Victor Melder


Victor Meldor


                               ACQUISITIONS   FOR  THE  MONTH  OF  DECEMBER  2019


  1. My Island Paradise by Dodwell Keyt 2019. (Donated by the Author, Rosebud, Victoria)


  1. ‘Serendib’, The Inflight Magazine of Srilankan Airlines, Vol 39, No 9, November 2019

 (Donated by Neville Fernando, Westmeadows, Victoria)

  1. ‘Hi’ Magazine, The Society Magazine, Sri Lanka, Series 17, Vol 5, 2019

 (Donated by T.R, Keysborough, with assistance of Mr B. Sanjaya, Sri Lanka)


  1. Newsletter – St Peter’s College Old Boy’s Union, Colombo, Vol 1, July – September 2019
  2. Newsletter – Burgher Association (Australia) Inc, Summer Newsletter, December 2019
  3. Newsletter – Burgher Welfare League of WA Inc, Vol 30.2, November 2019.
  4. “Outreach” Newsletter – Voluntary Outreach Club Inc (VOC), December 2019.
  5. “The Vine”, Evergreens Newsletter, Operation Hope Inc, December 2019.
  6. ‘The Old Aloysian’ –  Journal of The Old Aloysians Sports  Club (Australia) Inc, December 2019. 


  1. CD – Burial Records, Dutch Reformed Churches in Colombo (Wolvendaal, Pettah & Bambalapitiya) – Kabristan Archives.

(Donated by Jacky & Windsor Morris, Croydon, UK)

  1. Articles – offprints: . Ceylon: The Continuing Crisis by Robert N. Kearney, Asian Survey, Vol 111, No 2, February 1963, pp 123- 127.
  2. Ceylon: A Year of Consolidation by Robert N. Kearney, Asian Survey, Vol Iv, No 2, February 1964, pp 729 – 734.
  3. Ceylon: A Time of  Troubles by A. Jeyaratnam Wilson, Asian Survey, Vol Xii, No 2, February 1972, pp 109 – 115.
  4. The April Revolt in Ceylon by ‘Politicus’, Asian Survey, Vol XII, No 3, March 1972, pp 259 – 274.
  5. Sri Lanka in 1972: Tension and Change by W. A. Wiswa Warnapala, Asian Survey, Vol XIII, No 2, February 1973, pp 217 – 230.
  6. Major Trends in Sri Lanka’s Non-Alignment Policy after 1956 by S.U. Kodikara, Asian Survey, Vol XIII, No 12, Dec 1973, pp 1121 – 1136.
  7. The Management of External & Internal Finances in Sri Lanka: problems & policies by B. Hewavitharana, A. S., Vol XIII, No 12, Dec 1973,  pp
  8. 1137 –   1154
  9. The Five Year Plan & Development Policy in Sri Lanka: Socio-Political Perspectives & the Plan by N. Balakrishnan, A.S., Vol XIII, No 12, Dec

  1973, pp  1155- 1168.        

  1. Education” An Era of Reform by D. D. de Saram, Asian Survey, Vol XIII, No 12, December 1973, pp 1169 – 1178.
  2. The New Constitution of Sri Lanka by W. A.Wiswa Warnapala, Asian Survey, Vol XIII, No 12, December 1973, pp 1179 – 1192. 
  3. Sri Lanka in 1973: A test for Both the Rules & the Ruled by W.A.Wiswa Warnapala, A.S, Vol XIV, No 2, Feb 1974, pp 148 – 156.  
  4. Sri Lanka in 1975: Political Crisis and Split in the Coalition by N. Balakrishnan, Asian Survey, Vol XVI, No 2, February 1976, pp 130 – 139.
  5. An Overview of Settlement Schemes in Sri Lanka by Nihal Amerasinghe, Asian Survey, Vol XVI, No 7, July 1976, pp 620 – 636.
  6. Sri Lanka in 1976: Changing Strategies and Confrontation by P. V. J. Jayasekera, Asian Survey, Vol XVII, No 2, February 1977, pp 208 – 217.
  7. Sri Lanka’s 1977 General Election: The Resurgence of the UNP by Vijaya Samaraweera,, A.S, Vol XVII, No 12, Dec 1977, pp 1195 – 1206.
  8. Sri Lanka.1976: Reversal of Policies and Strategies by W. A. Wiswa Warnapala, Asian Survey, Vol XIX, No 2, February 1979, pp 178 – 190.
  9. Language and the Rise of Tamil Separatism in Sri Lanka by Robert N. Kearney, Asian Survey, Vol XVII, No 5, May 1978, pp 521 – 634.
  10. Sri Lanka in 1979: New Stresses in the Economy and the Polity by W.A. Wiswa Warnapala, A. S. Vol XX, No 2, Feb 1980, pp 206 – 216.
  11. Continuity & Change in Sri Lanka;’ Foreign policy: 1974 – 1979 by S.U. Kodikara, Asian Survey, Vol XX, No 9, Sept 1980, pp 879 – 890.
  12. Economic Policies & Trends in Sri Lanka by N. Balakrishnan, Asian Survey, Vol XX, No 9, September 1980, pp 891 – 902.
  13. Recent Developments in Sinhala-Tamil Relations by W. I. Siriweera, Asian Survey, Vol XX, No 9, Sept 1980, pp 903 – 913.   
  14. Sri Lanka’s New Constitution by W. A. Wiswa Warnapala, Asian Survey, Vol XX, No 9, September 1980, pp 915 – 930.
  15. Sri Lanka in 1980: The Year of Constraints by W. Howard Wriggins, Asian Survey, Vol XXI, No 2, February 1981, pp 203 – 211.
  16. The Green Revolution in Rice: The Role of the Risk Factor with Special Reference to Sri Lanka by H. M. Gamini Herath, Asian Survey, Vol

