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Sri Lanka rest Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and other big names for series against Ireland
Sri Lanka decided to rest most of their main players for their upcoming One-Day International (ODI) series against Ireland, which begins on May 6. The squad includes two debutants and a number of fringe players. Along with the ODI squad, an additional squad for the single Twenty20 (T20) match, against England, was also announced.

The official website of the International Cricket Council (ICC), said in a statement that senior pros like the newly appointed T20I captain Lasith Malinga, Kumar Sangakkara, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Mahela Jayawardene , and Rangana Herath were all left out of the 15-member ODI squad to face Ireland. Angelo Mathews will captain the side.(Cricket Country)

Confident of eradicating LTTE at very inception: Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka will "nip in the bud" any attempt to revive the LTTE, foreign minister said today, even as there was "compelling evidence" that the banned outfit was carrying out a global campaign to raise funds for terror activities in the country.

"The government is in total control of the situation and has every confidence of eradicating at the very inception any attempt to revive terrorism in any form in any part of the country," External Affairs Minister GL Peiris said.(Business Standard)

Man throws his two little children into Nilvala River
Soldiers attached to the Matara 3rd Gemunu Watch today rescued two little children who were thrown 30 feet down the crocodile-infested Nilwala River from the Mahanama Bridge by their father.

A four-year-old girl and her two-year-old sister were thrown into the Nilwala River by their father around 11.00 am today.(Daily Mirror)

Sri Lankan Airlines inks deal to maintain IndiGo aircraft
State-run SriLankan Airlines said it had struck a long-term maintain repair and overhaul (MRO) deal with IndiGo, a fast growing low cost carrier in India which has a fleet of 78 Airbuses.

SriLankan Airlines Engineering had provided MRO service to IndiGo since 2009 on an annual contract.(Lanka Business Online)

Ready for snap polls if Oppn requests, says Rajapaksa
President Mahinda Rajapaksa today said he is ready for a snap poll next year if the Opposition makes a formal request, media reported.

Read more at: Rajapaksa said he has no plans to hold a snap presidential election as his term ends in 2016. He, however, said he is ready to consider a plea for early polls if the Opposition requests.(First Post)

Nigeria, Sri Lanka to Partner On Youth Empowerment
The Minister of Youth Development, Boni Haruna has said that the Nigerian Government is willing to partner with the Sri Lankan Government towards harnessing the rich potentials of the youth.

He disclosed this when he received in audience the High Commissioner of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, A. S. P. Liyanage on a courtesy call to his office recently.(allafrica)

Sri Lanka in the race for European outsourcing award
Sri Lanka has been short listed as a contender for the 'Offshoring Destination of the Year Award' in Europe, which the by the European Outsourcing Association, made up of over 1000 firms from eight countries in Europe.

"Sri Lanka offers a very compelling value proposition for European businesses as an outsourcing destination," Sri Lanka Association of Software and Services Companies (SLASSCOM), Madu Ratnayake said.(Lanka Business Online)

Wilpattu Park crisis: Borders identified, solution in sight?
Amidst allegations levelled by the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) and Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen over illegal settlements within the Wilpattu National Park (WNP) 60 journalists including foreign correspondents on a fact finding mission on Tuesday were shown the ground situation by the authorities in the area .

The crux of the BBS complaint was that Rishad Bathiudeen had helped Northern Muslim residents of Mariakkar Marichikatti, Karadikuli and Palaikulli in the Musali Pradeshiya Sabha Division in Mannar driven out of their villages by the LTTE in 1990, return in 2010 and grab 22,000 hectares of land belonging to the WNP.(The Island)

Sri Lanka aims to attract huge foreign students, plans to open 10 universities
Sri Lanka is opening up its public university system attracting significant investment with plans to allow 10 private universities to operate locally by 2020, an official said Wednesday.

Sunil Jayantha Navaratne, secretary in the country's higher education ministry, outlined ambitious plans to reporters that aim to attract 50,000 foreign students to study at these private universities in addition to local youth, Xinhua reported.(Zee News)

Casino Bill is against Constitution: Ven Sobitha
People's Movement for Social Justice Chairman the Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera said today S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike’s Government in1956 closed the racecourse by banning horse racing in Colombo and replaced it with a university but this Government was going to start casinos which are much worse.

