• Saturday, August 20, 2022

Results for "Colombo"

Sri Lanka’s inflation surges over 60 per cent in July

Sri Lanka's inflation surged to 60.8 per cent in July, up from 54.6 per cent in June, the crisis-hit country's statistics department said on Saturday, as food and fuel remained scarce amid depleted foreign exchange reserves. The year-on-year inflation based on the Colombo Consumer Price Index was 60.8 per cent…

Sri Lanka crisis: President Wickremesinghe says he is not a…

"I am not a friend of the Rajapaksas, I am a friend of the people," President Ranil Wickremesinghe has told Sri Lankans, pledging to bring in the much-needed system change they are yearning for. The 73-year-old veteran politician was on Wednesday elected as Sri Lanka's President by lawmakers and sworn…

Ranil Wickremesinghe wins Presidential polls in Sri Lanka, succeeds Gotabaya…

Sri Lanka's Acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe won the Presidential election on Wednesday amid the ongoing economic turmoil in the island nation. Ranil Wickremesinghe was elected as the new President following a vote in Sri Lankan Parliament. He received 134 votes. SLPP parliamentarian Dullas Alahaperuma received 82 votes while National People's…

Cannot even go for cricket practice due to fuel crisis:…

Sri Lankan cricketer Chamika Karunaratne waits in a long queue at the fuel station to fill up his car after two days. A young international cricketer who made his international debut in 2019 is now upset by the recent crisis in the country. Speaking exclusively to ANI on Saturday, "Luckily…

IMF wants stability in Sri Lanka to resume talks on…

The IMF on Friday said that it is deeply concerned about the current crisis in Sri Lanka and hopes for a resolution of the current situation to resume talks as soon as possible on a bailout package for the island nation. Sri Lanka is going through a deepening political and…

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa departs for Singapore from Maldives

Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who reached the Maldivian Capital Male following raging protests in Sri Lanka, departed for Singapore today. Rajapaksa left the Maldives and is on his way to Singapore on a private jet, the Daily Mirror reported citing a source. Earlier, a private jet landed in Male for Rajapaksa's departure…

India denies ‘baseless and speculative’ media reports about facilitating President…

India on Wednesday categorically denied "baseless and speculative" media reports that it facilitated the travel of Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa who fled to the Maldives on a military jet in the face of a public revolt against his government for mishandling the country's economy. The 73-year-old Sri Lankan President…

Emergency in Sri Lanka: PM cannot exercise President’s powers, says…

Amid reports that embattled President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has appointed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as the interim President of Sri Lanka, the country's main opposition leader Sajith Premadasa on Wednesday said that the PM cannot exercise the powers of President, and cannot declare a curfew or a state of emergency. Wickremesinghe…

Sri Lankans turn to bicycles amid fuel shortage, skyrocketing prices

As hundreds of Sri Lankans continue to queue up at petrol pumps across the debt-ridden country every day amid fuel shortage, a large number of people are ditching their cars and motorcycles for bicycles for their daily commute. The economic crisis which is the worst in Sri Lanka's history has…

Only people with ‘Hitler-like mindset’ torch buildings: Wickremesinghe on arson…

Reacting publicly for the first time after his private house was set on fire by anti-government protesters on Saturday, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Monday said only people with a “Hitler-like mindset” torch buildings.In a special televised statement, Wickremesinghe said he accepted the post of Prime Minister as the economy…

Sri Lanka: Emergency ambulance service suspended in several areas amid…

Amid the fuel shortage in Sri Lanka, the 1990 emergency ambulance service has been suspended in several areas. The Suwa Seriya Ambulance Service had urged the public to refrain from calling the 1990 emergency ambulance service in the affected areas, Colombo Gazette reported. A full list of the specific areas…

Sri Lankan protesters find millions of rupees from Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s…

PROTESTERS who stormed president Gotabaya Rajapaksa's house on Saturday (9) amid the country's worst economic crisis claimed to have recovered a large sum of money from the mansion, local media reported. According to Sri Lanka's daily newspaper, Daily Mirror, it was reported that the recovered money was handed over to the…

Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa’s whereabouts not known; Reports say unknown…

Embattled Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's whereabouts were not known after he was moved out of his residence on Friday ahead of Saturday's protests during which thousands of irate anti-government protesters stormed into his official residence in Colombo. Rajapaksa, who was facing calls for resignation since March, was using the…

Paradise Lost?

When does a person become rich enough to declare that they have all that they need and require no further material enhancement? What happens when the layer below the most powerful declares that they too have been blessed with riches beyond their wildest dreams and are happy with the houses…

Sri Lanka’s inflation surges past 50 per cent in June

Inflation in crisis-hit Sri Lanka has surged past 50 per cent for the month of June, the statistics department said on Thursday, as the country's economy came to a grinding halt after it ran out of foreign exchange reserves to import fuel and other essentials. The headline inflation for the…

Sri Lanka schools to be shut due to lack of…

Amid the unprecedented economic crisis, the Sri Lanka government on Saturday announced to shut down all the schools for the coming week, a local media reported.Sri Lanka Education Ministry announced that "all government and government-approved private schools in Colombo city limits, as well as schools in other main cities in…

Sri Lanka saves scarce gas for cremations

BANKRUPT Sri Lanka will reserve a portion of its scarce fuel supplies for the cremation of Buddhists, whose funeral rites have been disrupted during a dire economic crisis. The island nation's 22 million people have faced months of food, petrol and medicine shortages after traders ran out of money to…

Sri Lankan court lifts ban on detained Russian Aeroflot flight…

The Colombo Commercial High Court considered a motion filed by the Sri Lankan Attorney General and suspended the previous order which had led to the detention of the Aeroflot aircraft, the News First website reported. The motion was considered in the presence of Colombo Commercial High Court Judge Harsha Setunga.…

Amid looming food shortage, Sri Lankan president Gotabaya Rajapaksa instructs…

SRI LANKAN president Gotabaya Rajapaksa has instructed officials to stockpile adequate essentials and warned against organised efforts of traders from creating an artificial scarcity amidst an impending food shortage facing the island nation in the next three months, media reports said on Friday (3). Sri Lanka is going through the…

India assures Sri Lanka of fertiliser supplies to avoid food…

PRESIDENT Rajapaksa, while speaking with a group of irrigation officials on the next harvesting season's requirements, said prime minister Narendra Modi had assured him of fertiliser supply for the next cultivation season He said the supply to be delivered under the Indian Line of Credit and would be distributed within…

Sri Lankans turn to social media for help as economic…

No petrol means no work for Sri Lankan delivery rider Michael Sathis, and getting supplies has become a challenge as fuel stations run dry amid a devastating economic crisis.Sathis sometimes had to queue all night to fill his tank until he found a Facebook group sharing regular updates on fuel…

World Bank to disburse USD 700 million to crisis-hit Sri…

The World Bank is planning to disburse USD 700 million to crisis-ridden Sri Lanka by re-purposing its existing loans, a move that will help the island nation grappling with an unprecedented economic crisis much-needed breathing space till a bailout package with the IMF is worked out, media reports said on…

Exclusive: George Alagiah – “I’m lucky to be alive”

SOUTH ASIAN men and women owe it to their families to get tested for cancer. That is the stark message from Britain’s top south Asian newsreader, George Alagiah. The BBC journalist, who was born in Sri Lanka, has lived with bowel cancer for nine years, and he told Eastern Eye…

UK Tamils seek justice for civil war victims

TAMILS who resettled in Britain after fleeing the Sri Lankan civil war held a vigil in London on Wednesday (18), with some likening the island nation's current economic crisis to the conditions they faced during the decades-long conflict.The gathering of Tamils seeking justice for those from their community who were…

Counting and Cracking: Staging a Sri Lanka migrant story

PLAYWRIGHT S Shakthidharan (Shakthi) is bringing his debut play, centred around the story of Sri Lankan migrants to Australia, to the UK as part of this year’s Edinburgh Festival. Counting and Cracking follows the lives of Radha and her son Siddhartha as they release the ashes of her mother into…

Sri Lanka’s new prime minister struggles to form united government

Sri Lanka's new prime minister struggled Friday to forge a united government and forestall an imminent economic collapse as opposition lawmakers refused to join his cabinet and demanded fresh elections. Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn in late Thursday to navigate his country through the worst downturn in its history as an…

Sri Lanka bans ex-prime-minister, allies from leaving country

A Sri Lankan court on Thursday banned former prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, his politician son Namal and 15 allies from leaving the country over violence against anti-government demonstrators. The magistrate in capital Colombo ordered police to investigate Monday's mob attacks on peaceful protesters, which led to retaliatory violence that claimed…

How Sri Lanka’s economy went into a tailspin

Sri Lanka is suffering its worst economic crisis since its independence from Britain in 1948. Months of lengthy blackouts and acute shortages of food, fuel and medicines have infuriated the public, with huge protests demanding the government's resignation turning violent this week. Eastern Eye reviews the origins of the snowballing…

Crisis-hit Sri Lanka appoints new prime minister to replace president’s…

Sri Lanka's embattled president swore in a new prime minister Thursday to replace his brother, who was banned from leaving the country after his supporters launched violent attacks on a protest against the nation's economic crisis. The new premier, Ranil Wickremesinghe, has already served in the office five times --…

Amid crisis, Sri Lanka president vows to curtail own powers

Sri Lanka's embattled president Gotabaya Rajapaksa pledged Wednesday to give up most of his executive powers but stopped short of yielding to demands for his resignation over the country's economic crisis. The 72-year-old, in his first address to the nation since the start of a month-long protest campaign calling on…

Sri Lanka’s economy on brink of collapse as troops quell…

Sri Lanka's economy will "collapse" unless a new government is urgently appointed, the central bank chief warned Wednesday, as security forces fanned out on the streets to restore order after spasms of mob violence. Police say nine people have died since Monday, when frustration at a dire economic crisis erupted…

IMF talks on loan progress

THE International Monetary Fund said last Saturday (23) it held “fruitful technical discussions” with Sri Lanka on its loan request, while the World Bank said it was preparing an emergency-aid package for the crisis-stricken country. Sri Lanka is struggling to pay for imports amid a crushing debt crisis and sharp…

Cash-strapped Sri Lanka to sell ‘golden’ visas

Cash-strapped Sri Lanka announced on Tuesday it would sell long-term visas to attract desperately needed foreign currency after the island nation ran out of dollars to pay even for food and fuel. Foreigners who deposit a minimum of $100,000 locally will be granted permission to live and work in Sri…

Senior police officer arrested over Sri Lanka protest death

A top Sri Lankan police officer was arrested Wednesday after ordering his subordinates to fire on anti-government protesters, in clashes that left one man dead and nearly 30 others wounded. Last week's demonstration in the town of Rambukkana was one of many around the country protesting a rise in fuel…

Sri Lanka shares plunge as Buddhist leaders ask government to…

Sri Lanka's stock market halted trading after a nearly 13 per cent plunge Monday as the island nation's beleaguered government faces new pressure to resign from influential Buddhist leaders over a crippling economic crisis. The country's worst downturn since independence in 1948 has brought widespread hardships to its 22 million…

Pope asks Sri Lanka to reveal Easter bombers over conspiracy…

Pope Francis urged Sri Lankan authorities on Monday to reveal who was behind the country's 2019 Easter bombings in an attack the island's Catholics suspect was a plot to propel president Gotabaya Rajapaksa to power. While meeting with a delegation of over 60 victims of the Easter Sunday attacks on…

World Bank readies Sri Lanka aid package

THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND said on Saturday (23) it held "fruitful technical discussions" with Sri Lanka on its loan request, while the World Bank said it was preparing an emergency aid package for the crisis-stricken country.Sri Lanka, an island country of 22 million people, is struggling to pay for imports…

Health crisis looms as Sri Lanka medicines run out

By the time he reached a third Colombo pharmacy out of stock of the drug his cancer-stricken wife desperately needs, Dawood Mohamed Ghany was distraught. Sri Lanka has run out of dollars to procure vital imports of food and fuel, triggering weeks of demonstrations demanding the government step down. But…

Sri Lanka deploys military ahead of protester’s funeral

Sri Lanka called out the military on Thursday to bolster security ahead of a funeral for the first person killed during weeks of running anti-government protests in the island nation. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa ordered the three-day deployment to maintain order in the central town of Rambukkana, where police dispersed a…

Fresh protests rock Sri Lanka after police killing

Fresh anti-government protests spread across Sri Lanka Wednesday, a day after police shot dead a demonstrator and triggered international condemnation just as the crisis-hit country appealed for an IMF bailout. Regular blackouts, acute shortages of food and fuel and record inflation have sparked increasing public discontent in the island, which…

Protestor shot dead and others injured as Sri Lanka unrest…

Sri Lanka police shot dead a protester and wounded 24 others on Tuesday in the first fatal clash with residents demonstrating against the government over the island nation's crippling economic crisis. The South Asian country is in the grip of its most painful economic downturn since independence in 1948, with…

Sri Lanka says IMF to consider request for rapid aid

THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND will consider providing quick financial assistance to debt-burdened Sri Lanka following representations by India, the island nation’s finance ministry said on Tuesday (19).A delegation headed by Sri Lanka's finance minister Ali Sabry kicked off formal talks with the IMF in Washington on Monday (18) for a…

Sri Lanka leader trims cabinet of relatives

SRI LANKA'S leader dropped two of his brothers and a nephew from his cabinet Monday (18), following public anger over the ruling family's mismanagement of a crippling economic crisis and calls for his resignation.President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has presided over the island nation's most painful downturn in memory and his government…

Colombo Stock Exchange declares five-day trading halt

THE COLOMBO STOCK EXCHANGE (CSE) will remain temporarily closed for a week from Monday (18) to provide investors with an opportunity to have "more clarity and understanding" of the current economic conditions in crisis-hit Sri Lanka."The stock market will remain temporarily closed for a period of five business days from…

Sri Lankans abandon holiday celebrations for protests

Life usually stops in Sri Lanka's capital during April's holiday period, but with an economic crisis derailing traditional home celebrations, Colombo's city centre is instead teeming with frustrated crowds. Sri Lankans ritually boil milk on the first day of the island nation's New Year, but the commodity is one of…

Bankrupt Sri Lanka begs diaspora to send cash

Sri Lanka urged its citizens overseas to send home money to help pay for desperately needed food and fuel Wednesday after announcing a default on its $51 billion foreign debt. The island nation is in the grip of its worst economic crisis since independence in 1948, with severe shortages of…

Embattled Sri Lanka prime minister appeals for ‘patience’ from protesters

Sri Lanka's prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa pleaded for "patience" Monday as thousands continued to take to the streets to protest his family's rule, with public anger at a fever pitch over the country's crippling economic crisis. Sri Lanka's 22 million residents have seen weeks of power blackouts and severe shortages…

Sri Lanka defaults on all foreign debt

SRI LANKA defaulted on its $51 billion (£39.23 bn) foreign debt on Tuesday (12) as the island nation grapples with its worst economic crisis in memory and widespread protests demanding the government's resignation.Acute food and fuel shortages, alongside long daily electricity blackouts, have brought widespread suffering to the country's 22…

Crisis-hit Sri Lanka hikes rates as protests spiral

CASH-STRAPPED Sri Lanka's central bank hiked interest rates by a record 700 basis points on Friday (8) as police fired tear gas at hundreds of students protesting over the economic crisis.Severe shortages of food and fuel, alongside lengthy electricity blackouts, have led to weeks of widespread anti-government demonstrations - with…

India starts supplying rice to Sri Lanka

INDIAN traders are exporting 40,000 tons of rice to Sri Lanka in the first major food aid since Colombo secured a credit line from New Delhi.The Indian Ocean island nation of 22 million people is struggling to pay for essential imports after a 70 per cent drop in foreign exchange…

Sri Lanka president loses majority amid crisis

Dozens of Sri Lankan lawmakers walked out of the ruling coalition on Tuesday (5), leaving president Gotabaya Rajapaksa's government in a minority in parliament as it struggled to quell protests amid the country's worst economic crisis in decades. In another setback for the administration, finance minister Ali Sabry resigned a…

Top Sri Lanka cricketers back anti-government protests

Some Sri Lankan cricket stars are backing protests sweeping the island nation over a spiralling economic crisis, with former Test captain Mahela Jayawardene urging government leaders to resign. The country is suffering severe shortages of food, fuel and other essentials -- along with record inflation and crippling power cuts --…

Sri Lanka protesters defy curfew after social media shutdown

ARMED troops in Sri Lanka blocked an opposition march staged on Sunday (3) in defiance of an emergency curfew to protest the island nation's worsening economic crisis after authorities imposed a social media blackout to contain public dissent.The south Asian island nation is facing severe shortages of food, fuel and…

Sri Lanka lifts curfew after violent protests

POLICE in Sri Lanka's capital lifted a curfew on Friday (1) after protests in which dozens of people were arrested and several policemen were hurt near the home of president Gotabaya Rajapaksa over his handling of an economic crisis.Hundreds of protesters gathered near Rajapaksa's residence in a Colombo suburb late…

Plenty of fish but no catch as Sri Lanka economic…

The sky and seas off Sri Lanka's coast are crystal blue but a worsening economic crisis has kept fishermen moored at Negombo harbour, out of gas and unable to reel in the day's catch. The waters nearby are a tropical bounty of fist-sized prawns and mackerel that normally find their…

