave residence No. 244/3, I.D.H. Road, Gothatuwa at 8.30 a.m. on 30th April 2016 (Saturday) for Jawatte Muslim Burial Grounds. 058978

BUDDHADASA – MRS. PEARL (Attorney-at-Law). Beloved wife of late Mr. A.D.M. Buddhadasa, mother of Parakrama (Attorney-at-Law), Bhatiya, Punya and Kapilani Agalawatte, mother-in-law of Gnani, sister of late Dr. Bernie Pieris and Nihal Pieris (Attorney-at-Law), expired. Burial on 1st May 2016 at Kirulapone (Poorwarama) Cemetery at 10.00 a.m. No l6, Station Lane, Nugegoda.058797

DE SILVA – (nee GAMAGE) retired Teacher Royal Junior Dehiwela. Beloved wife of the late Mr Leo De Silva, Headmaster – St. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia, mother of Ganga (BOC Metropolitan Branch), Disna (Egypt), Deepika (Standard Chartered Bank), mother-in-law of Ajith (Cellworld (Pvt) Ltd), Amal (Egypt), Mahes (University of Peradeniya), loving grandmother of Dewni, Asel (St. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia) and Nalin (Canada). Cortege leaves residence at 2.30 p.m. on 30th April for service at Methodist Church Dehiwala, 3 p.m. Burial at Seeduwa Methodist Church Cemetery 5 p.m. No.13/1, Sri Dharmarama Road, Ratmalana. 058416

FERNANDO – RUKMAL (E.R.) (Formerly of Seylan Bank and Pramuka Bank). At rest with Jesus. Dearly beloved son of late Major E.O. and Constance (Consy) of Kalutara North, beloved husband of Neela, loving brother of late Neeliya and Ranjith, Kumudini and Ruvan, Amitha and Ravi (Canada), Eomal and Sureshmi (Canada), beloved uncle of Rajeev, Ryle & Paula (Canada), Andrea (Canada), Ashly (Canada), Joseph (Canada), grand uncle of Baby Parker (Canada). Remains lie in state at Mahinda Funeral Parlour, Mt. Lavinia. Cortege leaves on Sunday 01st of May 2016 at 2.30 p.m. for Holy Emmanuel Church, Moratuwa for service at 3.00 p.m. 058760

HAKEL – ARTHUR. Dearloy beloved husband of Angela (nee Hingert), devoted father of Natalie, Vanessa, Andrea and Adrian, fond father-in-law of Devapriya Perera, Sheyantha Abeykoon and Alwyn Martinesz, precious grandfather of Melissa, Dirane, Lyara and Jaiden, loving brother, brother-in-law and uncle, passed away peacefully and is now at rest with Jesus. His mortal remains lie at No. 59, Medawelikada Road, Rajagiriya. Cortege leaves residence on Sunday, 1st May 2016 at 3.30 p.m. Burial at 4.00 p.m. at General Cemetery, Borella (R.C. Section).  058752

HERFT – LORETTA (nee ARNOLDA). Beloved wife of late Marshall, everloving mother of Desmond (deceased), Brian & Aloma, mother-in-law of Shirly, Silverine & Greg, precious grandmother of Minnelli, Denver (Aust), Niron (U.S.A.), Avon (Doha), Alana & Candice (U.K.), loving great grandmother of six. Funeral on Saturday 30th April at 3.30 p.m. from Mahinda Florist, Wattala. Burial at Nayakakanda Cemetery. 058566

LORD – LOYALA GRANVILLE (CHICKO). Beloved son of the late Percy & Doreen, loving brother of Tony, late Jeanne, Faye (Jamaica), Heather (UK), Pamela (Australia) & Cleophas, brother-in-law of Diana, late Shirley Schucroft, Sydney Fernando (Jamaica), Sherwin (UK), Melly Anderson (Australia) & Rosalie. Remains lie at Mahinda Funeral Parlour, Mount Lavinia for viewing from 9 a.m. on Saturday 30th April 2016. Service will be held at 3.30 p.m. followed by cremation at Mount Lavinia Cemetery at 5 p.m. 058845