   XXI, No 6. June 1981, pp 664 – 675.

  1. Women in Politics by Robert. N. Keraney, Asian Survey, Vol XXI, No 7, July 1981, pp 729 – 746.
  2. The Cultural Dimension in Tamil Separatism in Sri Lanka by Bryan Pfaffenberger, Asian Survey, Vol XXI, No 11, Nov 1981, pp 1154 – 1157.
  3. Sri Lanka in 1981: Year of Austerity, Development Councils & Communal Disorders by W. Howard Wriggins, A.S, Vol XXII, No 2, Feb 1982,

            Pp  171 – 179.

  1. District development Councils in Sri Lanka by Bruce Matthews, Asian Survey, Vol XXII, No 11, November 1982, pp 1117 – 1134.
  2. Sri Lanka in 1982: A Year of Elections by S.W.R. De A Samarasinghe, Asian Survey, Vol XXIII, No 2, February 1983, pp 158 – 164.
  3. The Private Sector in Sri Lanka Since 1977 by John Stuart Blackton, Asian Survey, Vol XXIII, No 6, June 1983, pp 736 – 751.      
  4. Sri Lanka in 1983: Ethnic Conflict & the Search for a Solution by S.W.R.De A. Samarasinghe, A. S., Vol XXIV, No 2, Feb 1984, pp 250 – 256.
  5. Islamic Revivalism in Harmony & Conflict: The Experience in Sri Lanka & Malaysia by A. Ameer Ali, A.S., Vol XXIV, No 3, Mar 1984, pp 296

  – 313.

  1. Ethnic Conflict & the Tamil Separatist Movement in Sri Lanka by Robert N. Kearney, Asian Survey, Vol XXV, No 9, Sept 1985, pp 898 – 917. 36.    Sri Lanka in 1985: The Persistence of Conflict by Robert N. Kearney, Asian Survey, Vol XXVI, No 2, February 1986, pp 219 – 223.
  2. The Economic Impact of the Recent Ethnic Disturbances in Sri Lanka by Lee Ann Ross & Tilak Samaranayake, A.S. Vol XXVI, No 11, Nov

            1985, pp 1240 – 1255.

  1. Sri Lanka in 1986: A Nation at the Crossroads by Bryan Pfaffenberger, Asian Survey, Vol XXVII, No 2, February 1987, pp 155 – 162.
  2. Policing a Communal Society: The Case of Sri Lanka by Angela S. Burger, Asian Survey, Vol XXVII, No7, July 1987, pp 822 – 833.
  3. The Devolution of Power in Sri Lanka: A Solution to the Separatist Movement ?, by L. Kenneth Hubel, Asian Survey, Vol XXVII, No

11, November 1987, pp 1176 – 1187.