Street lights latest casualty of Sri Lankan economic crisis

SRI LANKA is turning off street lights to save electricity, a minister said on Thursday (31), as its worst economic crisis in decades brought more power cuts and halted trading on its main stock market.The island of 22 million people is struggling with rolling blackouts for up to 13 hours…

Sri Lanka faces 13-hour blackouts, hospitals stop surgery as crisis…

Sri Lanka announced nationwide 13-hour daily power cuts from Thursday and more hospitals suspended routine surgeries after running out of life-saving medicines, as the cash-strapped island's economic crisis deepened. The South Asian nation of 22 million people is in its worst economic spiral since independence in 1948, sparked by an…

US asks Sri Lanka to end detentions, improve rights

The United States urged Sri Lanka on Wednesday to end detentions under its draconian anti-terror laws and ensure justice for wartime atrocities. Sri Lanka's rights record has drawn the ire of the international community with Colombo accused of carrying out war-time atrocities against its Tamil minority during the decades-long civil…

Sri Lanka papers run out of newsprint

TWO major Sri Lanka newspapers are suspending their print editions because of a lack of paper, their owner said Friday (25), the latest casualties in the island's economic crisis. The South Asian nation of 22 million people is facing its worst economic meltdown since independence from Britain in 1948 after…

Cash-strapped Sri Lanka seeks IMF bailout

SRI LANKA will seek an International Monetary Fund bailout, president Gotabaya Rajapaksa said on Wednesday (16), to battle record inflation and unprecedented food and fuel shortages as the country runs out of dollars to finance imports.The south Asia nation is in the throes of its worst economic crisis since independence…

Angry crowd tries to storm Sri Lanka president’s office

A huge crowd tried to storm the Sri Lankan president's seaside office Tuesday as anger flared over runaway prices brought about by the worst financial crisis in the island's modern history. The cost of food, medicine and other essential goods have risen dramatically across the South Asian nation, with long…

UK issues advisory on Sri Lanka travel amid supply concerns

SRI LANKA'S ongoing forex crisis may further hit its tourism industry as the UK and Canada have warned their travellers to be aware of the current economic situation in the island nation.According to the latest advisory issued by the British government, the economic situation is deteriorating in Sri Lanka with…

Prices spike as local currency plummets in Sri Lanka

SRI LANKA's largest private fuel retailer raised diesel prices by more than 50 per cent on Friday (11), sparking a wave of sharp increases in food, medicine and transport costs to add to consumers' woes.The south Asian nation of 22 million is facing its worst financial crisis since independence from…

Sri Lanka currency falls sharply as economic crisis deepens

THE SRI LANKAN rupee fell sharply against the dollar on Thursday (10), after the country's central bank ordered a 15 per cent depreciation in a bid to stave off a looming economic collapse sparked by a shortage of foreign currency.The country's worst economic crisis since independence has led to fuel…

Sri Lanka ends widely condemned Muslim burial policy

Sri Lanka on Thursday ended a heavily criticised policy that required Muslim Covid-19 victims to be buried at a remote government-designated site in the absence of their families or final religious rites. Only a year ago, Colombo reversed an initial policy of enforced cremations -- prohibited by Islam -- under…

Sri Lanka sacks energy minister as economic crisis deepens

Sri Lanka's president sacked his energy minister on Thursday as fuel shortages left the near-bankrupt island facing its worst blackouts in 26 years and the nation's buses largely sidelined. Udaya Gammanpila was booted from the cabinet a day after publicly criticising the government's monetary policy, saying it had worsened the…

Sri Lanka Tamil MPs protest government ‘land grab’

Tamil legislators attempted to storm the Sri Lankan president's office Thursday to protest against what they call a government land grab in areas traditionally dominated by the ethnic minority. Critics accuse the government -- representing the Sinhalese majority -- of breaking promises made at the end of a bloody 37-year…

Met Police arrest suspect in 2000 murder of Sri Lankan…

British war crimes police have arrested a suspect in connection with the 2000 murder of high-profile Sri Lankan journalist Mylvaganam Nimalrajan during the country's brutal civil war, they said on Thursday. Officers from London's Metropolitan Police War Crimes team arrested a 48-year-old man in Northamptonshire, on Tuesday and subsequently released…

Sri Lanka completes return of illegal waste to Britain

SRI LANKA shipped out to Britain on Monday (21) the last of several hundred containers filled with thousands of tons of illegally imported waste, officials said.Several Asian countries have in recent years been pushing back against an onslaught of refuse from wealthier nations and have started turning back unwanted shipments.The…

Sri Lanka out of cash to buy oil: minister

Sri Lanka's state-run petroleum company has run out of cash to buy oil, and fuel shortages across the country could get worse, the energy minister said Friday. Udaya Gammanpila said the loss-making Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) continued to haemorrhage cash and could no longer afford to procure supplies from abroad.…

Sri Lanka pageant winner stripped of title after corruption claim

A SRI LANKAN contender for a US beauty pageant has been stripped of her local title after she claimed corruption had prevented her from winning the global event, organisers said Wednesday (9).Pushpika de Silva had already made headlines last year after she was crowned "Mrs Sri Lanka" in the capital…

Sri Lanka calls for diaspora investment

SRI LANKA marked its Independence Day on Friday (4) with an appeal to its diaspora to send money home to overcome the island's worsening economic crisis and a pledge to protect foreign investments.President Gotabaya Rajapaksa urged millions of Sri Lankans abroad to invest their savings in their home country, which…

Used cars turn to gold as Sri Lanka economy skids…

Supermarket shelves are bare and restaurants can't serve meals, but Sri Lanka's economic crisis is a bonanza for used car dealers, with vehicle shortages pushing prices higher than a house in a nice area. The island nation of 22 million is on the brink of bankruptcy, inflation is red hot…

Crisis-hit Sri Lanka hikes interest rates

SRI LANKA's central bank hiked interest rates Thursday (20) in a bid to tame rampant inflation and discourage consumer spending as the country suffers a foreign currency shortage and teeters on the brink of default. The island nation of around 22 million has seen shortages of food and fuel as…

Sri Lanka prison chief gets death penatly for massacre

A top Sri Lankan prison official was sentenced to death Wednesday over the killing of 27 inmates in an execution-style massacre that attracted international condemnation. The Colombo High Court convicted Prisons Commissioner Emil Lamahewage, but discharged his co-accused, police commando Moses Rangajeewa, over the killings in November 2012. The duo…

Sri Lanka rules out IMF bailout, seeks new China loan

SRI LANKA ruled out an IMF bailout on Wednesday (12) and said it plans to seek another loan from China to address an economic crisis that has led to food and fuel shortages.The island nation's tourism-dependent economy has been battered by the pandemic, with supermarkets rationing goods and rolling blackouts…

No ‘third country’ should interfere in China-Sri Lanka ties: Beijing

CHINESE foreign minister Wang Yi said no "third country" should "interfere" in Sino-Sri Lankan ties.His statement is an apparent reference to India's concerns over Beijing's big-ticket strategic projects in Sri Lanka.Wang, who travelled to Colombo from the Maldives on a two-day visit during the weekend, said the friendly relationship between…

Sri Lanka launches luxury train service with India’s assistance

SRI LANKA has launched a luxury train service connecting the country's Tamil-dominated Jaffna district to the capital city Colombo with the help of a line of credit offered by India.The intercity rail service was launched on Sunday (9) for passengers travelling from Colombo's Mount Lavinia suburb to Jaffna's Kankesanthurai port…

Sri Lanka rations electricity as dollar crisis worsens

Sri Lanka imposed electricity rationing Friday with the main power utility unable to buy fuel oil for its power stations as a result of the island's worsening dollar crisis. Oil normally accounts for around nine percent of electricity generation on the island, but a Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) official said…

Sri Lanka enters strategic oil deal with India

Sri Lanka and India launched a joint venture on Thursday to revive a strategic British colonial-era oil storage facility and strengthen energy security in the region, a senior minister said. The deal is seen as countering China's rising influence in the region and comes two days ahead of a visit…

Sri Lanka to procure 750 jeeps, 500 buses from India

SRI LANKA has decided to procure 750 jeeps and 500 buses from India under the credit line it received from New Delhi, the island nation's government announced in Colombo on Tuesday (4). The decision to purchase the 750 jeeps from Indian auto manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra was taken during a…

Sri Lanka food prices hit record highs as shortages bite

SRI LANKA'S food prices rose by a record 22.1 per cent in December, official figures showed Saturday (1), as the country struggles to finance urgent imports to tackle an acute shortage of essentials. The census and statistics department said food inflation hit an all-time high last month on a year-on-year…

Top 10 novels of 2021

BRILLIANT BOOKS BY BRITISH AUTHORS IN DIVERSE GENRES THE pandemic hasn’t been able to prevent this from being a strong literary year filled with brilliant books by great British authors. What made 2021 special was the range of genres that were tackled and the number of unique protagonists that filled…

US sanctions two Sri Lankan military officers

THE US has imposed sanctions on two Sri Lankan military officers, including a murder convict pardoned by president Gotabaya Rajapaksa, for human rights violations, banning them and their immediate family members from entering America. Chandana Hettiarachchi, a naval officer, and Sunil Ratnayake, a former staff sergeant of the Sri Lankan…

Sri Lanka puts ‘world’s largest’ natural corundum on show

SRI LANKAN authorities last Sunday (12) put on show what they said was the world's largest natural corundum blue sapphire, weighing 310 kg, which was found in a gem pit about three months ago. Local gemologists, who have examined the sapphire, said it was one of the rarest gems in…

Rajapaksa prorogues Sri Lanka parliament, leaves for Singapore

SRI LANKA'S president Gotabaya Rajapaksa prorogued parliament for one week and left for Singapore on an unscheduled visit on Monday (13). There was no immediate comment from the government on Rajapaksa's decision to suspend proceedings for a week. Parliament, which ended its sessions last Friday (10), was originally set to…

Pakistan lynching: Victim’s body flown to Colombo

THE BODY of a Sri Lankan national, who was lynched by a mob in Pakistan's Punjab province over allegations of blasphemy, was flown to Colombo on Monday (6). The wooden coffin has the words ‘Human remains of late Don Nandasri P Kumara Diyawadanage. From Lahore to Colombo,’ transcribed on it.…

Family of Sri Lankan national lynched in Pakistan awaits his…

FAMILY members of Sri Lankan national Priyantha Kumara Diyawadana, who was lynched by a mob in Pakistan over allegations of blasphemy, is waiting for his remains to be flown to Colombo on Monday (6). On Friday (4), supporters of the Islamist party Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) attacked a garment factory in…

Sri Lanka begins trial of 25 men over Easter Sunday…

A SRI Lankan court on Tuesday (23) began the trial of 25 men accused of plotting the Easter Sunday bombings that killed nearly 270 people in 2019, as lawyers warned of a protracted and complicated legal battle ahead. The suspects were brought under heavy guard in batches from different prisons…

Sri Lanka ends farm chemical ban as organic drive fails

SRI LANKA abandoned its quest to become the world's first completely organic farming nation on Sunday (21), announcing it would immediately lift an import ban on pesticides and other agricultural inputs. The island country has been in the grips of a severe economic crisis, with a depleting foreign exchange triggering…

Sri Lanka bans strikes over opposition to US power deal

Sri Lanka's president has effectively banned trade union action against a controversial energy deal with a US firm in an attempt to scupper dissent within his coalition government. The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) last month agreed to sell a 40 per cent stake in its thermal power plant outside Colombo…

Life of Pi cast members set the stage for ‘magical’…

Actors reveal their personal journeys ahead of award-winning story's west end opening THREE members of the cast of Life of Pi have spoken of their “satisfaction” with their roles in the stage version of Yann Martell’s Booker Prize-winning novel, which opens at Wyndham’s Theatre in London on November 15. The…

Six Indian naval ships arrive in Sri Lanka to boost…

FOR the first time, six ships of the Indian Navy's first training squadron have arrived in Sri Lanka on a four-day visit to bolster the defence cooperation between the two countries, officials said. They arrived in the ports of Colombo and Trincomalee on Sunday (24) to conduct training with their…

Sri Lanka bars Chinese ship with ‘contaminated’ fertiliser

SRI Lanka has barred a Chinese ship carrying desperately needed organic fertiliser that experts have found to be tainted with harmful bacteria, officials said on Sunday (24). The action comes as Sri Lanka battles food shortages caused by a currency crisis while farmers have said a government ban on chemical…

India, Sri Lanka discuss steps to boost defence ties

INDIAN Army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane met Sri Lanka's top civilian and military leadership on Wednesday (13) and discussed steps for enhancing defence cooperation between the two neighbouring countries. General Naravane, who arrived in Colombo on Tuesday (12) on a four-day visit at the invitation of his Sri Lankan…

Sri Lanka agrees to reform terror law to keep EU…

SRI Lanka's president vowed "immediate steps" to amend anti-terror legislation to retain a lucrative trade status with the European Union, his office said Tuesday (5). The EU had warned Sri Lanka that its generalised system of preferences (GSP Plus) - a favourable trade scheme to encourage developing nations to respect…

India counters China in Sri Lanka with $700 million port…

An Indian company entered into a $700 million deal Thursday (30) to build a strategic deep-sea container terminal in Sri Lanka, officials said, in a move seen as countering China's rising influence in the region. The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) said it signed an agreement with India's Adani Group…

Sri Lanka shaman dies of Covid after touting ‘blessed’ water…

A HIGH-PROFILE shaman who tried to end Sri Lanka's Covid-19 outbreak with "blessed" water has died of the virus, his family said on Thursday (23). Eliyantha White, 48, who treated sports stars and top politicians including the country's prime minister, claimed in November that he could end the pandemic in…

Sri Lanka arrests Tamil MP over rebel remembrance

SRI Lankan police on Thursday (23) arrested a Tamil parliamentarian for commemorating a separatist rebel who died campaigning for the minority community, hours after president Gotabaya Rajapaksa called for reconciliation between ethnic groups. Opposition legislator Selvarajah Kajendran was bundled into a police vehicle in the northern Jaffna peninsula, the heartland…

Sri Lanka shaman dies of Covid after touting ‘blessed’ water…

A high-profile shaman who tried to end Sri Lanka's Covid-19 outbreak with "blessed" water has died of the virus, his family said on Thursday (23). Eliyantha White, 48, who treated sports stars and top politicians including the country's prime minister, claimed in November he could end the pandemic in Sri…

Sri Lankan president discusses reconciliation with Guterres

SRI Lanka president Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Monday (20) said he held a “fruitful discussion” with UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres on ways to jointly promote "reconciliation" in the country as the only way to move towards a prosperous future. Rajapaksa, who is in the US for the United Nations General Assembly…

Sri Lanka prison minister quits after gun-toting claims

Sri Lanka's prisons minister stepped down on Wednesday over allegations he tried to force a confession from a Tamil inmate at gunpoint, and drunkenly threatened to execute others. Lohan Ratwatte's resignation letter did not confirm or deny the allegations, but he said: "I resign as I do not want to…

Sri Lankan Tamil author in Booker Prize shortlist; Sunjeev Sahota…

SRI LANKAN Tamil author Anuk Arudpragasam's A Passage North was shortlisted for the Booker Prize 2021, along with five others. The others on the list are South African author Damon Galgut for The Promise, Americans Patricia Lockdwood for No One is Talking About this, Richard Powers for Bewilderment, Maggie Shipstead…

Sri Lankan minister resigns after threatening to kill Tamil prisoners

SRI Lanka's minister of state for prisons management Lohan Ratwatte tendered his resignation on Wednesday (15), days after he allegedly threatened to kill Tamil prisoners during his visit to the country's north-central region, a senior official said. Ratwatte's resignation came as pressure mounted on him after Tamil political parties sought…

New Zealand’s strengthened counter-terrorism laws by ‘month end’

NEW Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday (6) the country’s strengthened counter-terrorism legislation would be passed by the end of September. The new laws would plug a loophole that allowed a Daesh-inspired militant who carried out an attack at an Auckland supermarket attack to remain free. Police shot…

Sri Lanka imposes price controls to tackle food shortages

SRI LANKA imposed price controls on key foods on Friday (3) as the government stepped up the use of emergency powers to counter shortages. Queues formed outside state-run supermarkets even before they opened to sell sugar seized from private dealers at less than half the price being charged on the…

Sri Lanka recall Chandimal for South Africa series

Sri Lanka on Monday recalled former skipper Dinesh Chandimal into a 22-member squad led by Dasun Shanaka for a six-match series against South Africa. Chandimal, 31, was dropped after a disappointing tour of the West Indies in March. He missed series against England and India. Sri Lanka have also added…

Sri Lanka extends curfew as virus toll hits new record

SRI Lanka on Friday (27) extended a stringent coronavirus curfew for another week after reporting its highest daily death toll of more than 200. A nationwide lockdown was due to end Tuesday (31) but health minister Keheliya Rambukwella said it would be extended until September 6. The announcement came as…

South Africa assistant coach Nkwe resigns before Sri Lanka tour

SOUTH AFRICA left for Sri Lanka on Wednesday (25) without assistant coach Enoch Nkwe, who resigned after apparent disagreements with under-pressure head coach Mark Boucher. Cricket South Africa (CSA) announced Nkwe's resignation late on Tuesday (24) despite having made "every effort to retain his services." According to the statement, Nkwe…