THOMAS – SAMUEL CHRISTY from Bandarawela, passed away peacefully on April 25, 2016. Beloved husband of Daisy Christy, loving father of Choisy Mobel Irene Glorida Princess Joy and Pastor Samson, father-in-law of Tom Lloyd Fareed Helena, grandfather of Janelle Joel Jael. Service at home on Saturday April 30 at 2.30 p.m. at 27/2, Sunethradevi Road, Kohuwala.Thereafter cortege leaves at 3 p.m. for Nugegoda Anglican Church for Service and burial. Thereafter at the Anglican Burial ground General Cemetery, Borella at 4.00 pm. The family wishes to thank all those who attended the viewing and wish to express their sincere gratitude to all those who attended the funeral, helped and those who sent their condolence. 056281

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Barefoot Luxury Comes to the South Shore of Sri Lanka: Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle

Posted on 28 April 2016 by admin

Ever since Sri Lanka emerged from its civil war in 2009, it’s been on everyone’s hot list of next destinations. So far, most of that interest has centered on the UNESCO-designated colonial treasures and tea plantations in the north of the country. Now the sleepy south coast, with its glorious white beaches and secluded blue-green coves, is about to catch up.

There are more luxury resorts, including a Shangri-La, in the works, and there’s talk of a proper airport. (Visitors arrive by seaplane or road now.) But for now, the new hotel that’s shaping the future of tourism on this side of the island is part of the Thailand-based Anantara group of smart, soulful high-end resorts. Opened in December, Anantara’s Peace Haven resort near the sleepy town of Tangalle is leading the area’s shift from backpacker way station to cushy spot “where you end your Sri Lankan vacation to relax in five-star comfort,” George Morgan-Grenville of the bespoke tour operator Red Savannah told me when I spoke to him late last year for, yes, my hot list of the next destinations.

Courtesy of Ann Abel Blog

Sunset over the Il Mare restaurant


Sunset over the Il Mare restaurant


For many guests, though, the Anantara is their Sri Lankan vacation, particularly for Europeans and Russians who stay for weeks and do little more than sunbathe by the enormous pool. But for those whose vacation tastes run more toward cultural adventure, the resort has plenty to offer. Guests are greeted with a performance by local musicians, Sri Lankan curries are served at one of the restaurants and making them is taught at the outpost here of Anantara’s popular Spice Spoons cooking school, and authentic Ayurvedic treatments are given in the extensive spa. An Ayurvedic doctor and yoga guru are also on hand for consultations and detailed treatment programs.

The largely local staff prides themselves on their Sri Lankan hospitality. Just try to walk anywhere without an employee rolling up in a battery-powered tuk tuk or e-bicycle rickshaw and insisting on giving you a ride. (I recently stayed as a guest of the resort.) A yoga studio, tennis courts, bicycles and a 24-hour gym are available for those who insist on exerting themselves.

Just outside the resort gates, Sri Lankan culture and spirituality are vibrant. Anantara’s “experience gurus” take guests to village markets, craft workshops and the spectacular Wewurukannala Buddhist temple and Mulkirigala Rock Temple, where murals and statues grace ancient caves some 700 feet up. Guests can also easily go to Udawalawe National Park for elephant safaris, the Kalametiya Bird Sanctuary, the Rekawa Turtle Sanctuary or on whale-watching trips to Mirissa Harbour. And the resort’s partnership with “art of luxury surfing” operator Tropicsurfgives guests a chance to go with top-notch instructors and gear to prime surf spots nearby.

All of this is why the resort lives up to Anantara’s marketing promise to connect “modern travelers” to “genuine places, people and stories through personal experiences.” Every luxury hotel company is selling that now, but here, Anantara is delivering.