  1. Sri Lanka in 1987: Indian Intervention & Resurgence of the JVP by Bryan Pfaffenberger, Asian Survey, Vol XXVIII, No 2, February 1988, pp 137 – 147.
  2. Ethnic Conflict in Sri Lanka: India’s Role & Perception by P. Venkateshwar Rao, Asian Survey, Vol XXVIII, No 4, April 1988, pp 419 – 436.
  3. Sri Lanka’s Ethnic Conflict: The Indo Lanka Peace Accord by Ralph R. Premdas & S.W.R.De A Samarasinghe, Asian Survey, Vol XXVIII, No 6, June 1988, pp 676 – 690.
  4. Sri Lanka in 1988: Seeds of the Accord by Bruce Matthews, Asian Survey, Vol XXIX, No 2, February 1989, pp 229 – 235.
  5. The Peace Accord & the Tamilsin Sri Lanka by Shantha K. Hennayake, Asian Survy, Vol XXIX, No 4, April 1989, pp 410 – 415.
  6. The Continuing Crisis in Sri Lanka: The JVP, Indian Troops & Tamil Politics by Shelton U. Kodikara,, Asian Survey, Vol XXIX, No 7,July 1989, pp 716 – 724.
  7. Sri Lanka in 1989: Peril & Good Luck by Bruce Matthews, Asian Survey, Vol XXX, No 2, February 1990, pp 144 – 149.
  8. New Realities in Sri Lankan Politics by Marshall R. Singer, Asian Survey, Vol XXX, No 4, April 1990, pp 409 – 425.
  9. Sri Lanka in 1990: The Ethnic Strife Continues by Marshall R. Singer, Asian Survey , Vol XXXI, No 2, February 991, pp 140 – 145.
  10. Economic Liberalization & the development of Manufacturing in Sri Lanka by Sriyani Dias, Asian Survey, Vol XXXI, No7. July 1991, pp 613 – 629.
  11. Sri Lanka in 1991: Some Surprising Twists by Marshall. R. Singer, Vol XXXII, No 2, February 1992, pp 168 – 174.
  12. Changing Civil-Military Relations in Sri Lanka by Angela S. Burger, Asian Survey, Vol XXXII, No 8, August 1992, pp 744 – 756.
  13. Sri Lanka in 1992: Opportunity Missed in the Ethno-Nationalist Crisis, by Shantha K. Hennanayake, Asian Survey, Vol XXXIII, No 2, February 1993, pp 157 – 164.     
  14. Sri Lanka in 1993: Eruptions & Flow by Gamini Keerawella & Rohan Samarajiva, Asian Survey, Vol XXXIV, No 2, February 1994, pp168 – 174
  15. The 1994 Parliamentary Elections in Sri Lanka: A Vote for Good Governance by S.W.R.De A. Samarasinghe, Asian Survey, Vol XXXIV, No 12, December 1994, pp 1019 – 1034.
  16. Sri Lanka in 1994: A Mandate for Peace, by Gamini Keerawella & Rohan Samarajiva, Asian Survey, Vol XXXV, No 2, February 1995, pp 153 – 159
  17. Sri Lanka in 1995: A Difficult & Disappointing Year by Howard B. Schaffer, Asian Survey, Vol XXXVI, No 2, February 1996, pp 216 – 223.
  18. Sri Lanka’s Ethnic Conflict: Have Bombs Shattered Hopes for Peace ?, by Marshall S. Singer, Asian Survey, Vol XXXVI, No 11, November 1996, pp 1146 – 1155.
  19. Sri Lanka in 1996: Promise & Disappointment, by Howard B. Schaffer, Asian Survey, Vol XXXVII, No 2, February 1997, pp 143 – 148.

            (No’s  2 – 59, Ofprints, Donated by Lal Kuruppu, Waniassa, ACT)





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SRI LANKA CRICKET NEWS (DECEMBER 2019) – Compiled by Victor Melder

Victor Meldor

Pakistan will be hosting Test cricket for the first time in more than ten years, that too against a full-strength Sri Lanka line-up, in December 2019. Dimuth Karunaratne will lead the Sri Lanka side, with experienced batsmen Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal present in the 16-member squad. The team leaves for Pakistan on December 8 to play two Test matches that will count towards the World Test Championship. Less than three months ago, Sri Lanka had toured Pakistan for a series of limited-overs matches, but as many as ten high-profile players had opted against travelling. The Test series was originally scheduled for October at a neutral venue because of security concerns, but the PCB requested Sri Lanka to play the entire bilateral series in Pakistan. The white-ball games were played as a test of sorts for the security measures taken by the hosts, and following the success of that tour, Sri Lanka agreed to play the Tests in Pakistan too. There was only one change to the Sri Lanka squad that played the second Test against New Zealand at home in August. Kasun Rajitha, the right-arm fast bowler, replaced leg spinner Akila Dananjaya, who is currently serving a one-year suspension for an illegal action. The first Test will start on December 11 in Rawalpindi, followed by the second in Karachi from December 19. Pakistan has not hosted a Test match since the 2009 Lahore attack that wounded several Sri Lankan cricketers, support staff members and others. Of the current players, fast bowler Suranga Lakmal was part of Sri Lanka’s squad back then as well. (ESPN cricinfo)