Cardboard coffins find favour in Sri Lanka

AT a factory in Sri Lanka's Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia city, workers use staples and glue to assemble long cardboard boxes, which will be used as coffins for some of the country's coronavirus victims. The coffin is made out of recycled paper and costs a sixth of the cheapest wooden casket, according…

Boucher apologises for racist behaviour during playing days

SOUTH AFRICA head coach Mark Boucher has apologised for singing offensive songs and using racist nicknames during his playing days in an affidavit submitted to Cricket South Africa's (CSA) Social Justice and Nation-Building (SJN) committee on Monday (23). Boucher was responding to allegations levelled against him by former spinner Paul…

Sri Lanka series gives ‘perfect preparation’ for World Cup: South…

SOUTH Africa will use their one-day series in Sri Lanka as preparation for the Twenty20 World Cup later this year as conditions in the United Arab Emirates are expected to be similar, captain Temba Bavuma said. South Africa will play three ODIs and as many T20 games during the September…

Police Scotland halts training in Sri Lanka

POLICE Scotland has paused its training programme in Sri Lanka “for the time being” as the force’s activity in the south Asian country is being reviewed. Its engagement with Sri Lanka where it worked to develop community policing has been halted since May, months after reports that it renewed its…

South Africa omit du Plessis for Sri Lanka tour

FORMER captain Faf du Plessis was a notable omission from the South Africa squad named on Thursday (12) for a white-ball tour of Sri Lanka next month, the team's final outings before the Twenty20 World Cup. Du Plessis, 37, retired from Test cricket in February but said he remained available…

Sri Lanka rejects lockdown to beat Covid ‘bomb’

Sri Lanka's government rejected on Tuesday (10) mounting calls for an immediate lockdown to contain a surge in Covid-19 cases and deaths that is severely stretching hospitals and crematoriums. Government spokesman and Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said the country had not reached a critical stage even as the island nation…

Sri Lanka indicts 25 suspects in Easter Sunday bombings

SRI Lanka has filed 23,270 charges against 25 people in connection with the deadly 2019 Easter Sunday attacks that killed 258 people, the president's office said on Wednesday (11). The charges filed on Tuesday (10) under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) include conspiring to murder, collecting arms and ammunition…

Sri Lanka rejects lockdown to beat Covid ‘bomb’

SRI Lanka's government rejected on Tuesday (10) mounting calls for an immediate lockdown to contain a surge in Covid-19 cases and deaths that are severely stretching hospitals and crematoriums. Government spokesman and media minister Keheliya Rambukwella said the country had not reached a critical stage even as the island nation…

Sri Lanka holds mass cremations as Covid cases surge

SRI Lanka began mass cremations to clear a backlog of dead bodies from Covid-19 as cases surged across the island, officials said Monday (9). Daily virus infections in the country have doubled in a month to more than 2,500 with nearly 100 deaths, putting a huge strain on hospitals. On…

Sri Lanka tightens Covid restrictions as hospitals struggle

SRI Lankan authorities tightened coronavirus restrictions on Friday as reports emerged of Covid patients dying while awaiting admission to overcrowded hospitals. The government said state ceremonies and public gatherings were banned until September 1 because of the deepening health crisis. Public servants had previously been asked to return to work…

Isuru Udana quits Sri Lanka team after pay row with…

SRI LANKAN white-ball player Isuru Udana, who had resisted the recent pay restructuring, quit the national team on Saturday in an apparent move to join financially more lucrative foreign leagues. Sri Lanka Cricket said the 33-year-old allrounder was retiring from national duties with immediate effect. "I believe the time has…

Chahal, Krishnappa to stay back in Sri Lanka after testing…

INDIAN cricketers Krishnappa Gowtham and Yuzvendra Chahal have been forced to stay back in Sri Lanka after testing positive for Covid-19 in pre-departure tests, joining allrounder Krunal Pandya who is already in isolation after being infected earlier. A BCCI official had earlier in the day said that the squad has…

Dring ‘will be remembered for East Pakistan genocide reports’

Tribute to British journalist and honorary Bangladeshi citizen Simon YOUNGER Asians born and brought up in Britain may not have heard of the British journalist Simon Dring, who died on July 16, at the age of 76. But for those who want to understand the circumstances leading to the secession…

Hasaranga dominates India as Sri Lanka clinch T20 series 2-1

SRI LANKA continued its resurgence to defeat the Covid-battered India by seven wickets in the third T20 international on Thursday (29) and win the three-match series 2-1. The hosts’ victory was shaped by spinner Wanindu Hasaranga who took his career-best T20 haul of four wickets for just nine runs on…

Sri Lanka level Covid-hit T20 series against India

DISCIPLINED bowling and Dhanajaya de Silva's unbeaten 40 helped Sri Lanka to a series-levelling four-wicket win over India in the Covid-19 delayed second Twenty20 international on Wednesday (28). Chasing 133 for victory, Sri Lanka depended on an unbeaten 28-run seventh-wicket partnership between de Silva and Chamika Karunaratne, who made 12,…

Sri Lanka-India T20 put off as Krunal Pandya tests Covid…

SRI Lanka on Tuesday (27) postponed the second Twenty20 international against India just hours before its start, after Indian all-rounder Krunal Pandya tested positive for the coronavirus. Pandya was found positive during a routine check, Sri Lanka Cricket said in a statement. "The medical teams have identified eight members as…

Rajapaksa to adopt US presidential-style media briefings

IN A bid to stop statements from being "misrepresented or quoted out of context" by the media, Sri Lankan president Gotabaya Rajapaksa has set up a US presidential-style media centre that would enable journalists to directly interact with the leader, his spokesperson said on Tuesday (27). Rajapaksa's comments at times…

T20: Yadav, Kumar lead India to easy win against Sri…

SEAM bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar led a disciplined bowling performance and Suryakumar Yadav scored a fifty as India hammered Sri Lanka by 38 runs in the opening Twenty20 international after a Covid scare at the stadium on Sunday (25). Chasing 165 for victory, Sri Lanka were bowled out for 126 in…

Fernando, Rajapaksa help Sri Lanka to first ODI win over…

AVISHKA Fernando and Bhanuka Rajapaksa hit half-centuries as Sri Lanka beat India by three wickets for a consolation win in the rain-hit third one-day international on Friday (23). Chasing a revised target of 227 in the reduced 47-overs-a-side contest, Sri Lanka depended on a 109-run second-wicket stand between Fernando (76)…

Five Indian rookies make ODI debuts

THE ongoing third ODI between India and Sri Lanka in Colombo is only the second instance in history when India handed debuts to five players in a 50-over match. After sealing the three-match series on Tuesday (20), five rookies - aggressive left-handed batsman Nitish Rana, leggie Rahul Chahar, left-arm pacer…

Learnt from Dhoni how to take a match to last…

INDIA pacer Deepak Chahar, who starred with the bat in the second ODI against Sri Lanka in Colombo, said he has learnt the art of chasing from Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Chahar scripted India's come-from-behind win on Tuesday (20) with an unbeaten 69 at number eight. "He (Dhoni) has had a…

Sri Lanka coach Mickey Arthur says spat with captain was…

SRI LANKA coach Mickey Arthur on Wednesday (21) brushed off suggestions that he berated skipper Dasun Shanaka in front of cameras after the team lost a one-day series to India. India passed Sri Lanka's 275-9 with five balls to spare in Colombo on Tuesday (20) to record a win that…

Deepak Chahar shines with bat as India overwhelm Sri Lanka

NUMBER-EIGHT batsman Deepak Chahar hit an unbeaten 69 as India edged out Sri Lanka by three wickets in the second one-day international to clinch the series on Tuesday (20). India chased down their target of 276 with five balls to spare as Chahar recorded his maiden ODI fifty after the…

Moody’s sounds alarm on Sri Lankan debt

INTERNATIONAL ratings agency Moody's placed cash-strapped Sri Lanka under watch for a downgrade on Tuesday on rising fears that the island nation could default on its foreign debt. Foreign reserves of $3.6 billion (£2.6b) at the end of June was insufficient to cover Sri Lanka's annual foreign debt servicing of…

I was determined to hit first ball for six: Ishan…

BEFORE going out to bat in his debut ODI against Sri Lanka, young Ishan Kishan had announced in the dressing room that he would hit the first ball for a six, irrespective of the bowler and where the ball would be pitched. And he did what he had promised, by…

Dhawan, Kishan make short work of Sri Lanka’s total

SKIPPER Shikhar Dhawan and debutant Ishan Kishan hit half-centuries as India hammered Sri Lanka by seven wickets on Sunday (18) in the first one-day international of a series delayed by the coronavirus. Chasing 263 for victory, India depended on Dhawan's 33rd ODI half-century, fellow opener Prithvi Shaw's 24-ball 43 and…

Bhanuka Rajapaksa named in Shanaka-led Sri Lanka squad

DASUN Shanaka has been named skipper of a 23-member squad of Sri Lanka for a six-match white-ball series against India starting in Colombo on Sunday (18). Shanaka, who succeeds an injured Kusal Perera at the helm, became the 10th captain of the national team in the past four years. The…

Sri Lanka board plans action against Grant Flower over ‘bio-bubble…

SRI LANKA'S cricket board is planning disciplinary action against batting coach Grant Flower following allegations that he breached a bio-secure bubble during an England tour, cricket sources said in Colombo on Thursday (15). Sri Lanka's preparations for a home series against India were disrupted when Flower, 50, tested positive for…

MV X-Press Pearl: Sri Lanka to compensate fishermen with insurance…

SRI LANKA on Monday (12) said it has started the process of paying compensation to local fishermen affected by the fire aboard a Singapore-flagged container ship that sank off the country's coast last month. MV X-Press Pearl was carrying 1,486 containers of chemicals and cargo when it went up in…

Sri Lanka cricketers sign pay deals after board threat

SRI LANKAN cricketers signed new performance-linked contracts ahead of Wednesday’s (7) deadline, ending a pay dispute that lasted for months. The national squad, which has suffered a number of defeats in recent months, has been at loggerheads with Sri Lanka Cricket since May over the new contracts. Test captain Dimuth…

Sri Lanka marks Chinese party centenary with costliest gold coin

SRI LANKA on Wednesday (7) issued its most expensive gold coin ever to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party, underscoring the close ties between the countries. The commemorative 1,000-rupee (£3.6) coin will be sold for 222,000 rupees (£806) from Monday (11), the Central Bank of Sri Lanka…

Sri Lanka politicians arrested over child sex racket

SEVERAL politicians from Sri Lanka's ruling party and a former Maldives minister were among dozens of people arrested after a child sex racket was busted, Colombo police said on Monday (6). Sri Lanka Police said two websites were used to sell underage girls for sex, adding that they found the…

Central bank of Sri Lanka suspends overseas investment for 6 months 

SRI LANKA'S central bank on Sunday (4) further tightened controls on the outflow of foreign currency to combat a growing cash crunch triggered by the coronavirus pandemic. Foreign exchange reserves have almost halved since late 2019 to $4 billion (£3.3bn) after the rupee sank to a record low last year.…

Indian Navy submits report to Sri Lankan fisheries minister

INDIA’S INS Sarvekshak, has surveyed 800 miles of the sea near the Colombo Port and a findings report has been sent to the Sri Lankan ministry of fisheries on Friday (2) to resume safe navigation and commercial fishing. "Ship Sarvekshak surveying around #MVXPressPearl off #Colombo entered Colombo harbour, post completion of…

Sri Lanka eyes tougher import controls to halt forex crisis

SRI LANKA'S central bank on Monday (28) called for further import restrictions to address a crippling foreign exchange crisis, following a string of loans from Asian neighbours including Bangladesh. The island nation's foreign exchange reserves were badly hit last year amid the Covid-19 pandemic as the local currency came under…

Separate teams will ease pressure on India’s cricketers, says Dravid

Rahul Dravid on Sunday (27) said separate teams for different formats is a short-term solution to easing the pressure on India's cricketers during the coronavirus pandemic. Dravid, who has coached India A and Under-19 teams and is currently director at the National Cricket Academy (NCA), will travel with a second-string…

Sri Lanka suspends 3 cricketers for bio-bubble breach in England

SRI LANKA Cricket (SLC) on Monday (28) suspended three players, including batsman Kusal Mendis and wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella, for breaching the bio-bubble during their ongoing tour of England and ordered their immediate return to the country. The two, along with opener Danushka Gunathilaka, were seen roaming the streets of Durham…

 India’s INS Sarvekshak to support Sri Lanka’s survey efforts around…

INDIA has sent its naval ship INS Sarvekshak on Thursday (24) to support Sri Lanka's survey efforts around the gutted cargo vessel sunk outside the port of Colombo. The INS Sarvekshak was deployed upon a formal request from the government of Sri Lanka to ensure the safety of navigation in…

#MeToo: Sri Lanka probes sexual harassment claims in newsrooms

SRI LANKA'S government ordered an investigation on Tuesday (22) into sexual harassment in the media after a string of #MeToo allegations from female newsroom staff. The flood of claims began after journalist Sarah Kellapatha tweeted last week that a male colleague had threatened to rape her while working at an…

Indian factory workers in Sri Lanka tested Covid positive

MORE THAN 90 Indian workers at an ironworks factory in Sri Lanka tested positive for Covid-19 on Monday (21), health officials said. The Indians were among the around 120 workers at the factory in Colombo north suburb of Wattala who were found to have contracted the virus. They have been…

MV X-Press Pearl caused ‘significant damage to the planet’, says…

THE burnt-out MV X-Press Pearl has caused "significant damage to the planet by the release of hazardous substances", the United Nations (UN) said on Sunday (20) as it announced a team of experts to determine the full extent of the disaster and necessary follow-up action. A team of oil spill and chemical…

Sri Lanka investigates troops over ‘humiliation’ of Muslims

SRI LANKA’S military launched an investigation on Sunday (20) after social media posts showed soldiers forcing minority Muslims to kneel on the streets as a punishment for flouting lockdown rules. Armed troops ordered Muslim civilians to raise their hands in the air while kneeling on a road in the town…

Fire-ravaged MV X-Press Pearl killed dolphins, turtles in Sri Lanka

DOZENS of turtles and dolphins in Sri Lanka were killed by intense heat and chemical poisoning from a container ship that burned for almost two weeks, authorities said on Thursday (17). Wildlife officials said 48 dead turtles and eight dolphins, as well as many small fish, had washed up on…

Sri Lanka court frees top detective ‘probing Rajapaksas’

A SRI LANKA court freed on bail the country's top detective after 10 months behind bars on Wednesday (16), in a case that attracted the international condemnation of Colombo's human rights record. The Court of Appeal asked a lower court to free Shani Abeysekara and another detective accused of falsifying…

MV X-Press Pearl may take months to salvage amid monsoon:…

THE SINKING fire-damaged container ship MV X-Press Pearl could take months to salvage because of rough monsoon seas, Sri Lanka said on Tuesday (15), as authorities investigated whether the deaths of dozens of turtles and dolphins were caused by the disaster. Part of the Singapore-registered vessel submerged in early June…

Sri Lanka arrests MV X-Press Pearl captain over marine pollution

THE RUSSIAN skipper of a container ship that caught fire and burned for almost two weeks before sinking off Sri Lanka's coast has been arrested and is expected to be charged with marine pollution, police said. The island nation is seeking $40 million (£28.4m) in damages from the operators of…

Sri Lanka seeks £33 million from MV X-Press Pearl’s owner

SRI LANKA made an interim damage claim of USD 40 m (£33 m) from the owners of the Singapore-flagged cargo ship MV X-Press Pearl. The Lankan government has lodged the claim of USD 40 m (£33 m) through the attorney general following a directive by prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa. "We are…

Sri Lanka, India discuss defense, security cooperation

SRI LANKA and India discussed ways to enhance defense and security cooperation between two countries on Friday (11). Sri Lanka's defense secretary, general Kamal Gunaratne expressed his views on matters of defense cooperation and recalled the long-existing bilateral ties and cooperation between the two countries, according to a report in Colombo…

Sri Lanka reports UK variant of Covid-19 cases

THE UK variant (Alpha) of Covid-19 has been detected in nine localities of Sri Lanka. The B.1.1.7, UK variant (Alpha) has been identified from Colombo, Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Kuliyaputiya, Wariyapola, Habaraduwa (Matara), Thissamaharama, Karapitiya, and Ragama. Director of the allergy, immunity and cell biology unit at the Sri Jayewardenepura University Dr.…

MV X-Press Pearl: Sri Lanka investigates possible oil slick from…

SRI LANKA announced an investigation on Thursday (10) into a possible oil slick reported off its west coast where a container ship submerged after burning for 13 days. Coast conservation minister Nalaka Godahewa said local experts were asked to examine an oil patch of about 0.35 square kilometres (0.13 square…

Pay dispute: Sri Lankan cricketers agree to tour England after…

SRI LANKA'S players have set aside a pay dispute with national cricket chiefs until the upcoming England tour is over, after being threatened with bans of up to three years if they did not play. The cricket board has cut fees for 24 national players by up to 40 per…

Sri Lankan Fishermen feel helpless due to X-Press Pearl disaster

FISHERMEN in Sri Lanka feel helpless after MV X-Press Pearl caught fire and later sank, resulting in a ban on fishing along an 80 km (50 mile) stretch of the island nation's west coast, said a fisherman. The Singapore-registered MV X-Press Pearl, carrying 1,486 containers, including 25 tonnes of nitric acid along with…