Ven. Sobitha Thera said it was against the Constitution to approve a Casino Bill in Parliament because the Government was constitutionally bound to protect Buddhism .(Daily Mirror)

Opposition vows protests over casino bill
Sri Lanka's opposition will stage a protest Thursday outside the proposed building site for three proposed casinos valued at $1.3 billion, including one from gaming mogul James Packer, an official said Wednesday, as parliament prepares to push through legislation delayed since last year.

The three projects are a $350-million casino project by Australian casino mogul James Packer, a $300-million gaming facility by local tycoon Dhammika Perera called Queensbury and the largest venture of $650 million by local conglomerate John Keells Holdings (JKH) that will also have a casino .(Business Standard)

Sri Lankan shares fall after five days of gains
Sri Lankan shares fell on Wednesday after five days of gains as investors booked profits in large caps despite moderate foreign inflows into the island nation's risky assets.

The main stock index fell 0.31 percent, or 19.06 points, to 6,172.77, slipping from its highest close since Feb. 3 hit in the previous session. The day's loss erased around 8 billion rupees worth market capitalisation of the bourse. (REUTERS)

SL players, board break contracts impasse
Sri Lanka's cricketers have agreed to sign the board's annual contracts after SLC decided to award the players a 10% cut of the ICC and ACC-events participation fee for the next five years, bringing the seven-week dispute to a close.

The players have not yet put pen to paper, but Test and ODI captain Angelo Mathews had struck a deal with the three-member SLC committee appointed to review the issue, after a meeting on Tuesday, an official release said. (ESPN)

Disciplinary action against Sanga, Mahela: Sumathipala slams ‘brainless’ move
Launching a scathing attack on Sri Lanka’s cricket officials over a possible move to conduct a disciplinary inquiry on the country’s most senior cricketers, a former Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) chief today said it is a “foolish” decision taken by “brainless” officials.

It was reported yesterday that former Sri Lanka captains Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara could face disciplinary action over remarks they had made on arriving in Colombo after winning the ICC World T20 title. (Ada Derana)

Wildlife Dept. moves court against ‘Wilpattu squatters’
Encroachers occupying temporary shelters at Mollikulam in the Wilpattu wildlife sanctuary would be removed by a court order within the next few days, Wildlife Resources Conservation Minister Vijith Vijayamuni Zoysa said yesterday.

Addressing a hurriedly called media conference at the Ministry Conference room in Battaramulla, he said that there were 41 temporary structures within three acres out of the 660 hectare northern part of the sanctuary. (The Island)

Tax breaks to US$220mn sugar refinery
Sri Lanka has given a 10 year tax holiday to a 220 million US dollar sugar refinery by the Hambantota port including tax free salaries for 50 expatriate staff.

Lanka Sugar Refinery Company (Pvt) Ltd, will import raw sugar for refining to the local and foreign markets, a notice published under Sri Lanka's Strategic Investments Project Act said. (Lanka Business Online)

Khuram murder: Police distorted statement, says Manageress
In a startling revelation one of the main witnesses in the murder of British aid worker Khuram Shaikh, the Hotel Manageress said that the Tangalle Police had distorted what she had said in her First Information Report to the Police on December 24, 2011.

Manageress Tharanga Peries said today in court that the Police had both added and subtracted in their recording what she had said told the Police initally. (Daily Mirror)

Police ban passenger transport on hand tractor trailers
Following the accident of a hand tractor trailer with passengers toppling into an irrigation canal and drowning 10 people, Sri Lanka Police has banned the unsafe transport of people in these vehicles.

The police say the hand tractors are vehicles used only for transport of goods and not vehicles for transporting passengers, but in villages hand tractors are being used to transport people. (Colombo Page)

Police ban passenger transport on hand tractor trailers
Following the accident of a hand tractor trailer with passengers toppling into an irrigation canal and drowning 10 people, Sri Lanka Police has banned the unsafe transport of people in these vehicles.

The police say the hand tractors are vehicles used only for transport of goods and not vehicles for transporting passengers, but in villages hand tractors are being used to transport people. (Colombo Page)

Karunanidhi slams Jaya on Sri Lanka
DMK president M Karunanidhi on Monday accused Chief Minister Jayalalithaa of shedding crocodile tears for the welfare of Sri Lankan Tamils, The Hindu newspaper reported.