Hotel reception

Hotel reception

Not that there’s anything wrong with not leaving the resort. Its 152 rooms, some in hotel blocks and others in freestanding cottages, are spread across a 21-acre coconut plantation—employees still shimmy up the trees every day to pick fruit, machete off the tops and serve the water to guests—and have a subtle island-colonial vernacular. They’re full of locally made hand-loomed textiles in soft natural colors and carved teak furnishings. (Giving back to the community was one of the goals in sourcing.) The villas have fabulous bathrooms, private plunge pools and outdoor dining areas. The building plan left as many trees standing as possible, making for an unusually mature landscape within a new resort. There are peacocks all over too.

Anantara takes food seriously. There are six restaurants and bars, ranging from the all-day Journeys, which puts out a lavish breakfast spread and offers a nightly à la carte menu of Sri Lankan, Middle Eastern, Thai and international dishes, plus a rotating set-up of food stations (general manager Tamir Kobrin is anti-buffet, with their lukewarm chafing trays, but gave in to demand for the abundance of stations), to the richly authentic Italian restaurant, Il Mare, a reflection of Anantara owner Bill Heinecke’s love of that cuisine. The chef and the maître ‘d are both Italian, and so are many of the imported ingredients. (To say nothing of the impressive wine list.) Later this year a seafood restaurant will open on the beach with a striking design inspired by sea urchins.

And if none of those appeals, there’s always Anantara’s signature Dining by Design program, which lets guests arrange private, romantic dinners with customized menus and a high level of personal attention. With the breeze blowing your hair at a table high above the palm trees, or with your feet in the sand right by the sea, concerns about “next great destination” bragging rights have a way of simply dissolving.

Getting there: Sri Lanka is far away. One of the most comfortable options is flying Etihad Airways, which has regular service from many U.S. gateways to Abu Dhabi and easy connections to Colombo. From there, Cinnamon Air flies seaplanes to Dickwalla, where Anantara staff pick up guests for the ten-minute drive to the resort. If flight times force an overnight in Colombo, the Gateway Hotel is a fine choice near the airport.

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President Sirisena unmasks former President Rajapaksa

Posted on 28 April 2016 by admin



President Maithripala Sirisena addresses the meeting with heads of print and electronic media yesterday – Pic by President's Media Unit

Untitled-1Courtesy: DAILY FT – By Nisthar Cassim.

President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday fired on all cylinders at MP and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, exposing the latter’s past ill-doings and sinister intentions and warned any comeback bid for an oppressive and corrupt rule would be a pipe-dream and strongly thwarted.

The stage for Sirisena’s scathing attack on his former boss-turned-nemesis whom he defeated at the 8 January 2015 presidential poll was the breakfast meeting with editors and came ahead of a much-speculated showdown of the strengths of opposing camps within the Sri Lanka Freedom Party during May Day rallies.

Taking the bull by its horns, President Sirisena inquired from media heads whether anyone had asked Rajapaksa why he decided to call for a presidential poll two years ahead or whether the former President had explained his reasons.

“If he hadn’t, he would still be President,” quipped Sirisena, and listed avoiding humiliation from the UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva in March 2015 and effects of a global economic crisis on Sri Lanka as two reasons for Rajapaksa’s early call for polls.

“Their past regime was corrupt and oppressive and I knew what the Rajapaksa clan was planning if they won the election. Out of sheer fear and contempt and in the interest of the country, I decided to resign and join hands with the Common Opposition for a change despite having opposed the UNP for 48 years,” recalled Sirisena.

He described speculated efforts by Rajapaksa and his supporters to form a Government in Parliament as a pipe-dream. 

“There is no room for a Parliamentary coup and even if Rajapaksa conspires and secures 50 MPs out of 95, he cannot get the 113 majority without support from UNP Leader and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe or me, "Neither the TNA nor the JVP will support the return of Rajapaksa,” Sirisena opined.