Rain and floods leave 17 dead in Sri Lanka 

THE adverse weather condition in Sri Lanka has killed more than 17 people and affected thousands of families in 10 districts. After days of heavy rain, rivers on the island nation's southern and western plains overflowed on the weekend, inundating low-lying areas and forcing thousands into relief centres. "Water levels…

Sri Lanka recovers black box from sinking ship MV X-Press…

A BLACK box was recovered from a container ship sinking off Sri Lanka, but a dive to check for oil leaks had to be aborted on Sunday (6), the navy said. The Voyage Data Recorder (VDR), also known as a maritime "black box", was found intact and is expected to…

MV X-Press Pearl: Sri Lanka deploys foreign experts to tackle…

FOREIGN experts have been deployed to help Sri Lanka contain a potential oil leak from a burnt-out container ship partially sunk off Colombo, the ship's operator said on Friday (4). Representatives from the International Tankers Owners Pollution Federation (ITOPF) and Oil Spill Response (OSR) were onshore monitoring the MV X-Press…

Sri Lanka braces for oil spill from sinking ship

SRI LANKAN authorities said on Thursday (3) they are preparing for the worst-case scenario of a possible oil slick from the burnt-out cargo ship sinking off Colombo's main harbour. The Marine Environment Protection Authority readied oil dispersants, booms and skimmers in case of a leak from the MV X-Press Pearl,…

Burnt-out MV X-Press Pearl sinking off Sri Lanka coast

A BURNT-OUT container ship that has already caused Sri Lanka's worst maritime environmental disaster was sinking on Wednesday (2) with several hundred tons of oil still in its fuel tanks, the navy said. The MV X-Press Pearl, carrying hundreds of tons of chemicals and plastics, burned for 13 days within…

Sri Lanka resumes International travel; Indian and Vietnamese flights stay…

SRI LANKA reopened its international airport for passengers on Tuesday (01) amid the current Covid-19 lockdown.  The first flight with 53 passengers landed at Colombo airport from Qatar on Tuesday. However, those with a travel record to India and Vietnam over the last 14 days would not be allowed to…

Sri Lanka ship fire put out after 13 days of…

A FIRE aboard a cargo ship off Sri Lanka carrying hundreds of tons of chemicals, plastics and cosmetics was finally extinguished on Tuesday (1) after a 13-day international operation, the navy said. In Sri Lanka's worst marine ecological disaster, huge volumes of microplastic granules from the ship's containers have inundated…

MV X-Press Pearl: Sri Lanka to sue Singapore ship owners…

SRI LANKAN authorities said they will sue the owners of a Singapore-registered cargo carrier that has burned for 11 days off the island's west coast and caused its worst-ever marine pollution. Police said a criminal investigation was also launched into the blaze aboard the MV X-Press Pearl, which was carrying…

MV X-Press Pearl: Sri Lanka fighting its ‘worst’ beach pollution

SRI LANKA is facing its worst beach pollution crisis as tons of plastic waste from a burning container ship wash ashore, a senior environment official said Saturday (29). Fishermen have been banned from an 80-kilometre (50-mile) stretch of the coast near the Singapore-registered MV X-Press Pearl as an international firefighting…

Sri Lanka hopes for interim claim for environmental damage from…

SRI LANKA hopes to put forth an interim claim from the owner of MV X-Press Pearl against marine environment damage, Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) chairperson Dharshani Lahandapura said on Friday (28). “We will conduct a complete environmental damage assessment based on internationally recognised scientific methods," Lahandapura told reporters. "To conduct…

Sri Lanka bans fishing off Colombo as plastic waste washes…

TONS of plastic pellets from a burning container ship swamped Sri Lanka's west coast on Friday (28), prompting a ban on fishing as international efforts to salvage the vessel dragged into the ninth day. The government announced the ban along an 80-km (50-mile) coastal area, including Colombo, fearing contamination with…

Winds hamper efforts to douse blaze on container ship off…

INTERNATIONAL salvage experts and Indian vessels on Thursday (27) joined a desperate bid to extinguish a huge blaze on a container ship off the Sri Lankan coast as fears grow that the vessel could cause a devastating oil spill. Strong Indian Ocean winds have hampered efforts to douse the inferno…

Sri Lanka gets second donation of Sinopharm vaccines from China

SRI LANKA on Wednesday (26) received a second batch of 500,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccines from China. In March, China donated 600,000 doses of coronavirus vaccines to Colombo. On Tuesday (25), the Sri Lankan government agreed to buy 14 million doses of Sinopharm. Sri Lanka is facing a shortage of…

Sri Lanka rescues crew of MV X-Press Pearl

THE SRI LANKAN Navy has evacuated all crew from the MV X-Press Pearl, a container ship that caught fire on Friday (21). The vessel had left India's Hazira port on May 15. While it was on the way to Singapore via Colombo an explosion was reported from within the vessel. “Rescuers evacuated…

Chinese government-backed firm bags Sri Lanka’s highway contract

A STATE-BACKED Chinese firm has become the first foreign owner of a Sri Lankan highway, a boost for Beijing as it battles other regional powers for influence in the island nation. The cabinet on Monday awarded China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) a contract to build a 17-kilometre (10.5-mile), four-lane highway…

Colombo Port City bill gets Sri Lankan parliamentary approval

SRI LANKA’S parliament on Thursday (20) approved the controversial Colombo Port City Economic Commission Bill, with the government saying the Chinese-backed project would bring in investments and boost the island nation's economy. The 225-member parliament approved the bill 148-59 after a two-day debate, even as opposition parties alleged that it…

Sri Lanka ‘could face oxygen shortage if Covid-19 is not…

THE ASSOCIATION of Medical Specialists has warned the Sri Lankan government that the country could face an acute shortage of oxygen if the Covid-19 is not contained. Its president Lakkumar Fernando said the government should speak in one voice and inform people about the gravity of the situation, instead of…

Sri Lanka: Covid cases will rise further, warns PHIS

By Pooja Shrivastava SRI LANKA is at a critical stage and is expected to see a further sharp rise in Covid-19 positive cases, Public Health Inspectors (PHIS) warned on Tuesday (11), adding that there is a high number of infected people believed to be moving among the community undetected. PHIS…

Sri Lanka arrests Muslim leader over Easter attacks

SRI LANKA's police Saturday (24) arrested a top Muslim leader and member of parliament in connection with the 2019 Easter Sunday attacks that killed 279 people as pressure to speed up the investigation mounted. Detectives took Rishad Bathiudeen, leader of the All Ceylon Makkal Party, into custody under the Prevention…

Sri Lanka Catholics slam govt over Easter attacks probe

THE head of Sri Lanka's Roman Catholic Church on Wednesday (21) accused the government of stalling investigations into Easter Sunday bombings two years ago that killed 279 people. Nearly 200 people were arrested within days of the suicide attacks on hotels and churches by Islamist extremists, but no one has…

‘Britain has a duty to protect the people of Sri…

  By Claudia Webbe Labour MP for Leicester East NEARLY 12 years since the end of the civil war in Sri Lanka, almost no one has been held account­able for international crimes, and the alleged perpetrators continue to occupy key positions in the current govern­ment. This impunity for past abuses…

Prince Philip’s car becomes Sri Lankan royal artefact

AN almost 90-year-old car that once belonged to Britain's late Prince Philip is now the centrepiece of a seaside museum in Sri Lanka. The Duke of Edinburgh, whose funeral will be on Saturday (17), was a car aficionado who bought the 1935 Standard Nine for  £12 when he was based…

Mrs Sri Lanka beauty queen injured after past winner snatches…

MRS SRI LANKA beauty pageant saw some drama with the winner allegedly suffering head injuries on the stage. Beauty queen Pushpika De Silva won the title in a ceremony on national TV on Sunday (4). But moments later, the 2019 winner Caroline Jurie seized Mrs De Silva's crown, claiming she…

UN human rights council adopts resolution to investigate Sri Lanka’s…

UN human rights council adopted a resolution on Tuesday (23), spearheaded by Britain, to investigate war crimes during Sri Lanka's civil war against separatist Tamil Tigers. The chief of the Geneva-based rights council, Michelle Bachelet's office will now have new staff, powers and a £2.0 million budget to look at…

Sri Lanka secures $1.5bn loan from China

SRI LANKA and China have signed a $1.5 billion currency swap deal, the island nation's central bank said Tuesday (23), as it struggles with a major foreign exchange crisis and debt repayments. Colombo had been negotiating for months to secure credit from China -- its largest single source of imports…

Sri Lanka says burqa ban ‘merely a proposal’ after criticism

SRI LANKA has said that a call to ban the wearing of the burqa was 'merely a proposal', following criticism from regional allies ahead of a crucial UN vote on human rights in the island nation. Sri Lanka's minister for public security, Sarath Weerasekera, said on Saturday (13) it would…

Sri Lanka’s top Catholic leader demands action on Easter bombings…

The leader of Sri Lanka's Catholics demanded that the government find the perpetrators of deadly Easter attacks two years ago, as black-clad worshippers held silent protests outside the capital's churches on Sunday. No one has been prosecuted over the bombings at three hotels and three churches in Colombo that killed…

Sri Lanka’s plan to bury Muslim Covid-19 victims on islet…

A plan by Sri Lanka to bury Muslim coronavirus victims on a remote islet was slammed on Wednesday (3) by locals and the minority community. Colombo banned burials of Covid-19 victims in April, despite expert assurances they would not spread the virus, implementing a policy of forced cremations. Sri Lanka's…

Sri Lanka offers strategic deep-sea port to India, Japan

SRI LANKA will offer a strategically located deep-sea port to India and Japan, an official said Tuesday (2), as the island seeks to balance traditional ties against China's rising regional influence. The government last month abruptly pulled out of an agreement with Delhi and Tokyo to jointly develop the partially…

Sri Lanka ends forced cremations after Imran Khan’s visit

Sri Lanka on Friday ended forced cremations of people who have died of coronavirus, after visiting Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan urged Colombo to respect the funeral rites of the island's minority Muslims. The government first banned burials in April over concerns -- which experts said were baseless -- by…

Sri Lanka seeks £1.6 billion from China as reserves shrink

Sri Lanka is seeking $2.2 billion (£1.6 billion) from Chinese banks, the government said on Thursday, in echoes of a borrowing binge more than a decade ago that resulted in the country having to give up a strategic port to China. Money and capital markets minister Nivard Cabraal said the…

Pakistan, India pledge to stop all firing along the Kashmir…

PAKISTAN and India on Thursday(25) pledged to end all firing along their disputed Kashmir frontier, according to a joint statement from their militaries, after months of violence between the nuclear-armed rivals. The two nations regularly exchange artillery and machine-gun fire along the ceasefire line known as the Line of Control…

Imran Khan visits Rajapaksa as Sri Lanka Muslims protest Covid…

PAKISTAN prime minister Imran Khan on Wednesday(24) visited Sri Lankan president Gotabaya Rajapaksa and discussed bilateral ties and common areas of interest, such as trade and tourism. Khan, who is on a two-day visit, called on Rajapaksa at the presidential secretariat in Colombo and held a one-on-one meeting with him.…

Sri Lanka pulls out of Japan-India port deal

SRI LANKA said on Tuesday (2) it had pulled out of an agreement with Japan and India to develop a deep-sea container terminal viewed as an effort to counter China's growing influence in the region. The East Container Terminal in Colombo port is being built next to a controversial $500-million…

Sri Lanka sticks to cremation of Muslim Covid-19 victims despite…

Sri Lanka's government insisted on Friday (8) on the cremation of all coronavirus victims, rejecting international pleas and recommendations from its own experts to allow the Muslim minority to bury their dead in line with Islamic custom. The government first banned burials in April amid concerns -- which experts say…

Price of marriage pushes land out of reach in Sri…

It was another day of agony for Rizeena, as she waited with her family at their home in eastern Sri Lanka to meet yet another potential husband for her sister - the 46th time they have tried to find someone to marry her in the past decade. Most of these…

Actress relives family history in new film Funny Boy

by LAUREN CODLING AN ACTRESS who lived through the 1983 riots in Sri Lanka revealed it was “surreal” to recreate scenes from the deadly ambush in her new Netflix movie. Nimmi Harasgama plays the lead female role in Funny Boy, which follows the life of a young gay man in…

Anger grows in Sri Lanka over forced Muslim virus cremations

Outrage is mounting in Sri Lanka after at least 15 Muslim coronavirus victims, including a baby, were cremated against family wishes and in contravention of Islamic funeral rites. Health authorities in Buddhist-majority Sri Lanka insist all victims must be cremated -- even if they are Muslims, who traditionally bury their…

England’s entire tour of India to be held at three…

India and England will play four tests, five Twenty20 matches and three one-dayers in February-March in India with the high-profile series restricted to just three venues due to the COVID-19 pandemic, both cricket boards said on Thursday. The series will kick off on February 5th with Chennai hosting the opening…

Sri Lanka cremates Muslim Covid-19 victims against religious wishes

Sri Lanka said on Wednesday (9) it would cremate the bodies of 19 Muslim coronavirus victims, overriding the families' objections against the contentious policy. The island nation has been experiencing a surge in cases since October, with the number of infections increased more than eight-fold since then to over 29,300…

People rush to Sri Lankan village to have ‘Covid-19 cure…

THOUSANDS of people defied public gathering restrictions to descend on a small village in central Sri Lanka for a syrup that a self-styled holy man claimed could prevent and treat coronavirus. The country has been experiencing a surge in cases since October, with the number of infections increased more than…

Sri Lanka all-rounder Mathews accepts test bowling days are over

Veteran Sri Lankan all-rounder Angelo Mathews is slowly coming to terms with the fact his body can no longer stand up to the rigours of test bowling and that his future role in the team will be as a specialist batsman. The 33-year-old, who has been battered by injuries throughout…

Sri Lanka gets $300mn Chinese factory near key port

Sri Lanka announced on Tuesday (8) the first large-scale Chinese investment in manufacturing in the country, a $300-million tyre factory near a strategic deep-sea port. Western nations, as well as regional power India, have long been concerned about Chinese influence in Sri Lanka through projects under its gargantuan Belt and…

Cyclone Burevi causes little damage in Sri Lanka; heading for…

THE Burevi tropical cyclone is headed towards southern India, authorities said on Thursday(3), after it slammed Sri Lanka's east coast earlier this week but caused little damage. Burevi, the second cyclone in the southern Bay of Bengal in a week, slammed into north-eastern Sri Lanka just before midnight (1830 GMT).…

Sri Lanka coronavirus prison riot leaves eight dead, over 50…

At least eight prisoners were killed and more than 50 injured in clashes with guards at a Sri Lankan prison, officials said on Monday, as authorities tried to quell a protest over rising corornavirus infections in the country's crowded jails. Sri Lanka has witnessed an upsurge in coronavirus cases in…

Second innings for Boycott’s cricket gear in online auction

By Amit Roy ENGLAND and Yorkshire legend Sir Geoffrey Boy­cott is selling off part of his cricket memorabilia, including a bat inscribed, “Used by me on 11th Aug 1977 at Headingley, Leeds England v Aus­tralia when I scored my 100th century”. It reads on: “Eventually I was out for 191…

Sri Lanka capital to go into lockdown after virus surge

Sri Lanka's capital will go back into lockdown from Friday following a surge in coronavirus cases, authorities said Thursday (29). The South Asian island nation of 21 million people has reported more than 9,200 Covid-19 infections, with over half detected in the past three weeks after more than a thousand…

Sri Lanka parliament strengthens presidential powers

Sri Lankan lawmakers approved amendments to the constitution that strengthened the powers of president Gotabaya Rajapaksa and took away parliament's role in making key appointments such as judges and the police chief. The new amendments were passed by parliament late on Thursday with a two-thirds majority after a raucous two-day…

Pompeo to ask China partner Sri Lanka to make ‘difficult’…

US secretary of state Mike Pompeo will ask Sri Lanka to make "difficult" choices on its growing relationship with China amid criticism the island is sliding toward authoritarianism, an official said Thursday. Pompeo plans to warn of risks surrounding China on a trip next week that will take him to…

Sri Lanka indicts skipper of fire-stricken oil tanker; slaps $108,000…

SRI LANKA on Thursday(8) indicted the Greek skipper of a fire-damaged supertanker for causing an oil spill and failing to report the environmental damage to the island's waters. The Panamanian-registered New Diamond, travelling from Kuwait to India with 270,000 tonnes of crude oil, was passing by Sri Lanka's east coast…

Lanka Premier League to be delayed further due to ‘quarantine…

STRICT quarantine rules for foreign players will further delay Sri Lanka's cricket Premier League tournament, the game's national governing body said. The league has been put off a second time due to the coronavirus pandemic. The 23-match Lanka Premier League (LPL), originally due to start in August, was rescheduled for November…

Sri Lanka returns containers of illegal waste to Britain

Sri Lanka has shipped back to Britain container-loads of waste that the government said was brought into the island in violation of international laws governing the shipping of hazardous material. The 21 containers -- holding up to 260 tonnes of rubbish -- first arrived by ship in the capital Colombo's…

Three arrested in Sri Lanka for killing leopard for asthma…

SRI LANKAN police arrested three people suspected of trapping and killing an endangered leopard and trying to sell its meat as a cure for asthma. The trio were detained on Friday (25) after police raided their home following a tip-off that they had used a snare to catch the creature…

Sri Lanka says ‘no’ to Japan rail project signed by…

SRI LANKA on Thursday(24) scrapped a Japanese-funded light rail project in the capital signed by the previous government. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has ordered the termination of the $1.5-billion project, saying it is not a "cost-effective solution" for the congested capital Colombo. The project was the largest single foreign-funded infrastructure project…

New constitutional amendment proposes to make president the ‘most powerful’…

WITH the proposed constitutional amendment the president will be the most powerful in Sri Lanka. The ruling party plans to give unprecedented power to the president, which attracted protests in parliament and opposition claims of a power-grab. Critics say the changes would impose 'elected dictatorship' in the country. The Rajapaksa…

Stricken tanker’s captain to face charges in Sri Lanka

SRI LANKA will file negligence and pollution charges against the Greek skipper of an oil tanker that leaked fuel off the island nation's coast after a week-long fire, authorities said. Some of the 1,700 tonnes of heavy fuel oil aboard the New Diamond poured into the Indian Ocean, prompting a…

Sri Lanka to auction cricketers for virus-delayed league

SRI LANKA's cricket board will auction some 150 players next month, including international stars, for the five teams that will make up the virus-delayed premier league, officials said. The 23-match Lanka Premier League (LPL), originally due in August, will now be played from November 14 to December 6, with matches…

Blaze extinguished on stricken oil tanker off Sri Lanka

A massive fire on a stricken oil tanker off Sri Lanka's coast has been extinguished, the island nation's navy said, as international salvage experts began to assess the damage over fears of an environmental disaster if there is a leak. The Panamanian-registered New Diamond, carrying over 270,000 tonnes of crude…

Sri Lanka’s virus-hit cricket league gets November start

SRI LANKA's virus-delayed premier league will now be played from mid-November, the country's cricket board announced Wednesday (2). The 23-match Lanka Premier League (LPL) will be held from November 14 to December 6, with matches in Dambulla, Kandy and Hambantota. Five teams named after the Sri Lankan cities of Colombo,…

Rajapaksa brothers seek to consolidate power in virus-delayed Sri Lanka…

Sri Lankans turned out in large numbers to vote in parliamentary elections on Wednesday (5) despite the coronavirus pandemic, as the ruling Rajapaksa brothers sought a fresh mandate to cement their grip on power. The parliamentary election had been postponed twice due to the virus epidemic, but finally got under…

Pakistan need to give Fawad Alam a second chance to…

Former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja believes left-handed batsman Fawad Alam deserves to be given a second chance to revive his Test career in the upcoming series against England to be played in a bio-secure environment. Ramiz said Alam, 34, had been waiting in the wings for long to have a…

Sri Lanka rangers spot possible rare baby elephant twins

A pair of baby elephants feeding from the same mother have been spotted in a Sri Lankan national park, with officials speculating the two could be a rare set of twins. The young tuskers -- who rangers estimate are three to four weeks old -- were spotted in the Minneriya…

‘No reason to doubt integrity of 2011 World Cup final’:…

THERE is no "no reason to doubt the integrity" of the 2011 World Cup final in which India defeated Sri Lanka, the International Cricket Council has said, ruling out a probe into match-fixing claims. Former Sri Lankan sports minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage alleged last month that the match -- which India…

HCL Technologies to create 1,500 jobs in Sri Lanka

HCL TECHNOLOGIES started operations at Colombo in Sri Lanka on Tuesday (16). The company plans to create over 1,500 employment opportunities in the next 18 months in the Island-nation. The firm will recruit freshers and experienced professionals. A key part of HCL's business and development strategy in Sri Lanka will…

Arthur says Sri Lanka back at match level

Sri Lanka are raring to play international cricket again even though India have postponed a tour planned for this month because of the coronavirus, coach Mickey Arthur said Friday after his team completed a first post lockdown training session. The "return-to-play" programme begun at the start of this month had…

India postpone Sri Lanka tour over Covid-19 fears

INDIA have postponed their limited-overs tour of Sri Lanka scheduled later this month over Covid-19 fears, cricket boards of both the countries said on Thursday (11). Virat Kohli and his men were scheduled to play three one-day matches and an equal number of Twenty20 internationals but the Indian board (BCCI)…

Sri Lanka to reimpose selective virus lockdown

SRI LANKA will reimpose selective lockdown restrictions from Sunday (31) to restrict large gatherings after recording its biggest daily surge in coronavirus infections most found in citizens repatriated last week from Kuwait. The island nation on Tuesday (26) lifted a shutdown on the capital and a neighbouring district, two weeks after…

Modi urges citizens to follow lockdown as coronavirus spreads

Prime minister Narendra Modi urged Indians to comply with a nationwide lockdown and social distancing measures on Sunday, a day after some of the world's toughest restrictions were eased slightly while cases of COVID-19 continued to mount. In a radio address, Modi said the country was in the midst of…

Asian romance authors ‘can break stereotypes’

LITERARY FICTION OFTEN ‘FETISHISES’ ETHNIC MINORITY CHARACTERS by JEEVANI CHARIKA WHEN Eastern Eye asked me to write this article, it took me a while to work out how to iron out my feelings on the topic. In the end, I thought I would start by telling you about a review…

Asia virus latest: India curbs foreign takeovers; Sri Lanka bans…

Here are the latest developments in Asia related to the novel coronavirus pandemic: - India curbs 'opportunistic takeovers' of firms - India has increased restrictions on direct foreign investment to curb "opportunistic" takeovers and acquisitions of Indian companies due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the trade ministry said. Under the new…

Sri Lanka makes cremations compulsory for virus deaths, angering Muslims

Sri Lanka made cremations compulsory for coronavirus victims on Sunday (12), ignoring protests from the country's minority Muslims who say it goes against Islamic tradition. Of the seven deaths from the infectious disease so far in the island nation, three were Muslims. The bodies were cremated by authorities despite protests…

Sri Lanka seizes record $65 million worth of drugs

Sri Lanka's navy has seized $65 million worth of crystal methamphetamine and ketamine in the country's biggest drugs bust, officials said Wednesday. Acting on a tip-off, authorities raided a flagless vessel in the country's southern waters and arrested nine Pakistani men suspected of smuggling the drugs. Navy personnel, wearing special…

Sri Lanka’s COVID-19 cases reach 143; 21 new cases in…

The total number of the novel coronavirus cases in Sri Lanka reached 143. Ths island-nation reported 21 fresh cases on March 31, the highest single-day increase so far, health officials said. The island nation has recorded only one death due to the novel coronavirus. A 65-year-old diabetic man who died…

Joe Root backs decision to scrap Sri Lanka tour over…

England Test captain Joe Root has backed the decision to abandon the Test tour of Sri Lanka over the coronavirus pandemic, saying the players' minds were "elsewhere". A practice match in Colombo was halted on Friday and the team announced they would be flying back to London. The two-Test series,…

England calls off Sri Lanka tour halfway through match

ENGLAND's ongoing tour of Sri Lanka was called off today in view of the novel coronavirus pandemic. The England and Wales Cricket Board announced the "unprecedented" move as the English cricketers were playing the second day of their final warm-up fixture in Colombo. A two-match Test series, part of the…

Sri Lanka shuts schools after virus rumours  

HUNDREDS of parents beseiged Sri Lankan schools Thursday (12) following rumours that the coronavirus pandemic was spreading among children, prompting the government to close schools to ease tensions. Education minister Dullas Alahapperuma said social media misinformation had caused panic among parents at several schools in the Colombo region. "Rumours on…

Sri Lanka seizes record drugs haul at sea

Two foreign trawlers packed with over $33 million worth of heroin and crystal methamphetamine were seized in Sri Lanka's biggest-ever drugs bust at sea, a navy spokesman said on Thursday (5). Troops found 400 kilogrammes (about 880 pounds) of heroin and 100 kilogrammes (about 220 pounds) of the drug "ice"…

Sri Lanka heads for snap polls as Rajapaksa tightens grip

Sri Lanka's new president is set to dissolve parliament shortly and call snap a legislative election six months ahead of schedule, a state-run newspaper said on Sunday (1). Gotabaya Rajapaksa is expected to exercise his constitutional power to sack the assembly when it completes four-and-a-half out of its five-year term…

Sri Lanka offers tax cuts to revive its airport

SRI LANKA'S new government Friday (28) offered tax breaks and subsidised fuel to revive the island's second international airport built with Chinese loans but which ended up a white elephant. Authorities announced plans to suspend the $60 departure tax for two years and allow airlines free landing and parking after…

Sri Lanka says will not honour UN pledge on war…

Sri Lanka prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, who oversaw a brutal end to a decades-long conflict with Tamil separatists, said on Wednesday (19) the country was withdrawing from a United Nations resolution investigating alleged war crimes. Rajapaksa was president when Sri Lankan troops defeated Tamil Tiger guerrillas in 2009, but rights…

India used British pilots to fight against LTTE: Book

BRITISH mercenary pilots helped Indian troops in their battle against the Liberation Tigers for Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels in Sri Lanka in the 1980s, a new book reveals for the first time. The Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) received air support from these for-hire British pilots despite Indian diplomats publicly…

Taranjit Singh Sandhu appointed India’s ambassador to US

Seasoned diplomat Taranjit Singh Sandhu has been appointed as India's Ambassador to the US, replacing Harsh Vardhan Shringla, the Ministry of External Affairs said. Shringla is set to take over as the next foreign secretary on Wednesday. Sandhu, a 1988-batch Indian Foreign Service officer, is currently posted as High Commissioner…

India, Sri Lanka seek closer military ties as China clout…

Sri Lanka and India vowed to strengthen military ties and widen maritime links with neighbours after security talks, the president's office said on Sunday (19), as China's economic clout increases in the region. China, a long-time regional rival of India, has been widening its footprint in the region, including building…

Asian entrepreneur reveals his theory of prosperity and self-fulfilment

by LAUREN CODLING AN ASIAN entrepreneur has admitted the success of his multi-million-pound business was unexpected, as he launches a new book on the theory of prosperity. Dr Selva Pankaj is the CEO and founder of the London-based Regent Group, with interests in education. The business, launched in 2000, began…

Sri Lanka president says he is ‘victim’ of Swiss kidnap…

Sri Lanka's President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said Thursday the alleged kidnapping of a Swiss embassy staffer which triggered a diplomatic spat between Colombo and Bern had been concocted to discredit his election victory. A Sri Lankan national working for the Swiss mission in Colombo was arrested Monday for allegedly falsely claiming…

Sri Lanka’s ‘Foundation of Goodness’ turns around a village decimated…

When Kushil Gunasekera returned to Seenigama in Sri Lanka's Galle district days after it was wiped out by a massive tsunami on Dec. 26, 2004, he got to work. Houses had collapsed, bodies floated in the sea water that had invaded inland, and one in four residents of the community…

What lies beneath a perfect marriage

JEEVANI CHARIKA’S NOVEL EXPLORES COMPLEX RELATIONSHIPS by MITA MISTRY HAVING lived in diverse places, including Sri Lanka, has enabled prolific writer Jeevani Charika to deliver an interesting array of work, including her latest novel A Convenient Marriage. The versatile British-born writer, who also pens romantic comedies under the name Rhoda…

Sri Lanka objects Conservative Party’s two-state solution

THE Sri Lankan government has conveyed its displeasure to the UK's ruling Conservative Party for their election manifesto that refers to a two-state solution for the island nation over its decades-long conflict with the Tamil minority community. The manifesto states that the party is proud of the peace-building and humanitarian…

Sri Lanka president warns West investment needed to keep China…

Sri Lanka's new president Gotabaya Rajapaksa has warned India and Western nations that his country will be forced to seek finance from China again if they do not invest in the island. Rajapaksa told the Hindu newspaper in an interview published Sunday that other Asian nations would also turn to…

I want to take ties with India to very high…

Sri Lankan president Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Friday (29) said he would strive to take his country's bilateral relationship with India to a "very high level". Speaking to reporters after a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, he also said both India and Sri Lanka need to work together on issues…

Activists welcome planned ban on activities using elephants

  By Nadeem Badshah PLANS to ban British travel firms from offering elephant riding holidays abroad have been welcomed by campaigners, who have warned the animals are often kept in barbaric conditions. Holiday companies in the UK advertise experiences abroad in countries including India and Sri Lanka, where customers can…

Sri Lanka’s Rajapaksa brothers back in business

Sri Lanka's divisive Rajapaksa clan consolidated their grip on power on Thursday as the newly elected President swore in his brother as prime minister amid concerns they could roll back vital economic reforms. Gotabaya and Mahinda Rajapaksa are credited with annihilating ethnic Tamil separatists to end Sri Lanka's civil war…

Sri Lanka’s new leader to visit India for talks with…

India's foreign minister arrived in Sri Lanka on Tuesday and announced that new president Gotabaya Rajapaksa had accepted prime minister Narendra Modi's invitation to visit New Delhi next week. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said he held talks with Rajapaksa in Colombo on his first full day in office after being sworn in…

Gunmen fire on buses carrying Muslim Sri Lankan voters

Gunmen fired at buses carrying minority Muslim voters on Saturday (16) as Sri Lankans elected a new president, with the powerful Rajapaksa clan eyeing a comeback seven months after Islamist extremists staged deadly bombings. Minority Tamils and Muslims are seen as crucial in the close election, and the attack in…

‘Terminator’ Rajapaksa storms to victory in Sri Lanka

Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who spearheaded the brutal crushing of Tamil Tigers a decade ago, stormed to power on Sunday (17) but promised to be a president for all Sri Lanka's races and religions after a divisive election. Seven months after Islamist extremist attacks that killed 269 people, Rajapaksa was elected on…

Sri Lankans vote for a new president to heal divisions…

Sri Lankans trickled into polling centres early on Saturday to choose a new president for the island-nation still struggling to recover from Easter Sunday attacks on hotels and churches that have heavily weighed on its tourism-dependent economy. Former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who oversaw the military defeat of Tamil separatists…

Sri Lanka president pardons killer of teen

Sri Lanka's president has pardoned a death-row prisoner who murdered a Swedish teenager just a week before he leaves office, officials said Sunday, in a move that sparked national outrage. Convicted killer Jude Jayamaha, from a wealthy, high-profile family, walked out of Welikada prison Saturday following the highly unusual amnesty…

Sri Lanka secures $480m US grant a year after coup

Sri Lanka will accept a $480 million dollar grant from the US to improve infrastructure and traffic management, officials said Tuesday, after president Maithripala Sirisena withdrew his opposition. "This is a great victory for the government and augurs well for the future," Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera said in a statement…

Rajapakse vows to scrap Sri Lanka war crimes probe if…

SRI LANKA'S front-running presidential candidate Gotabhaya Rajapakse vowed Tuesday (15) that if elected he will scrap Colombo's pledge to investigate war crimes committed during his brother Mahinda's decade in power. Gotabhaya was defence secretary during his brother's rule, when troops were accused of killing up to 40,000 Tamil civilians while…

Asia has eye-watering Onion prices after India bans exports

FROM Kathmandu to Colombo, it's a kitchen nightmare: Onion prices have gone crazy. That's because India, the world's biggest seller of the Asian diet staple, has banned exports after extended Monsoon downpours delayed harvests and supplies shrivelled. And dedicated buyers across the region, like Nepalese housewife Seema Pokharel, are flummoxed.…

Sri Lanka to ask Singapore to extradite ex-central bank chief…

Sri Lanka will request the extradition of an ex-central bank chief in relation to a $74 million insider trading scam, the attorney-general said Monday (2), months after Colombo accused Singapore of sheltering him. Arjuna Mahendran, a Singapore national of Sri Lankan origin, was accused in 2015 of passing sensitive information…

Watling, De Grandhomme put New Zealand ahead in second Test

Contrasting half-centuries from BJ Watling and Colin de Grandhomme helped New Zealand lead by 138 runs in their first innings against Sri Lanka on day four of the rain-hit second Test on Sunday. Only 48 of the scheduled 98 overs were possible as New Zealand reached 382 for five at…

Sri Lanka drops Mathews, Perera for New Zealand T20 series

Sri Lanka Saturday dropped former captain Angelo Mathews and all-rounder Thisara Perera from the team's Twenty20 squad for the three-match series against New Zealand. Veteran paceman Lasith Malinga has been retained captain in the shortest format with Sri Lanka Cricket naming a 15-man squad for the series starting September 1…

Sri Lanka names war veteran as army chief, US, UN…

Sri Lanka's president on Monday (19) named war veteran Shavendra Silva as its army chief, drawing sharp criticism from the United States and the United Nations over the appointment of an officer who has been accused of serious human rights violations. Silva, 55, is credited with successfully leading an army…

Captain Karunaratne’s ton leads Sri Lanka to New Zealand Test…

Captain Dimuth Karunaratne scored 122 as Sri Lanka chased down 268 for the loss of just four wickets to win the first Test against New Zealand at Galle on Sunday and take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series. Karunaratne posted his ninth Test hundred along with enjoying a record-equalling…

Sri Lanka tourism industry starts to recover after Easter attacks

SRI LANKA'S tourism industry, badly hurt by Easter day bombings, is showing signs of gradual recovery, industry executives say, although a national election later this year is likely to weigh on holiday season arrivals. The island nation's tourism sector, one of the country's top revenue streams, suffered a massive blow…

Sri Lanka indicts forensic chief over former national rugby captain’s…

Sri Lankan authorities on Wednesday charged a former chief forensic officer with destroying evidence in the notorious murder of a leading rugby player. The May 2012 killing of national team captain Wasim Thajudeen drew international condemnation and was held as an example of Sri Lanka's failure to deal with high…

India’s Vistara focuses on Europe as it aims half of…

INDIAN airline, Vistara aims to deploy half of its capacity to international routes in the next five years as it focuses on new flights to Europe next year. The chief executive of the airline Leslie Thng said his company would look at the UK’s Heathrow airport and at a later…

Clinical Sri Lanka whitewash ‘negative’ Bangladesh

Sri Lanka put on a clinical performance with bat and ball to record a 122-run win in the third and final one-day international and complete a clean sweep over Bangladesh in Colombo on Wednesday. Former captain Angelo Mathews led Sri Lanka with 87 off 90 balls, guiding the side to…

Malinga ‘happy’ to make way for younger Sri Lankans

Veteran Sri Lankan star Lasith Malinga said he was "very happy" to make way for younger players as he calls time on his illustrious 15-year career in the 50-over format. Malinga will play his final one-day international in Colombo Friday in the first of three ODIs against Bangladesh, but hopes…

Malinga propels Sri Lanka to victory over Bangladesh in final…

Fast bowler Lasith Malinga said goodbye to one-day cricket in style as his devastating opening spell helped Sri Lanka beat Bangladesh by 91 runs on Friday. Malinga, known for his blond-tinted hair and the distinctive slingshot action, received a guard of honour from his team mates at the start of…

Illegal UK waste offloaded to India, Dubai: Sri Lanka

A SRI LANKAN investigation into nearly 3,000 tonnes of illegally imported hazardous waste has shown that some of it was sent on to India and Dubai, a top minister said Friday (26). Finance minister Mangala Samaraweera told parliament the importer of the waste had reshipped about 180 tonnes of raw…

Colombo safe after blasts, says Bangladesh skipper Tamim

Bangladesh were comfortable with the high level of security as they became the first foreign team to visit Sri Lanka since the Easter bombings, skipper Tamim Iqbal said Monday. Speaking to reporters two days after arriving in Colombo, Tamim said security was not a concern for them although the hosts…

Cardinal calls on Sri Lanka government to quit over Easter…

The head of Sri Lanka's Roman Catholic Church on Sunday (22) called for the government to resign over its alleged failure to investigate an "international conspiracy" behind the deadly Easter bombings. Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith said the authorities had failed to identify those behind the suicide bombings that killed at least…

Sri Lanka’s Malinga to quit ODIs after first Bangladesh match

Veteran Sri Lankan pace bowler Lasith Malinga will retire from one-day international cricket with the first match of a three-match series against Bangladesh, skipper Dimuth Karunaratne said on Monday. Malinga was named to the 22-man Sri Lanka squad for the series with matches scheduled for July 26, 28 and 31…

Nostalgia drives tuk tuk popularity in Britain

by NADEEM BADSHAH FROM being used as an ambulance to setting a land speed record, the tuk tuk is taking over Britain. The vehicle, which is widely used in Asia, has seen its popularity rise across the UK this year as a mode of transport and as taxis. It is…

Sri Lanka announces charges over 2012 prison massacre

SRI LANKA'S chief prosecutor on Friday (21) announced charges against a top prison officer and an elite commando for the killing of 27 inmates in a notorious rights case. Attorney General Dappula de Livera said he wanted a special fast track trial for Prisons Commissioner Emil Lamahewage and police commando…

Pompeo cancels solidarity visit to Sri Lanka

US secretary of state Mike Pompeo has canceled a trip to Sri Lanka where he planned to show solidarity with Christians attacked in Easter Sunday suicide bombings, officials said Wednesday. The US embassy in Sri Lanka said in a statement that Pompeo had "unavoidable scheduling conflicts" on a trip next…

Indian police raid Daesh cell with links to Sri Lanka…

INDIAN police raided seven locations in the southern city of Coimbatore on Wednesday (12) in pursuit of a suspected Daesh (Islamic State) cell with links to the suicide bombers who killed over 250 people in Sri Lanka in April, officials said. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) said it was questioning…

Pompeo to meet Modi, Jaishankar to discuss ambitious agenda for…

US secretary of state Mike Pompeo will discuss "an ambitious agenda" for the US-India strategic partnership when he meets with prime minister Narendra Modi and external affairs minister S Jaishankar later this month in New Delhi, the State Department said. Pompeo will travel to four countries in the Indo-Pacific region…

Malinga to fly home after Bangladesh game

LASITH MALINGA will fly home for his mother-in-law's funeral after Sri Lanka's World Cup match against Bangladesh on Tuesday (11) but the team are confident he will be back to face Australia at The Oval on Saturday (15). Sri Lanka Cricket said the 35-year-old fast bowler would depart after the…

India’s Modi calls for global conference on terrorism

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi has called for a global conference to tackle the threat of terrorism in the region and around the world. During a speech on his first foreign visit since winning re-election, he told the Maldivian parliament in Male that "terrorism is not just a threat for…

India’s Modi makes unscheduled stop at bombed Sri Lanka church

India's prime minister Narendra Modi on Sunday (9) made an unscheduled stop at a Catholic church bombed during the Easter suicide attacks ahead of his official welcome to Sri Lanka. Modi's entourage made a detour to St Anthony's shrine on their way to President Maithripala Sirisena's office, where a red…

Sri Lanka president sacks intelligence chief over Easter attacks probe

Sri Lanka's president has sacked the national intelligence chief and will not cooperate with a parliamentary investigation into security lapses before the Easter suicide bombings, officials said on Saturday (8). Maithripala Sirisena summoned an emergency cabinet meeting on Friday night to oppose a parliamentary select committee probe into the April…

Cricket diplomacy: Modi comes bearing gifts on first post-election foreign…

FROM ferry services and port terminals to a new national cricket stadium, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi is likely to come bearing gifts on his visit to neighbours Sri Lanka and the Maldives this weekend. Modi's first overseas trip after winning a second term is being viewed as a statement of intent…

UK relaxes Sri Lanka travel advice issued after Easter Sunday…

Britain on Thursday (6) relaxed its travel advice for its nationals planning to visit Sri Lanka after the deadly Easter Sunday terror attacks claimed 258 lives, including that of 44 foreigners. After a series of bomb attacks on churches and luxury hotels on April 21, the UK Foreign Office warned…

Sri Lanka enters port deal with India, Japan

SRI LANKA today (28) announced it is entering into a partnership with India and Japan to develop a deep-sea container terminal next to a controversial $500-million Chinese-run container jetty in Colombo harbour. The state-run Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) said a memorandum of cooperation (MOC) had been signed between the…

Sri Lanka to relax emergency in a month

Sri Lanka's president announced on Monday (27) he will allow tough emergency laws to lapse within a month because the security situation was "99 percent back to normal" following the Easter bombings. Maithripala Sirisena told Colombo-based diplomats from Australia, Canada, Japan, the US and European states that security forces were…

Sangakkara optimistic Sri Lanka will stage England series despite attacks

Kumar Sangakkara believes Sri Lanka will stage England's scheduled tour of the island next year despite safety concerns caused by the Easter Sunday terror attacks. More than 250 people were killed and nearly 500 wounded in a series of attacks claimed by Islamic State on churches and hotels in Sri…

‘Mother of Satan’ bombs show foreign hand in Sri Lanka…

One month after the Sri Lanka suicide attacks that killed more than 250 people, investigators have told AFP the bombers used "Mother of Satan" explosives favoured by the Daesh (Islamic State) group that are a new sign of foreign involvement. Detectives said the back-pack bombs used in the April 21…

Key dates in Sri Lanka’s Tamil separatist war

Sri Lanka this weekend marks a decade since the end of its 37-year Tamil separatist war that claimed at least 100,000 lives. Here are the key dates of the conflict which was also known as the "Eelam War", the name of a separate state the rebels were fighting for: -…

Sri Lanka president vows to eliminate jihadist threat

Sri Lanka's president marked the 10th anniversary of the end of a protracted war with Tamil rebels on Sunday (19 by vowing to crush Islamist militants responsible for Easter bombings that killed 258 people. Maithripala Sirisena said Sri Lankan security forces and intelligence units could use their experience in defeating…

Sri Lanka marks war anniversary with thousands still missing

Still reeling from the Easter terror attacks, Sri Lanka commemorates this weekend 10 years since the end of a bloody civil war that killed at least 100,000 people, from which the scars are still not healed. Security was tight in the north of the island, home to Sri Lanka's minority…

Sri Lanka forces on patrol after anti-Muslim riots

Troops and police patrolled parts of Sri Lanka on Thursday (16) as international pressure mounted on Colombo to contain anti-Muslim riots that killed one man in a backlash against the Easter terror attacks. Military spokesman Sumith Atapattu said there were no incidents of violence in the 24 hours ending Thursday…

‘I am going back to a life without my wife,’…

A BRITON whose bride died on their honeymoon two days after arriving in Sri Lanka was allowed to return home after a court lifted a travel ban Wednesday (15). Khilan Chandaria, 33, said he would probably return home Thursday (16) after thanking several Sri Lankans who helped him during the…

Escalating anti-Muslim riots in Sri Lanka claim first life

PARTS of Sri Lanka were under indefinite curfew on Tuesday (14) and social media banned after a man was killed by a sword-wielding mob in an escalating anti-Muslim backlash following the Easter terror attacks. Violence broke out late on Monday (13), three weeks after Islamist extremist bombings killed 258 people,…

Sri Lanka town under curfew after anti-Muslim attacks

Sri Lankan troops in a northern town fired shots into the air and police imposed a curfew Sunday after mobs attacked a mosque, in renewed religion tensions in the wake of the Easter terror attacks. Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera said that the mobs in Chilaw, 80 kilometres (50 miles) north…

Possibility of more attacks in Sri Lanka worries British Asians

by LAUREN CODLING BRITISH SRI LANKANS have spoken of their concerns for the safety of their island country after the devastating Easter Sunday terrorist attacks which left more than 250 people dead. B Muraleetharan, the co-owner of M Wine Merchant in Tooting, south London, revealed that her husband was in…

Sri Lankan president assures hoteliers maximum financial help to revive…

Sri Lankan president Maithripala Sirisena has assured hoteliers that the government will give them maximum financial relief to revive the lucrative tourism industry hit by the country's worst terror attack on Easter Sunday that killed 253 people, including 42 foreigners. Tourism accounts for about five per cent of Sri Lanka's…

Scared Muslim refugees flee Sri Lankan homes over attack fears

HUNDREDS of Muslim refugees in western Sri Lanka have taken refuge in mosques and a police station after facing intimidation following the deadly Easter bombings, activists said on Thursday (25). At least 359 people died in Sunday's coordinated suicide blasts, including more than 100 Christians attending mass at St Sebastian's…

Sri Lanka expects 30 per cent drop in tourist arrivals…

SRI LANKA fears its lucrative tourism industry could see arrivals drop up to 30 per cent, with losses of $1.5 billion this year, after deadly Easter attacks, the finance minister said today (26). "Tourism will be the worst affected," finance minister Mangala Samaraweera told reporters. "We expect a 30 per…

Sri Lanka churches halt public services over security fears

SRI LANKA'S Catholic churches suspended all public services over security fears today (25), as thousands of troops joined the hunt for suspects in deadly Easter bombings that killed nearly 360 people. Security forces also made fresh arrests overnight over the attacks, as the government faced pressure over its failure to…

Sri Lanka admits ‘major’ lapse over deadly attacks

SRI LANKA'S government today (24) acknowledged ‘major’ lapses over its failure to prevent the horrific Easter attacks that killed more than 350 people, despite prior intelligence warnings. Recriminations have flown since Islamist suicide bombers blew themselves up in packed churches and luxury hotels on Sunday (21), in attacks claimed by…

Sri Lanka may ban burqa following Easter terror attacks

Sri Lanka has initiated a plan to ban the burqa as interrogation of suspects and other evidence are pointing to the involvement of a large number of women in the Easter Sunday attacks that killed at least 321 people and wounded nearly 500 others in the island nation, a media…

Two more Indians confirmed dead in Sri Lanka blasts taking…

THE total number of Indians who killed in a series of deadly suicide blasts in Sri Lanka has rose to 10 on Tuesday (23). Earlier, eight Indian nationals were confirmed dead in a string of devastating suicide blasts tore through churches and luxury hotels across the island nation on Easter…

Death toll in Sri Lanka blasts climbs to 321; police…

SRI LANKAN police detained a Syrian among 40 people being questioned about the Easter Sunday attacks on churches and hotels, government and military sources said on Tuesday (23), as the toll from the coordinated bomb attacks rose to 321. No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks, which officials said…

Five Indian political party workers among dead in Sri Lanka

AT LEAST five workers from an Indian political party on a break after working on India's general election were among some 290 people killed in bomb attacks in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday (21), a government official said. Another two from a seven-member group from the party, the Janata Dal…

Interpol to help Sri Lankan authorities to probe deadly attacks

INTERPOL is deploying a team of investigators, including experts in disaster victim identification, to Sri Lanka to help local authorities in the aftermath of deadly suicide bomb blasts that killed nearly 300 people, the international police organisation said today (22). Sri Lanka said Monday (22) it believed a local Islamist…

Eight British citizens confirmed dead in Sri Lanka attacks

THE number of British nationals who killed following the deadly Easter Sunday (21) attacks in Sri Lanka has climbed to eight. At least eight UK citizens including two with joint US citizenship were killed in the island nation following the series brutal attacks, media reports said today (22). Sri Lankan…

Sri Lanka blasts to affect country’s tourism industry

IN THE wake of serial bomb blasts in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, several airlines and travel booking firms hae agreed to waive cancellation charges for people scheduled to travel to the island nation imminently. "In light of the recent events in Colombo, we are providing full fee waiver on…

British firm owner loses three children in Sri Lanka blasts

OWNER of the British firm, Asos Plc, Anders Holch Povlsen has lost his three of the four children in the deadly Easter Sunday (21) blasts in Sri Lanka, media reports said today (22). The members of the family of the biggest single shareholder in Asos were visiting the island nation…

US issues travel advisory, says terrorists may plot more attacks…

The US State Department has warned of possible terrorist attacks in a revised travel advisory for Sri Lanka, after a series of deadly blasts killed nearly 300 people -- including Americans -- in the island nation on Easter Sunday. Sunday's attacks saw suicide bombers target churches during Easter services and…

Sri Lanka authorities were warned two weeks before attacks

AUTHORITIES were warned two weeks before the Easter Sunday attacks, a cabinet spokesperson said on Monday (22). The death toll from the deadly attacks has risen to 290, with close to 500 injured. “Fourteen days before these incidents occurred, we had been informed about these incidents,” Rajitha Senaratne told a…

Sri Lanka Muslim leaders call for ‘maximum punishment’ for suicide…

TOP Muslim leaders in Sri Lanka on Monday (22) demanded "maximum punishment" for the perpetrators of suicide bomb attacks on Christian churches and luxury hotels in the country that left at least 290 dead. The comments came as the government refused to give details of at least 24 people arrested…

Easter Sunday blasts kill six Indians in Sri Lanka

SRI LANKAN officials said today (22) that at least six Indian nationals were killed in a series of eight powerful bomb blasts, including suicide attacks in the island nation. The worst attack in a decade hit three churches and luxury hotels on Easter Sunday (21). India’s minister of external affairs…

Sri Lanka Easter attack toll hits 290 including dozens of…

THE death toll from bomb blasts that ripped through churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka rose dramatically Monday (22) to 290 including dozens of foreigners as police announced new arrests over the country's worst attacks for more than a decade. More than 500 people were injured in the Easter…

Sri Lanka bomber queued at hotel buffet then unleashed devastation

The suicide bomber waited patiently in a queue for the Easter on Sunday (21) breakfast buffet at Sri Lanka's Cinnamon Grand hotel before setting off explosives strapped to his back. Carrying a plate, the man, who had registered at the hotel the night before as Mohamed Azzam Mohamed, was just…

Sri Lanka blasts: what we know so far

Sri Lanka was rocked on Sunday (21) by a series of deadly blasts that killed more than 200 people and injured hundreds more. Here is what we know so far about one of the deadliest attacks in the island nation's history: - What happened? - Powerful explosions struck in quick…

Bombs kill 138 in Easter Day attacks on Sri Lankan…

EASTER Day bomb blasts at three Sri Lankan churches and three luxury hotels killed 138 people and wounded more than 400, hospital and police officials said, following a lull in major attacks since the end of the civil war 10 years ago. More than 50 people were killed in St.…

Jet Airways: Passengers tell stories of being ‘abandoned’

by LAUREN CODLING THOUSANDS of passengers travelling between the UK and south Asia have endured disruption to their plans this week as Indian carrier Jet Airways cancelled all international flights until Thursday (18). The debt-ridden airline suspended all international flights last week over alleged debts of more than £900 million.…

All international flights of Jet Airways suspended until next week

INDIA'S crisis hit Jet Airways extended a suspension of all of its international flights until Monday (15), the latest blow to the debt-stricken carrier as it battles to stay afloat. The development on Friday (12) came after the government said it would investigate Jet's ability to continue flying as lenders…

India to investigate Jet Airways as it fights for survival

THE Indian government said today (12) it would investigate Jet Airways' ability to keep flying as the debt-stricken carrier fights for survival. The announcement came after Jet cancelled most of its international flights yesterday (11) and as lenders desperately seek a buyer to keep the beleaguered airline running. A collapse…