Addressing a public meeting in Chennai Central Lok Sabha constituency, Karunanidhi recalled the resolution passed by the AIADMK government led by her in the past in the Assembly, urging the Centre to take measures for the arrest and extradition of LTTE chief Velupillai Prabakaran. (Colombo Gazette)

Chaos threatens to engulf Sri Lanka cricket again
For almost 18 years, there was hardly a better time to be a Sri Lanka cricket fan than the past two weeks. The World T20 party hurtled seamlessly into the Sinhala and Tamil New Year in one uninterrupted sequence of exploding firecrackers, and the nation drew deep from the taste and noise of success. But two weeks is all you get.

As the head coach contemplates jumping ship, euphoria has begun to dissolve with the onset of monsoon rains, leaving behind hardier features of the Sri Lanka fan’s existence: frustration and uncertainty. (Int.News)

Protest outside Jaffna Bishop’s House over girl’s suicide
affna police have launched an inquiry into the suicide of Ms. J. Consolita (22) in the wake of recent public protests opposite the Jaffna Bishop’s House near Colombuthurai, Jaffna accusing two young priests of responsibility.

Jaffna based sources told The Island that the victim, a resident of Mandaitivu had been involved in a teaching project within the premises of the Jaffna Bishop’s House. The victim’s family, relatives as well as some villagers gathered outside the Jaffna Bishop’s House on the morning of April 16 demanding action against those responsible. (The Island)

Sanga, Mahela could face disciplinary action
Senior players Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara could face disciplinary action over remarks they made on arriving after winning the ICC World T20 title.

At today's executive committee meeting of the governing body, Sri Lanka Cricket said it has been decided to refer the matter to the SLC's disciplinary committee, an ex-co source told PTI. (Daily Mirror)

Sri Lanka detains British tourist over Buddha tattoo
Sri Lanka has detained a female British tourist for having a Buddha tattoo on her right arm and ordered her deportation, police said Tuesday.

The unidentified woman was arrested at the country's main international airport on Monday and appeared before a magistrate who ordered her deportation, police said in a statement. (Lanka Business Online)

Sri Lanka priests visit Sancoale
To commemorate the 363rd birth anniversary of Blessed Joseph Vaz, a special delegation of 25 priests from Sri Lanka visited the Sancoale sanctuary on Monday and participated in the Eucharistic celebrations.

The Episcopal Vicar of the diocese of Kurunegala, where the first church was erected and dedicated to Bl Vaz soon after his beatification, Fr Piyal J Fernando attributed the staunch faith and existence of Christians in Sri Lanka today only due to the mission of this apostle of India. (Times of India)

Woman arrested for providing land in Northern Sri Lanka to LTTE operatives
Sri Lankan law enforcement authorities have arrested a Tamil woman for providing land in the North to suspected LTTE supporters.

The anti-terrorist division of Kilinochchi police arrested the 63-year-old A woman, a resident of Uruthipuram in Kilinochchi for allegedly providing lands in Kilinochchi to a group of Tiger supporters. (Colombo Page)

Rahul Ghandi proposes a solution to Indo-Sri Lanka fishing dispute
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi said that the Congress-led UPA Government is aware of the problems faced by Indian fishermen with Sri Lanka and that it is committed to finding a solution “as soon as possible.”

He said it is mentioned in the election manifesto of the Congress to make a separate and dedicated ministry for the fishermen in India. (Hiru News)

Joint operation to nab the escaped LTTE prisoner in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka police have launched a manhunt for a former LTTE cadre who had escaped from the Vavuniya prison Sunday night.

The Vavuniya police, Prison Officers and the Sri Lanka army have jointly launched a search operation to nab the escaped LTTE prisoner identified as Jeyabalan Stanley Ramesh, a resident of Kudirippu in Vavuniya local media reported. (Colmbo Page)

UNP MPs dismiss claims made by MR
UNP MP Ajith Perera today denied claims made by President Mahinda Rajapaksa that the group of visiting UNP parliamentarians had ridiculed the development taking place in Hambantota as they left Port.