“Rajapaksa and his camp are engaged in an exercise to create a false sense of political instability and thereby drive fear among officials, law enforcement authorities and the Judiciary. The most striking remark during Rajapaksa’s speech at the Hyde Park rally was telling the Judiciary to notice the crowd. This was to instill fear among authorities currently engaged in probing bribery and corruption of Rajapaksas. The people were coerced or lured via money to attend the rally. But our intelligence revealed only around 11,000 were present,” said Sirisena.

The President, who some political analysts claim has been losing his grip within the party, also claimed there was no crisis within the SLFP but that a small camp of corrupted people were devious and power-hungry despite their defeat.

“The founder of SLFP, the late S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike, wasn’t corrupt, he didn’t amass wealth but mortgaged his Rosmead Place residence to raise money for elections. He didn’t promote family nepotism or rule. During the Rajapaksa regime, the brothers took decisions before coming to the Cabinet. They reigned with corruption and oppression. Is this what the SLFPers want to return to the Party and the country?” queried President Sirisena.

He said despite being the defeated presidential candidate, Rajapaksa was provided with military security, something unheard of internationally. 

«However Rajapaksa is using State resources to go around temples and rallies to topple the very same State. How dangerous and ridiculous is this?» pointed out President Sirisena, who expressed regret over some media outlets› extra prominence to an ousted and corrupt leader like Rajapaksa.

Sirisena said that among his priorities during his term was to prevent the return of such an un-democratic and corrupt leader to power or election of such a Government in the future. «This is why we passed the crucial 19th Amendment exactly a year ago, facilitating the establishment of Constitutional Council and independent commissions to ensure democracy, good governance, meritocracy,  transparency and accountability,» the President emphasised.

President also said lack of clear majority at the 17 August general election was a strong mandate from the people  for the two major political parties to work together in the national interest and ensure good governance, unity and sustainable and equitable development.  

«In fact that our election manifestos promised a national government and the people voted expecting the major parties to work together no matter how challenging that may be,» Sirisena said.


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Sicille Kotelawala’s passport impounded

Posted on 28 April 2016 by admin


By Chitra Weerarathne – Courtesy: The Island.

Colombo High Court Judge, Manilal Waidyatillake yesterday directed the Registrar of the Court to take into custody of the Court, the passport of accused, Sicille Kotelawala, who is indicted for non-payment of money due to the depositors of the Golden Key Credit Card Company (Pvt.) Limited.

The Court also permitted the repairs to the Golden Key computer system to be effected in consultation with the Defence Counsel. The e-mail data of the 52 depositors, contained in these computers, are to be perused by the CID, and submitted to Court at the next hearing on August 30.

President’s Counsel, Jayantha Weerasinghe, appeared for Sicille Kotelawala.

The counsel for the defence requested a court direction for the repair of the company computer system and a verification of the e-mail of a group of depositors.

Senior State Counsel, Dileepa Pieris and Senior State Counsel Dilan Ratnayake, appeared for the Attorney General.

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How founder Pathmalal’s twisting career path led him home

Posted on 28 April 2016 by admin


Connie Tan Hui Ann – Courtesy: CNBC.


Lahiru Pathmalal is full of interesting contradictions.

The 34-year-old angered his father by abandoning his economic major to study politics and psychology in the U.S. Yet Pathmalal ended up being one of Sri Lanka's most successful entrepreneurs, having set up, Sri Lanka's biggest e-tailer.

"I remember my father calling me and saying, 'You're probably never going to get a job'," he laughs. "I started Takas in 2012 because I felt that, with my educational background and work history, none of the corporate entities in Sri Lanka will hire me," he adds.

Pathmalal may be modest, but he does have many entrepreneurial traits.

He dabbled in real estate while he was a student in the U.S. and used the profit to finance his graduate studies in Australia. He is also a risk-taker, choosing to work in a psychiatric ward for children with behavioral disorders in the U.S, and as a field researcher in war-torn Afghanistan, when his peers pursued more mainstream career paths.

But Pathmalal doesn't view his return to Sri Lanka just as the country's civil war ended as a risky bet. 

"I think Sri Lanka today is vastly different from the Sri Lanka I grew up in," he tells CNBC. "People here are breaking lots of boundaries, and technology is empowering entrepreneurs.

"I feel now, more than ever, there are more reasons to come home."

Pathmalal was away from Sri Lanka from 2001 to 2010, first as a student and then to work in the U.S, Australia and Afghanistan. 

Two years after his return to his home country, he set up with two friends, and is now chief executive of the company, which has 38 employees and sells $200,000 worth of goods on average every month. 

Natural beauty spots such as Kalametiya Beach, on the south coast of Sri Lanka, drew entrepreneur Lahiru Pathmalal back to his home country.

But Pathmalal says he understands why some of his peers prefer to seek greener pastures abroad, especially skilled professionals in the IT sector who can command a larger pay packet overseas.

Official figures show that nearly 300,000 nationals emigrate from Sri Lanka every year, out of a population of about 22 million; 7 percent of those leaving are professionals. 

However, Pathmalal has faith there are opportunities to make an impact in his home country. 

"I believe we can make our mark here, much faster and much more prominently than we would elsewhere," he said

When he set up the with his friends four years ago, there was no e-commerce company catering to the needs of Sri Lankans, Pathmalal explains. 

"So my personal belief is we will conquer Sri Lanka first, be the top e-commerce site and in the next five to 10 years, given our geographical positioning and logistics, become a regional player catering to both Pakistan and South India," he adds.

Pathmalal also feels that work aside, Sri Lanka has much to offer.

"It has to be more than money. The quality of life here, at least for me personally, is far superior to any other place I have lived in. For instance, in an hour's time I can go to a very nice beach, or in two hours I can be in a hill country," he says.

– Sri Jegarajah contributed to this report.

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Worth thinking about……shared by a reader from Australia

Posted on 27 April 2016 by admin

In 1998, Kodak had 170,000 employees and sold 85% of all photo paper worldwide. Within just a few years, their business model disappeared and they got bankrupt.

What happened to Kodak will happen in a lot of industries in the next 10 year – and most people don't see it coming. 

Did you think in 1998 that 3 years later you would never take pictures on paper film again?

Yet digital cameras were invented in 1975. The first ones only had 10,000 pixels, but followed Moore's law.

So as with all exponential technologies, it was a disappointment for a long time, before it became way superiour and got mainstream in only a few short years.

It will now happen with Artificial Intelligence, health, autonomous and electric cars, education, 3D printing, agriculture and jobs.

Welcome to the 4th Industrial Revolution.

Welcome to the Exponential Age.

Software will disrupt most traditional industries in the next 5-10 years.

Uber is just a software tool, they don't own any cars, and are now the biggest taxi company in the world. 

Airbnb is now the biggest hotel company in the world, although they don't own any properties.

Artficial Intelligence: Computers become exponentially better in understanding the world. 

This year, a computer beat the best Go player in the world, 10 years earlier than expected. 

In the US, young lawyers already don't get jobs. 

Because of IBM Watson, you can get legal advice (so far for more or less basic stuff) within seconds, with 90% accuracy compared with 70% accuracy when done by humans. 

So if you study law, stop immediately. 

There will be 90% less lawyers in the future, only specialists will remain.


Watson already helps nurses diagnosing cancer, 4 time more accurate than human nurses. 

Facebook now has a pattern recognition software that can recognize faces better than humans. 

In 2030, computers will become more intelligent than humans.


Autonomous cars: In 2018 the first self driving cars will appear for the public. 

Around 2020, the complete industry will start to be disrupted. 

You don't want to own a car anymore. 

You will call a car with your phone, it will show up at your location and drive you to your destination. 

You will not need to park it, you only pay for the driven distance and can be productive while driving. 

Our kids will never get a driver's licence and will never own a car. 

It will change the cities, because we will need 90-95% less cars for that. 

We can transform former parking space into parks. 1.2 million people die each year in car accidents worldwide. 

We now have one accident every 100,000 km, with autonomous driving that will drop to one accident in 10 million km. 

That will save a million lifes each year.