Oman denies it has agreed to invest in Sri Lanka…

OMAN'S oil ministry today (20) denied being part of a £2.92 billion ($3.85bn) plan to build an oil refinery in Sri Lanka, a day after the government in Colombo announced the Arab country's participation. Sri Lankan officials told a news conference yesterday (19) that a joint venture between the Oman…

Indian-Omani group strikes £2.91bn deal to build oil refinery in…

INDIA'S Accord Group and Oman's Ministry of Oil and Gas have signed a $3.85 billion (£2.91bn) deal to build an oil refinery in Sri Lanka, the biggest single pledge of foreign direct investment ever made in the country. Sri Lankan officials said the 200,000 barrel-per-day refinery will be built on…

Varun Aaron reveals IPL ambition and Leicestershire game-changer

by RONNIE RUFF VARUN AARON Aaron has backed the Rajasthan Royals for success in this month’s IPL – and hopes to hit the wicket-taking heights that will get him a return to the Indian national team. The 29-year-old Jharkhand fast bowler, who is playing in the Twenty20 spectacular after missing out…

Sri Lanka frees Indian ‘spy’ linked to alleged plot to…

A MAN accused by Sri Lanka's president of orchestrating a plot to assassinate him was cleared of any wrongdoing by a court in Colombo on Wednesday (27). Investigators said there was no credible evidence the man was plotting to kill Maithripala Sirisena, who justified sacking his prime minister in October…

5 Top places in Sri Lanka linked with Epic Ramayana

Dolukanda Sanjeewanee Mountain Dolukanda is another major location that closely linked with the epic Ramayana. Dolukanda is a table mountain rock formation situated 120 kilometer away from Sri Lankan capital city, Colombo and close to Hiripitiya village. The mountain rock, Dolukanda is one among the five places where Lord Hanuman…

Accused Sri Lanka war criminal named army’s second-in-command

Sri Lanka's president has appointed a general accused by the United Nations of war crimes to the country's second-highest army ranking, evoking outcry from rights groups. Major General Shavendra Silva, who commanded an army division accused of gross abuses against civilians during Sri Lanka's civil war, formally assumed duties as Chief of Staff…

RBI To Provide $400 Million To Sri Lanka Central Bank…

India’s central bank, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has agreed to provide $400 million to the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) under its SAARC SWAP facility. CBSL has also requested a further bilateral SWAP arrangement of one billion dollars between the RBI and CBSL which is under consideration. “The…

Sri Lanka’s political crisis: Tourism industry hit 

The political crisis in Sri Lanka is slowly starting to affect the country’s tourism industry. According to a Reuters report, the uncertainty, triggered by president Maithripala Sirisena sacking prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and replacing him with Mahinda Rajapaksa, has prompted cancellations by both business and leisure visitors. "We have cancellations…

Bangladesh to play in Pakistan for first time in three…

Bangladesh will send a cricket squad to Pakistan for the first time in three years, officials said Thursday after receiving assurances from their counterparts about security. Pakistan and Sri Lanka are co-hosting an Asian Cricket Council tournament next month, with Bangladesh playing all their group matches in Karachi. Most cricket nations have steered…

Sri Lanka MPs Boycott Parliament As Crisis Continues

Allies of Sri Lanka's embattled president Maithripala Sirisena boycotted parliament on Tuesday (27) as the country drifted into the second month of political turmoil. Sirisena loyalists refused to show up at parliament in Colombo, where last week opposing MPs scuffled and threw objects across the chamber, forcing the legislature to…

Fan Club Of The Week – Nia Sharma

By Asjad Nazir. TALENTED television star Nia Sharma has made a name for herself in diverse projects on the small screen and gained attention with fabulous fashion choices. Last year, Nia was named the sexiest TV star on the planet. Her many admirers include Fazmina Noordeen from Colombo, Sri Lanka and Shaali Kittie from Tamil Nadu, India, who…

Sri Lanka, Without Prime Minister And Cabinet, Grinds To Political…

Sri Lanka appeared to be politically rudderless on Thursday (15) as the speaker of parliament declared there was no functioning prime minister or cabinet after a no-confidence vote the previous day. His comments came after weeks of political turmoil in the island, off the southeast coast of India, leading to…

Suspension Of Sri Lankan Parliament Challenged In Court

Supporters of Sri Lanka's fired prime minister and a top election official on Monday (12) challenged in court the president's sacking of parliament, upping the ante in a political crisis that has sparked international alarm. President Maithripala Sirisena last week called snap elections and dissolved the legislature, two weeks after…

Sri Lanka political rally brings chaos to Colombo streets

A rally of hundreds of cars carrying supporters of Sri Lanka's deposed prime minister brought chaos to Colombo streets on Thursday (8) as they demanded that parliament be reopened. A noisy cavalcade of motorcycles, auto-rickshaws, cars and vans took loyalists of ousted prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to a rally to hear speeches…

Sacked Sri Lankan prime minister’s residence becomes symbol of power…

The banquet hall at Sri Lanka's ousted prime minister's official residence is packed with supporters -- many sleeping on chairs and the floor -- who have come to stand guard as he tussles for power with an old rival. Thousands of loyalists from across the country are camped out at the Temple…

Herath on happy hunting ground for last hurrah against England

Rangana Herath, the most successful left-arm spinner in history, will be looking to bring down the curtain on his long and glittering Test career with some big name England scalps in Galle this week. Sri Lanka's Herath, aged 40, has taken five-wicket hauls against all the Test nations during his…

India and China Nervous Spectators In Sri Lanka Turmoil

Rival Asian giants India and China are anxiously watching the constitutional conflict between contending prime ministers in Sri Lanka to see whose interests get the upper hand in their own strategic battle. It is the second time in barely a month that the Indian Ocean has become a battleground between…

Angry Sri Lankans Rally To Support Ousted Prime Minister As…

More than 10,000 protesting supporters of Sri Lanka's ousted prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, brought parts of the capital, Colombo, to a standstill on Tuesday (30) as political turmoil on the island entered its fifth day. Sri Lanka was plunged into crisis on Friday (26) when President Maithripala Sirisena sacked Wickremesinghe…

India scrambles to claw back ground in Sri Lanka after…

India caught flatfooted by the appointment of Mahinda Rajapaksa as Sri Lanka's premier, has opened urgent diplomatic and political contacts with the strongman who drew close to China during his previous tenure as president, officials said. The tear-shaped island, located off the southern tip of India, has become an arena…

Sri Lanka: Four Days of Political Crisis After Sudden Dismissal…

Sri Lanka was plunged into political crisis by the sudden dismissal on Friday (26) of prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who is refusing to leave his post. Here is an overview of four days of political drama in the Indian Ocean island nation, where the tensions boiled over into violence Sunday…

Sri Lanka Police Arrest Ousted Oil Minister Arjuna Ranatunga Over…

Sri Lankan police on Monday (29) arrested deposed oil minister Arjuna Ranatunga over a shooting that killed one person on the weekend, a police spokesman said. "Colombo Crime Division arrested Ranatunga over the shooting incident and he will be produced to the court shortly," police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera told Reuters.…

Tensions Prevail As Pressure Mounts For Sri Lanka Parliament Recall…

Ousted Sri Lankan prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Monday (29) demanded parliament be allowed to choose between the two rivals to run the country's government amid warnings that the constitutional crisis could become a ‘bloodbath.” With tensions already heightened by the killing of one activist, the United States added to…

Sri Lankan President Suspends Parliament Until November 16 After Sacking…

Sri Lanka's president Maithripala Sirisena on Saturday (27) suspended parliament till November 16, a day after removing Ranil Wickremesinghe as prime minister and replacing him with former leader Mahinda Rajapaksa in a surprise move that signals escalating political tensions in the south Asian nation. “The president has prorogued the parliament,”…

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Wickremesinghe To Challenge His Ouster In…

Sri Lanka's prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe hit out at his shock sacking by president Maithripala Sirisena on Friday (26) and said he will challenge his ouster in court. "This is not legal," he said, referring to his dismissal and the appointment of controversial former strongman president Mahinda Rajapakse to replace…

Sri Lanka wants Chinese help to recover phone evidence over…

Sri Lankan police on Tuesday (23) won permission from a court to ask Chinese phone manufacturer Huawei to help recover data from a phone used by a police informant who has alleged a plot to kill president Maithripala Sirisena. Informant Namal Kumara said at a news conference last month he…

Sri Lanka president tightens security after ‘assassination plot’

Sri Lanka's president has heightened his security following reports of an assassination plot involving an alleged Indian intelligence operative, his advisor said on Thursday (18). Maithripala Sirisena took the undisclosed security measures after a police informant claimed that a senior officer discussed with him plans to kill the president, advisor…

England look for World Cup boost against struggling Sri Lanka

In-form England will look to maintain their one-day momentum ahead of next year's World Cup when they take on a Sri Lanka side in disarray in the first of a five-match series at Dambulla on Wednesday. But Sri Lanka are expected to prove much tougher opposition when a three-Test series begins next month, England's first for…

‘Sri Lanka open for Yameen’

THE defeated strongman of the Maldives, Abdulla Yameen, is welcome in neighbouring Sri Lanka, Colombo said on Tuesday (25), two days after his surprise defeat in presidential elections. Sri Lanka has long been a haven for dissidents from the nearby Maldives over years of political upheaval, including for hundreds of…

Kohli ranked number one Test batsman in the world after…

Virat Kohli broke new ground by topping the International Cricket Council Test batting rankings for the first time in his career when the latest edition was published Sunday. The India captain, already at the head of the equivalent one-day international batting chart, found himself at the summit of these standings after scoring…

Europe envoys warn Sri Lanka

TRADE DEALS STOP IF HANGING RETURNS EU ambassadors warned Sri Lanka on Monday (16) against ending its 42-year moratorium on capital punishment and said the island risked losing trade concessions if it went ahead. Last week president Maithri­pala Sirisena said repeat drug of­fenders would be hanged as part of his…

Hambantota move sparks China fears

COLOMBO: NO NEED TO FEAR NAVAL BASE RELOCATION SRI LANKA is shifting a naval base to a port built and controlled by China, it said on Monday (2), a move that will strengthen security at a harbour that foreign powers fear China could use for mili­tary purposes. The base, currently…

‘I have done my duty and do not regret what…

MONK DEFIANT AFTER INTIMIDATION JAIL VERDICT A FIREBRAND Buddhist monk was sentenced to six months in jail by a Sri Lankan court last Thursday (14) for in­timidating a woman whose cartoonist hus­band has been missing since his abduction by the military. The court in Homaga­ma, near the capital Co­lombo, also…

Army seeks war clarity

NEW UNIT TO GIVE SRI LANKA MILITARY ‘A VOICE’ IN RIGHTS VIOLATION CLAIMS THE Sri Lankan army has formed a special unit to defend itself against alle­gations of grave human rights abuses at the end of the island’s decades-long ethnic war. Army chief Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanay­ake said the group…

Sri Lankan prison official arrested over Welikada inmate massacre

SRI LANKAN police Thursday (29) arrested a top prison official over a massacre of 27 inmates that became an icon of grave rights abuses under former president Mahinda Rajapakse. Prisons Commissioner Emil Lamahewage was arrested in connection with the November 2012 bloodbath at the Welikada high security prison in Colombo,…

Sri Lanka lifts nationwide state of emergency after anti-Muslim riots

SRI LANKA'S president announced Sunday (18) he is lifting a nationwide state of emergency imposed 12 days ago to quell anti-Muslim riots in which three people died and hundreds of shops were destroyed. Maithripala Sirisena said improvements in the security situation prompted him to end the emergency, under which security…

Karthik’s last-ball six gifts India T20 tri-series title

Wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik hit a last-ball six in his blazing cameo to help India edge out Bangladesh by four wickets and clinch the Twenty20 tri-series title in Colombo on Sunday (18). Karthik hit 29 off just eight balls to get India past their 167-run target in a tense chase of a dramatic final at…

Mushfiqur leads Bangladesh to record chase in T20 tri-series

Mushfiqur Rahim hit a blazing half-century to help Bangladesh chase down a record 215 and beat Sri Lanka by five wickets in a thrilling Twenty20 international of the tri-series in Colombo on Saturday. Rahim smashed an unbeaten 72 off 35 balls as the visitors achieved their target with two balls…

Sri Lanka struggles to restore order after riots

MOBS torched Muslim-owned businesses in a central Sri Lanka district on Wednesday (7) as hundreds of police and troops struggled to restore order after days of rioting. The soldiers poured into Kandy to reinforce police but arson attacks persisted even though the government has imposed a nationwide state of emergency…

Perera leads Sri Lanka to big T20 win against India

Kusal Perera hit a blazing half-century to power Sri Lanka to a five-wicket win over India in the opening Twenty20 international of the tri-nation tournament on Tuesday (6). Chasing 175 for victory, the hosts rode on Perera's 37-ball 66 to achieve their target with nine balls to spare at Colombo's…

New-look India target T20 success in Sri Lanka tri-series

India's rising talent will be put to the test in this week's tri-nation Twenty20 series in Sri Lanka in the absence of some established stars. Rohit Sharma-led India enter the tournament against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh as favourites, but must cope without big-hitters Virat Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Selectors opted to…

Maldives tourism hit as travelers stay away from island nation…

A significant number of tourists have been cancelling their travel plans to Maldives after President Abdulla Yameen imposed a state of emergency in the island nation. Hundreds of hotel bookings have already been cancelled, tour operators say, despite the government assuring that things are normal in resort islands. "We have had…

Sri Lanka’s injured Mathews ruled out of Bangladesh tour

Sri Lanka's limited-overs skipper Angelo Mathews has been ruled out of the rest of the Bangladesh tour due to a hamstring injury, the country's cricket board said on Tuesday (6). Mathews, who sustained the injury during the tri-nation ODI tournament that Sri Lanka won in Bangladesh last month, will miss…

Maldives crisis: India, UK, US, China issue travel guidelines

The government of Maldives on Monday issued a 15-day state of emergency, but it unlikely to affect the country's tourism industry. In a statement, the government said the current political situation wouldn't affect any company operating in the Maldives tourism sector. “The government reiterates the Maldives has an impeccable record…

Pakistan Army Chief on Goodwill Tour Arrives in Sri Lanka

Chief of Army Staff of the Pakistan Army (COAS), General Qamar Javed Bajwa, heralding a new era of goodwill, understanding and military co-operation, arrived in Sri Lanka on Monday evening at the invitation of his Sri Lanka’s counterpart, Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake. He is expected to pay courtesy calls on…

Sharma hails wrist spinners after India’s biggest T20 win

Skipper Rohit Sharma on Wednesday (20) lauded the wrist spinners for their wicket-taking abilities after Yuzvendra Chahal powered India to their biggest Twenty20 win, as the hosts outplayed Sri Lanka by 93 runs in the first match on Wednesday. Chahal returned impressive figures of 4-23 with his leg-spin to help dismiss Sri…

EU disappointed with Sri Lanka over anti-terror laws

A DELEGATION from the European Union (EU) expressed concern yesterday (2) over Sri Lanka's failure to reform its anti-terror laws, a key condition for receiving tariff concessions to access the 28-member trading bloc. The concessions - granted under a scheme to encourage developing nations to improve their human rights record…

Sri Lanka have suspend Gunathilaka for six matches

Sri Lanka Cricket slapped a six-match ban today (05) on allrounder Danushka Gunathilaka for "misconduct" during the recent series against India which the islanders lost 9-0. The cricket board had ordered an investigation last month following a complaint from team manager Asanka Gurusinghe against the 26-year-old player. Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said Gunathilaka…

Chandimal stars as Sri Lanka put pressure on Pakistan

Captain Dinesh Chandimal made an unbeaten 155 as Sri Lanka put the pressure on Pakistan on the second day of the first Test in Abu Dhabi on Friday (29). Openers Sami Aslam (31 not out) and Shan Masood (30 not out) negotiated 23 overs to take Pakistan to 64-0, still trailing Sri Lanka's first-innings total…

ICC launches probe into Sri Lanka cricket

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has launched an anti-corruption investigation in Sri Lanka but did not specify if any particular series involving the country is under the scanner. The ICC's Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) officers had recently visited the country as part of the probe, the world body said in a…

India – Set to Take England by Storm or Flatter…

England and Wales Cricket Board announced a schedule for next summer’s test matches which promises some mouth-watering contests. For once, the Ashes is the appetiser. Two tests against Pakistan get 2018 under way, followed by a five-match series against the current world number one, India. That won’t have changed by…

Emerging Bangladesh face tough examination

Bangladesh's quest for recognition as a significant world cricket force faces a tough examination on their tour of South Africa, which starts Thursday (21) with a three-day match against an invitation side. Bangladesh will play two Test matches, three one-day internationals and two Twenty20 internationals. They have lost by an…

India beat Sri Lanka by 168 runs in 4th ODI…

India beat Sri Lanka by 168 runs to take 4-0 lead in the five-match series on Thursday. After posting a mammoth 375/5, the visitors bundled out the hosts for 207 to register the big win.  Shardul Thakur earned his first ODI wicket as removed Dickwell to give India the first success. Mendis was then run…

India eye series win, Sri Lanka seek revival

India will fancy their chances of wrapping up the five-match series when they lock horns with a beleaguered Sri lanka in the third one-day International tomorrow (27). The visitors have a 2-0 lead in the series and can wrap up the contest with another win here before leaving for the…