The Sri Lanka Test Squad for the Pakistan tour: Dimuth Karunaratne (C), Oshada Fernando, Lasith Embuldeniya, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dinesh Chandimal, Suranga Lakmal, Kusal Mendis, Diiruwan Perera, Lahiru Kumara, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Vishwa Fernando, Kusal Perera, Lakshan Sandakan, Kasun Rajitha and Niroshan Dickwella.

The first Test between the touring Sri Lankans and Pakistan, played at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, Rawapindia, ended in a draw, with rain affecting play. Scores:

Sri Lanka – 1st Innings – 308/6dec (de Silva 102no, Karunaratne 59, B.O.P Fernando 40, Dickwella 33, Mathews 31, Afridi 2/58, Shah

                                          2/92, Shinwari 1/54, Abbas 1/72

Pakistan – 1st Innings – 252/2  Abid.Ali 109no,Azam 102 no, Azhar Ali 36,  Rajitha 1/5, Kumara 1/46)

Player of the Match: Abid Ali (Pakistan)

Test debut: Abid Ali & Usman Shinwari (Pakistan)

Pakistan defeated the touring Sri Lankans by 263 runs to win the second and final test played at Karachi National Stadium, Karachi. Scores:

Pakistan – 1st Innings – 191 (Shafiq 63, Azam 60, Abid Ali 38, Kumara 4/49, Embuldeniya 4/71Fernando 2/31)

Sri Lanka – 1st Innings – 271 (Chandimal 74, Perera 48, de Silva 32, Karunaratne 25,  Afridi 5/77, Abbas 4/55, Sohail 1/11)

Pakistan – 2nd Innings – 555/3 dec (Abid Ali 174, Masood 135, Azar Ali 118, Azam 100no, Kumara 2/139, Embuldeniya 1/193)

Sri Lanka – 2nd Innings – 212 (Fernando 102, Dickwella 65, N. Shah 5/31, Y. Shah 2/84, Sohail 1/10, Abbas 1/33, Afridi 1/51)

Player of the match: Abid Ali (Pakistan)

Player of the series: Abid Ali (Pakistan)

Leading all-rounder Thisara Perera has joined Sri Lanka Army. Thisara has enlisted to the Gajaba Regiment and holds the rank of Brevet Major. He will be playing domestic cricket for Army this season. “General Shavendra Silva invited me to join Army. I have enormous respect for General Shavendra and it was a request that I could not turn down,” Thisara tsaid. Army has been investing a lot to improve their cricket and become a force in the domestic season. Before the ongoing season got underway, Army recruited former Test captain Dinesh Chandimal. Thisara is unlikely to feature in the upcoming three match T-20 series in India. Instead, he will be in Bangladesh playing in the BPL. Army has been nurturing quite a few cricketers over the years. Ajantha Mendis and Seekkuge Prasanna made quite an impact for the soldiers before going onto represent Sri Lanka. Mendis was the hero as Sri Lanka won the Asia Cup in 2008 in Karachi as his mystery spin humbled India’s famous batting line-up. (Daily Island, 3.12.2019)



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SRI LANKA NEWS – (DECEMBER 2019) – Compiled by Victor Melder.

Victor Meldor - eLanka

About 4,126 persons from to 1,156 families had been affected by the inclement weather conditions in several districts of the country, the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) said. Five persons are dead and one is missing in the Matale, Polonnaruwa and Nuwara Eliya districts owing to landslides. According to DMC Assistant Director Pradeep Kodipilli 569 persons of 158 families are being sheltered at four welfare centres in the Ampara District. Lunugala Divisional Secretary Nimal Dissanayake said that 35 families of Galula Estate in Madolsima have been evacuated and sent to welfare centres in schools in safer areas as there were landslide threats. