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PM says humanity triumphed with cricket 25 years ago

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By Rex Clementine

Delivering a moving speech, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said that along with cricket, humanity triumphed 25 years ago as the national cricket team became World Champions beating Australia by seven wickets in the final in Lahore.

At a function held at Temple Trees to felicitate the members of the World Cup winning squad, PM Rajapaksa drove home some pertinent points. “I remember just before the World Cup, we had to deal with an issue as Australia and West Indies refused to play in Colombo, claming security reasons. It is India and Pakistan that came to our aid, setting aside their differences . We could see South Asian Solidarity 25 years ago.”

“When stones were being thrown at our players during the semi-final in Calcutta against India, one of our young players, Upul Chandana, went up to the captain Arjuna Ranatunga and told him to remove Aravinda de Silva from the boundary rope. Instead, he volunteered to go to the boundary telling the captain that if a stone hit Aravinda he would be hurt and miss the final.”

“When we won the World Cup, our government was in power with Chandrika Kumaratunga as President. I remember, the first thing Arjuna did upon landing in Colombo was to visit the residence of former Minister Gamini Dissanayake, who had been killed by the LTTE. That is to say thank you for his services to cricket. These incidents show that through cricket humanity triumphed. That is a big message  for all of us.” 

 

 



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Avishka and Sadeera power Jaffna Kings to nine wicket win

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Half tons by Avishka Fernando and Sadeera Samarawickrema powered Jaffna Kings to a nine wicket win over Dambulla giants in the 3rd match of the LPL at MRICS Hambanthota on Wednesday (07)

Dambulla Giants 121/9 in 20 overs (Jordan Cox 43; Maheesh Theekshana 3/20, Vijayakanth Vijaskanth 3/24, James Fuller 2/16, Zaman Khan 1/28)

Jaffna Kings 122/1 in 15.4 overs (Avishka Fernando 51 , Sadeera Samarawickrema 62 not out; Noor Ahamed 1/28)

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Govt. says selling state assets only way to build reserves and prevent crippling shortages

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By Rathindra Kuruwita

Cabinet spokesman Minister Bandula Gunawardena yesterday (06) said Sri Lanka wouldn’t be in a position to be part of the international trading system unless it boosted its foreign reserves by selling some of its assets. Gunawardena, who also holds media and transport portfolios said so at yesterday’s post-Cabinet press briefing.

Responding to a query about the government’s decision to divest vital national assets, the Minister said that if Sri Lanka did not shore up its reserves to the tune of over three billion dollars, international companies would not accept the letters of credit given by Sri Lankan banks.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his capacity as the Finance Minister, has proposed privatising of several state enterprises including Sri Lanka Insurance and Sri Lanka Telecom.

“Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga sold a number of state owned enterprises. If we don’t increase our reserves, to over three billion USD soon, we will have problems importing fuel, and other essential items. Last week, Fitch again reduced our rating. No matter who governs Sri Lanka, they will all face the same problem. We need to build our reserves,” the Minister said.

Minister Gunawardane said that the need of the hour was to sell some assets and boost Sri Lanka’s reserves.

“China, India, Vietnam, and Malaysia are attracting a lot of investors. Only we have failed to do so, and we need to think why this is. Even our entrepreneurs are leaving for other countries. We need to change the way we think, if we want to attract investors to Sri Lanka,” he said.

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Ven Siridhamma, Mudalige granted bail; latter re-arrested

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Convenor of Bhikku Balamandalaya affiliated Inter University Students Federation (IUSF) Ven. Galwewa Siridhamma Thera leaving Court yesterday (06) after Kaduwela Magistrate Chanima Wijebandara granted him bail. The Thera was held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act for causing damages to public property during a protest opposite the Education Ministry, over three months back. The Magistrate ordered the Thera released after the police failed to identify the monk at an identification parade. However, IUSF Convenor Wasanatha Mudalige, who was also released by the Magistrate, after the police couldn’t identify him, was taken into custody in connection with some other case.

Pics by Kamal Bogoda

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