Bangladesh drop Mominul and Mahmudullah for Australia Test

Bangladesh today (19) dropped batsman Mominul Haque and Mahmudullah Riyad from their 14-man squad for the first Test against Australia beginning on August 27. Mominul and Mahmudullah were part of Bangladesh's squad during their last series in Sri Lanka, though they did not play the final Test in Colombo, which…

Ranatunga slams Sri Lanka board over whitewash

Former skipper Arjuna Ranatunga blamed Sri Lanka's cricket board Tuesday (15) for the squad's crushing three-Test series whitewash on home soil against India. Ranatunga said Sri Lanka's XI could not be faulted for the humiliating 3-0 drubbing described by skipper Dinesh Chandimal as the worst series of his career, but squared the blame entirely…

Shami strikes twice to leave Sri Lanka at 61/4

Fast bowler Mohammed Shami struck twice to leave Sri Lanka in deep trouble after India posted 487 in their first innings on day two of the third Test today (13). At tea, Sri Lanka were reduced to 61 for 4 in 14 overs after Hardik Pandya smashed his maiden Test…

Spinners put India on backfoot after Dhawan ton

Shikhar Dhawan smashed a scintillating century for India, but Sri Lanka's spinners struck five times to leave the tourists on edge after the first day of the third Test on Saturday (12). Malinda Pushpakumara took three wickets and Lakshan Sandakan two, leaving India on 329-6 at the close, with Wriddhiman Saha on…

Sri Lanka cricket captain eyes win over India in Jadeja’s…

The absence of world number one all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja from India's team has given Sri Lanka hope that they can avoid a series whitewash in the third and final Test starting Saturday (12), home skipper Dinesh Chandimal said. Left-arm spinner Jadeja was banned for one match for dangerous play in India's second…

While speaking about Jadeja’s suspension, Kohli said he wants consistency…

Missing the services of premier spinner Ravindra Jadeja due to a suspension, Indian captain Virat Kohli today (11) urged the International Cricket Council (ICC) to be more consistent in implementing rules pertaining to the players' code of conduct. "I think players have to be much more aware going ahead and…

New PCB chief Sethi positive about India and Pakistan cricket…

The newly elected Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Najam Sethi today (9) said he was optimistic about the resumption of bilateral cricketing ties with India once the relations between the two countries improve. "I have not closed any doors with India. The way I see, as soon as relations improve…

ICC suspends Jadeja from 3rd SL Test after breach of…

India spinner Ravindra Jadeja was suspended on Sunday (6) for the third Test against Sri Lanka as his accumulated demerit points reached six within a 24-month period following his latest breach of the ICC Code of Conduct. Jadeja threw the cricket ball at opener Dimuth Karunaratne off his own bowling…

Mendis hits defiant ton but India on top

India tightened its grip on the second Test against Sri Lanka despite a fighting century by Kusal Mendis during the hosts' follow-on in Colombo on Saturday (5). Mendis put on 191 runs for the second wicket with opener Dimuth Karunaratne (92 not out) before falling to paceman Hardik Pandya for…

Rahul gets Kohli backing for Test return against Sri Lanka

Fit-again opener Lokesh Rahul has regained his place in India's cricket team to start the second Test against Sri Lanka on Thursday (3), skipper Virat Kohli said. Rahul, who missed the first Test triumph due to viral fever, maintains an impressive average of 44.44 in 17 Tests for India. India…

Kohli faces opening conundrum as India look to seal series

Skipper Virat Kohli is faced with a problem of plenty in the opening slot but that is unlikely to come in the way of India's rampaging run when they attempt to seal the series against Sri Lanka in the second Test starting here on Thursday (3). India were without the…

Shastri adds a different hue to India team’s training style

After taking charge of the team in his second stint, India coach Ravi Shastri has tweaked the team's preparation style and though it's early days, an immediate impact can be noticed. A key implementation on Shastri's part is how the batsmen are now ever ready to bat in the middle.…

Sri Lankan crew averts mid-air fire caused by phone

Crew on a Sri Lankan Airlines plane carrying 202 passengers have extinguished a mid-flight fire triggered by a mobile phone battery in an overhead locker, the carrier said Monday (31). The airline said a "major" incident was averted by the quick-thinking attendants on the flight Sunday (30) from Kochi in India to…

India face selection ‘dilemma’ after massive Sri Lanka win

India's thrashing of Sri Lanka in the first Test has left captain Virat Kohli with a "massive" yet welcome headache as he ponders his team selection for the next match. India dominated the first Test from the outset to win by 304 runs with a day to spare in Galle. The…

Sri Lanka completes controversial $1 billion port deal with China

Sri Lanka on Saturday (29) sealed a billion-dollar deal to let a Chinese state firm take over a loss-making port in a move that worries many, including its giant neighbour India. The long-delayed $1.1 billion sale of a 70 per cent stake in Hambantota port, which straddles the world's busiest east-west…

India thrash Sri Lanka in 1st Test

India captain Virat Kohli completed his 17th Test ton on Saturday (29) and then let his bowlers demolish injury-hit Sri Lanka to claim a 304-run victory inside four days in the first Test. It was India's biggest winning margin in Sri Lanka and showed just why they are the top-ranked Test side…

Sri Lanka finalizes $1.12 bn port deal with China

Sri Lanka's government Tuesday (25) approved the sale to China of a majority stake in a loss-making but strategically-sited deep sea port for more than a billion dollars, the ports minister said. The cabinet gave final approval to sell a 70 per cent stake in Hambantota port for $1.12 billion…

Hospitals overwhelmed as Sri Lanka dengue toll nears 300

Sri Lanka announced Monday (25) it was intensifying its war on dengue fever, with schools to shut across the island to help curb the unprecedented outbreak of the mosquito-borne virus that has claimed nearly 300 lives. The Red Cross also announced it was scaling up its emergency response to the country's worst-ever…

Lokesh Rahul out of first Sri Lanka Test with fever

India have ruled opening batsman Lokesh Rahul out of the first Test against Sri Lanka starting Wednesday (26) due to viral fever. Rahul, who scored a half-century in a two-day warm-up match last week, stayed in Colombo as the rest of the squad practised in Galle. The Board of Control for…

Shastri on mission to keep India at number one

New India coach Ravi Shastri will Wednesday look to prove his team remains the world's best Test side when they take on Sri Lanka in the first of three matches. Shastri, who took over the demanding role after Anil Kumble's acrimonious exit last month, has backed India to continue the "fearless brand of cricket"…

Sri Lanka slams police over abduction bid

Sri Lanka's police faced censure Friday (21) over an attempt to "abduct" a student activist, a tactic widely used against dissidents by the previous strongman leader's regime. Finance minister Mangala Samaraweera said he lodged a protest with police chief Pujith Jayasundara over an attempt by plain-clothed officers to seize on Thursday…

Never easy playing Sri Lanka in their backyard, says Virat…

Top-ranked India will not take Sri Lanka lightly despite the home team's recent indifferent form as well as controversies over fitness and ethics, captain Virat Kohli said Thursday (20). Sri Lanka, languishing at the seventh position in Test rankings, survived a scare this week to win a one-off Test against Zimbabwe but not before…

Sri Lanka pull off record chase to beat Zimbabwe

Niroshan Dickwella and Asela Gunaratne guided Sri Lanka to a record 388 target to beat Zimbabwe by four wickets Tuesday (18) in a pulsating end to their one-off Test. A crucial 121-run sixth-wicket stand between Gunaratne (80 not out) and Dickwella (81) secured Sri Lanka's best-ever run chase. Sri Lanka's…

Sikandar Raza 97 puts Zimbabwe on top in Sri Lanka…

Sikandar Raza hit a gritty 97 not out to help Zimbabwe recover from a top-order collapse and stretch their second innings lead over Sri Lanka to 262 in the one-off Test on Sunday (16). The visitors were 252 for six at stumps on day three, with Raza and Malcolm Waller (57) putting on…

Graeme Cremer’s strikes rattle Sri Lanka on Day 2

Zimbabwe skipper Graeme Cremer claimed three wickets to dent Sri Lanka's first innings reply on the second day of the one-off Test in Colombo on Saturday (15). Cremer's leg-spin and two crucial run outs left Sri Lanka reeling at 293-7 at stumps. Asela Gunaratne (24) and Rangana Herath (5) were at the crease with the…

Rangana Herath gets five wickets as Sri Lanka bowl out…

Sri Lanka's Rangana Herath claimed five wickets in helping bowl out Zimbabwe for 356 on the second day of the one-off Test in Colombo on Saturday (15). The visitors, who resumed the day on 344-8, survived just 4.4 overs in the morning session at R Premadasa Stadium. Overnight centurion Craig Ervine…

Dinesh Chandimal’s Sri Lanka face buoyant Zimbabwe

Sri Lanka are looking to usher in Dinesh Chandimal's era as skipper by bouncing back from a humiliating ODI series defeat to Zimbabwe with victory in the Test starting Friday (14). Chandimal will lead the islanders in a Test for the first time after Angelo Mathews resigned Wednesday (12) following…

Sri Lanka ends decades-long occupation of Tamil port

Sri Lanka's military said Tuesday (4) it has ended its occupation of a major fishing harbour after 27 years and allowed Tamil civilians in the former war zone to take back their land. Security forces withdrew from the Myliddy harbour in the Jaffna peninsula on Monday (3), bowing to the long-standing demands of fishermen and their families from the…

Sri Lanka’s top court dismisses case against Chinese industrial zone…

Sri Lanka's Supreme Court on Friday (30) dismissed a case against letting a Chinese company lease land in southern Sri Lanka, a lawyer said, potentially ending a six-month delay in finalising the deal, part of China's plans for a modern-day "Silk Road" across Asia. The deal is expected to bring Sri Lanka more than $6 billion over five years, which would help Colombo tackle a growing…

Armed with Fizz and self-belief, Bangladesh seek a Champions Trophy…

With a fiery new bowler named Fizz leading the young guns and all-rounder Mushfiqur Rahim the old guard, Bangladesh are aiming to leave their mark on the ChampionsTrophy where they are appearing for only the second time. Bangladesh edged ahead of West Indies in the world rankings to get their…

Modi visits Sri Lanka as India seeks to counter Chinese…

INDIA'S Prime Minister Narendra Modi heads to Sri Lanka today (11) on a charm offensive as New Delhi seeks to reassert its influence on the island amid signs of a Chinese comeback. Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena came to power in January 2015 promising to loosen ties with China after…

Sri Lanka bans anti-garbage protests after deadly dump disaster

SRI LANKA has outlawed protests over Colombo's garbage crisis following rallies over the city's waste disposal after a landslide at a giant rubbish tip killed 32 people and destroyed 145 homes. President Maithripala Sirisena announced that anyone preventing city authorities from disposing of garbage could be prosecuted and face an…

Sri Lanka appeals for up to $2 billion in foreign…

Sri Lanka appealed on Wednesday for foreign aid to recover from massive floods that caused an estimated $2 billion worth of damage and claimed more than 100 lives. Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said 35,000 homes were damaged in last week’s floods triggered by the heaviest rain for early 25 years,…

Britain grants refugee status to ex-president of Maldives – lawyer

Britain has granted refugee status to Mohamed Nasheed, former president of the Maldives, who was jailed in 2015 after a trial that drew international criticism, his lawyer said on Monday. Nasheed, the Maldives’ first democratically elected president, was allowed to go to Britain in January for medical treatment after President…

Foreign aid reaches flooded Sri Lankan capital, 71 dead

Foreign aid began arriving in Sri Lanka on Saturday, bringing help to half a million people who have been driven from their homes by heavy rains and landslides that have killed at least 71. The heaviest rains in a quarter of a century have pounded Sri Lanka since last weekend,…

Taylor replaces Malinga in Mumbai Indians IPL team

West Indies fast bowler Jerome Taylor has signed for the Mumbai Indians, replacing Lasith Malinga who was ruled out of this season’s Indian Premier League (IPL) with a knee injury. The 31-year-old Taylor will join the Ricky Ponting-coached side for the rest of the Twenty20 tournament after the required paperwork…

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SRI Lankan police on September 27 exhumed the body of a senior journalist who had predicted just days before his murder in 2009 that he would be killed by the government, marking the latest development in a series of probes into former president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s administration. Lasantha Wickrematunga, an outspoken…

Sri Lanka’s flood plan

officials seek foreign aid and advice on reconstruction AROUND 100 people still miss­ ing following landslides in Sri Lanka last week are to be beli­ eved dead, authorities said last Saturday (28), after failing to find any signs of life under ton­ nes of mud. The Disaster Management Centre (DMC)…

Sri Lankan cricket star out on bail after fatal crash

SRI Lanka seamer Nuwan Kulasekara has been released on bail after he was involved in a crash that resulted in the death of a 28-year-old motorcyclist, the country’s cricket board said this week. Kulasekara, 34, was returning to Colombo from Kandy on Monday (September 19) when the motorcyclist, travelling in…

Mahinda Rajapaksa’s brother arrested, son bailed

Former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s eldest son was on Monday granted bail but was banned to travel abroad by a court here over allegedly accepting USD 500,000 from an Indian firm in connection with a multi-million dollar real-estate project in the heart of Colombo. Basil Rajapaksa the younger brother…

Record 31 Indian varsities in world university list topped by…

India has improved its position in the global higher education sector, with a record 31 educational institutions making it to a new list of the world’s top varsities topped by the University of Oxford. The Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, is India’s top institution in the Times Higher Education…

Sirisena seeks more time to heal divisions

President Maithripala Sirisena last Sunday (September 4) pleaded for more time to bring about reconciliation and ensure accountability seven years after Sri Lanka’s ethnic war that claimed over 100,000 lives. Sirisena said he urged United Nations (UN) secretary-general Ban Ki-moon during talks last Thursday (1) to be patient with his…

Protesters gather as Ban Ki-moon visits Sri Lanka

Dozens of Sri Lankan nationalists rallied outside the United Nations compound in Colombo on Thursday (September 1) as secretary-general Ban Ki-moon visited the island, protesting against the UN’s actions during a prolonged civil war. Police held back the demonstrators, led by Buddhist monks, as they tried to march on the…

Herath wrecks Australia as Sri Lanka sweep series

Sri Lanka completed a rare 3-0 sweep over Australia after left-arm spinner Rangana Herath spun the hosts to a comprehensive 163-run victory in the final Test in Colombo on Wednesday (August 17). Chasing 324 in a bid to salvage some pride, Australia surrendered to Herath’s guile and folded for 160…

Sri Lanka urged to grasp historic series whitewash chance against…

Batting legend Sanath Jayasuriya has urged Sri Lanka’s cricketers to seize the chance to make history by completing a series whitewash over world number one Test team Australia. With an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-Test series, Sri Lanka might be tempted to ease up in the final encounter which…

Sri Lanka brace for South Africa challenge

SRI LANKA returned home victorious from their Zimbabwe tour on Tuesday (29) but the national coach warned his side faced a “huge challenge” in South Africa next month. Having comfortably beaten Zimbabwe in both Tests in Harare, Sri Lanka also lifted the triangular series trophy last Sunday (27), beating the…

Sri Lanka’s ex-leader Mahinda Rajapaksa to lead breakaway from coalition

Former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa is planning to break away from the ruling coalition, his brother announced on Thursday (November 17), a move that could threaten constitutional reforms seen as crucial to postwar reconciliation. Basil Rajapaksa formed a new party earlier this month to challenge president Maithripala Sirisena, who…

Sri Lanka to sell loss-making port to China

Sri Lanka hopes to sell part of its loss-making $1.4 billion (£1.2bn) harbour to a Chinese company in January to help pay off crippling debts, the ports minister said on Wednesday (December 14). Arjuna Ranatunga said talks were under way with China Merchants Port Holdings to transfer an 80 per…

Labour Party to extend support for Lankan Tamils

The Labour Party will reaffirm its strongest possible support for the Sri Lankan Tamils to express their solidarity with the minority community in both the countries, a media report said on Saturday. Leading figures from the Party, including party leader, Jeremy Corbyn MP, the Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell MP, and…

Queen Roots for UK-India ties

The Queen slipped in a doosra by questioning Joe Root’s dismissal in the second England-India ODI in Nagpur in January when she accepted the new Indian high commissioner’s letter of commission at Buckingham Palace last Wednesday (15). Over her 60-year reign, the Queen, now 90, has acquired a lot of…

Labour Party to extend support for Lankan Tamils

The Labour Party will reaffirm its strongest possible support for the Sri Lankan Tamils to express their solidarity with the minority community in both the countries, a media report said on Saturday. Leading figures from the Party, including party leader, Jeremy Corbyn MP, the Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell MP, and…

Sri Lanka to sell loss-making port to China

Sri Lanka hopes to sell part of its loss-making $1.4 billion (£1.2bn) harbour to a Chinese company in January to help pay off crippling debts, the ports minister said on Wednesday (December 14). Arjuna Ranatunga said talks were under way with China Merchants Port Holdings to transfer an 80 per…

Sri Lanka to sell loss-making port to China

Sri Lanka hopes to sell part of its loss-making $1.4 billion (£1.2bn) harbour to a Chinese company in January to help pay off crippling debts, the ports minister said on Wednesday (December 14). Arjuna Ranatunga said talks were under way with China Merchants Port Holdings to transfer an 80 per…