The five parliamentarians Eran Wickramaratne, Ajith Manapperuma, Ajith P.Perera, R. Yogarajan, Nalin Bandara Jayamaha and UNP Leadership Council Chairman Karu Jayasuriya expressed their views about the attack in Hambantota. (Daily Mirror)

Govt plans fresh moves to apprehend LTTE operatives
The Government plans to address the diplomatic community and seek assistance to apprehend LTTE operatives who have already been issued Interpol red notices. External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris will meet the representatives from the Diplomatic mission on Thursday, April 24 in Colombo.

External Affairs Ministry sources claimed that the Minister will brief the ambassadors and high commissioners on the recent proscription by the Sri Lankan government of 16 organizations that have links with the LTTE. (The Nation)

Prime Minister to table a bill in parliament on the conduct of Sri Lanka's Buddhist monks
Prime Minister and Buddhist Affairs Minister of Sri Lanka D.M. Jayaratne will table a bill on the conduct of the country's Buddhist monks (Maha Sangha) in parliament.

Addressing a function held to open a Dharma Salawa (hall) at Hurikaduwa in Menikhinna Jayaratne has explained that the bill, known as the Sangha Kathikawatha, will be tabled in parliament to protect the dignity of the Maha Sangha and prevent persons from defaming the order. (Colmbo Page)

Sri Lanka among top 10 broadband countries
Sri Lanka has been rated among the top 10 broadband countries in terms of growth in 2013 by Broadband Forum, a leading non-profit telecom industry consortium dedicated to developing broadband network specifications.

Members of the Broadband Forum include telecommunications networking and service provider companies (non-mobile), broadband device and equipment vendors, consultants and independent testing labs (ITLs). (Daily Mirror)

Pakistan working closely with SL to thwart heroin smuggling – HC official
The government of Pakistan was working closely with Sri Lanka to thwart attempts to smuggle in heroin into Sri Lanka, a spokesperson for the Pakistan High Commission in Colombo told The Island.

The official was responding to a query in the wake of Sri Lankan authorities arresting a 53-year-old Pakistan national along with a Canadian passport holder of Sri Lankan origin, following the seizure of 36 kgs of heroin during the first week of March this year. (The Island)

Sri Lanka to raise import taxes on cars and mobile phones - report
Sri Lankan government plans to increase the import taxes on a number of items from next month to enhance the state income, a local media report said.

The increase in levies is to be implemented from May this year on several top selling items including motor cars, mobile phones and construction industry items such as steel rods and cement. (Colmbo Page)

Jayasuriya unhappy at Farbrace conduct
Sri Lanka's chief selector, Sanath Jayasuriya, has joined the SLC in expressing dismay at news of head coach Paul Farbrace's possible move to England, citing the cost the board bore to have Farbrace released from his Yorkshire contract.

Jayasuriya was a member of the panel that vetted applicants and recommended Farbrace for the head coach job. (ESPN)

China’s ‘maritime Silk Road’ to focus on infrastructure
China has for the first time released details of its recently announced “maritime Silk Road” plan, announcing that the Indian Ocean-focused initiative will prioritise building ports and improving infrastructure in littoral countries like Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

China is also planning to establish free trade zones in Indian Ocean countries as part of the plan — a move that will reinforce China’s deepening economic presence in the Indian Ocean Region and in India’s neighbourhood. (The Hindu)

South Africa to intervene in Sri Lanka's matters
Diplomatic Sources state that the South African government is ready to enter in to a wide ranging programme concerning the reconciliation process.

South African President Jacob Zuma set the tone as Pretoria’s special envoy Cyril Ramaphosa, widely regarded as a future President, took the first step of holding talks with a delegation from the Tamil National Alliance. (Hiru News)

Emergence Of Modi And Sri Lanka’s Plight
Polling commenced last week in the world’s biggest democracy to choose 543 members to India’s Lok Sabha but even before polls commenced the consensus in the electorate appeared to be that the ruling Congress led coalition would suffer a severe defeat and that the alliance led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would triumph.

The point of contention was whether the BJP led coalition could muster a clear majority in the 543 seat (Lok Sabha) lower house to form a government. (Sunday Leader)

Presidential Commission probing disappearances in Sri Lanka receives complaints on ruling party Tamil politicians
The Presidential Commission investigating the alleged disappearances of persons in conflict affected areas has received several complaints on Tamil politicians of the ruling United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) Government.