Most car companies might become bankrupt. 

Traditional car companies try the evolutionary approach and just build a better car, while tech companies (Tesla, Apple, Google) will do the revolutionary approach and build a computer on wheels.

I spoke to a lot of engineers from Volkswagen and Audi; they are completely terrified of Tesla.


Insurance companies will have massive trouble because without accidents, the insurance will become 100x cheaper. 

Their car insurance business model will disappear.


Real estate will change. 

Because if you can work while you commute, people will move further away to live in a more beautiful neighborhood.


Electric cars will become mainstream until 2020. 

Cities will be less noisy because all cars will run on electric.


Electricity will become incredibly cheap and clean: Solar production has been on an exponential curve for 30 years, but you can only now see the impact.

Last year, more solar energy was installed worldwide than fossil. 

The price for solar will drop so much that all coal companies will be out of business by 2025.


With cheap electricity comes cheap and abundant water. 

Desalination now only needs 2kWh per cubic meter. 

We don't have scarce water in most places, we only have scarce drinking water. 

Imagine what will be possible if anyone can have as much clean water as he wants, for nearly no cost.


Health: The Tricorder X price will be announced this year. 

There will be companies who will build a medical device (called the "Tricorder" from Star Trek) that works with you phone, which takes your retina scan, you blood sample and you breath into it.

It then analyses 54 biomarkers that will identify nearly any disease. 

It will be cheap, so in a few years everyone on this planet will have access to world class medicine, nearly for free.


3D printing: The price of the cheapest 3D printer came down from 18,000$ to 400$ within 10 years.

In the same time, it became 100 times faster. 

All major shoe companies started 3D printing shoes. 

Spare airplane parts are already 3D printed in remote airports. 

The space station now has a printer that eliminates the need for the large amout of spare parts they used to have in the past.

At the end of this year, new smartphones will have 3D scanning possibilities. 

You can then 3D scan your feet and print your perfect shoe at home. 

In China, they already 3D printed a complete 6-storey office building. 

By 2027, 10% of everything that's being produced will be 3D printed.


Business opportunities: If you think of a niche you want to go in, ask yourself: "in the future, do you think we will have that?" and if the answer is yes, how can you make that happen sooner?

If it doesn't work with your phone, forget the idea. 

And any idea designed for success in the 20th century is doomed in to failure in the 21st century.


Work: 70-80% of jobs will disappear in the next 20 years. 

QThere will be a lot of new jobs, but it is not clear if there will be enough new jobs in such a small time.


Agriculture: There will be a 100$ agricultural robot in the future. 

Farmers in 3rd world countries can then become managers of their field instead of working all days on their fields.

Aeroponics will need much less water.


The first petri dish produced veal is now available and will be cheaper than cow produced veal in 2018.


Right now, 30% of all agricultural surfaces is used for cows.


Imagine if we don't need that space anymore.


There are several startups who will bring insect protein to the market shortly.


It contains more protein than meat.


It will be labeled as "alternative protein source" (because most people still reject the idea of eating insects).


There is an app called "moodies" which can already tell in which mood you are.


Until 2020 there will be apps that can tell by your facial expressions if you are lying.


Imagine a political debate where it's being displayed when they are telling the truth and when not.


Bitcoin will become mainstream this year and might even become the default reserve currency.


Longevity: Right now, the average life span increases by 3 months per year.


Four years ago, the life span used to be 79 years, now it's 80 years.


The increase itself is increasing and by 2036, there will be more that one year increase per year.

So we all might live for a long long time, probably way more than 100.

Education: The cheapest smartphones are already at 10$ in Africa and Asia.

Until 2020, 70% of all humans will own a smartphone.

That means, everyone has the same access to world class education.


Every child can use Khan academy for everything a child learns at school in First World countries.

We have already released our software in Indonesia and will release it in Arabic, Suaheli and Chinese this Summer, because I see an enormous potential.

We will give the English app for free, so that children in Africa can become fluent in English within half a year…….





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