The Commission has said that several complaints against Leader of Eelam People's Democratic Party (EPDP) Minister Douglas Devananda, Deputy Minister Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman and former Eastern Province Chief Minister, Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan have been filed with the investigative body, according to a report in Ceylon Today. (Colombo Page)

SL police reject kidney racket behind Indian's death
Sri Lankan police rejected reports of a suspected kidney racket behind the death of a 26-year-old Indian, saying he died of heart failure.

Police in Hyderabad were probing a suspected Colombo- based kidney racket following death of Dinesh, who had arrived here looking for a job late last month but died day’s later, media reports said. (Daily Mirror)

Hambantota mob attack : UNP MPs to raise privilege issues against Police
The five UNP MPs who were attacked by UPFA mobs when they visited the Mattala Airport and Hambantota Port, on the ‘invitation’ of the government on Thursday are to raise privilege issues against the police for failing to provide them with security.

R. Yogarajan, one of the legislators who came under attack,told The Island yesterday that when parliament resumes sittings on April 24, he along with MP’s Ajith P. Perera, Eran Wickremaratne, Nalin Bandara and Ajith Manapperuma,would individually table privilege motions against the Hambantota police HQI and ASP for doing nothing while they were pushed, abused, threatened and pelted with stones, (The Island)

Provincial Councilor of Sri Lanka main opposition party wanted for assault surrenders to police
An organizer of Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP) wanted in connection with assaulting four persons including a woman has surrendered to the police.

Four suspects including Moratuwa UNP organizer cum Western Provincial Council member, Senaka Damayantha Perera involved in assaulting four persons have surrendered to the Moratumulla Police. (Colombo Page)

Seneviratne named as Lanka's new envoy to India
Sudarshan Seneviratne has been appointed as Sri Lanka's new high commissioner to India, the external affairs ministry said here today.

Seneviratne will succeed Prasad Kariyawasam who has been moved to Washington. Kariyawasam replaces Jaliya Wickremasuriya. (Business Standard)

Second major robbery in recent weeks in Sri Lanka's coastal town
In a wave of massive robberies in Sri Lanka, six armed men broke into a jewelry store and a money changer in the Negombo town Thursday and robbed jewelry and cash estimated to be worth around Rs 10 million.

The robbers armed with one T-56 assault rifle and pistols were wearing jackets and helmets and escaped on motorcycles without being caught. (Colombo Page)

UK issues new travel advisory on Sri Lanka
Britain has updated its travel advisory after the Sri Lankan Government designated 16 organisations and 424 individuals for purported links to terrorism.

Foreign nationals, with the exception of media crews, no longer need permission from the Sri Lankan Ministry of Defence before travelling to the northern districts of Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mannar, Mullaittivu and Vavuniya. (Hiru News)

No Muslim families displaced by Navy deployment-MoD
The Defence & Urban Development Ministry and the Sri Lanka Navy today strongly denied allegations published in the media that the Muslim families who had encroached into the Willpattu National Park were those displaced as a result of naval deployments in the area.

In a statement Army Spokesman Ruwan Wanigasooriya said the Naval Deployment in Mullikkulam and Marichchikaddu had displaced only one Muslim family and that family was not among those seeking resettlement within the sanctuary. (Zee News)

Nine killed as tractor-trolley falls into canal
At least nine people were killed when a tractor-trolley fell into a canal in Polonnaruwa in the central province of Sri Lanka Friday, police said.

Police said the tractor, usually used for farming, was transporting on a trolley a group of people when the driver lost control over the vehicle and it fell into the canal, Xinhua reported. (Zee News)

Sri Lanka to brief diplomatic community about ban on pro-LTTE organizations
Sri Lanka's External Affairs Ministry together with the Defence Ministry has decided to brief the diplomatic community in Colombo and accredited to Colombo next week on banning 16 Tamil diaspora groups including LTTE.

Minister G.L. Peiris will address the ambassadors and high commissioners on next Thursday (April 24) the Daily Mirror reported. (Colombo Page)

UNP MPs attacked at Mattala
Five UNP Parliamentarians who were on an inspection tour of the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport and the Hambantota Port yesterday (17) came under attack by a group of persons some of whom were armed with pistols.
(The Island)

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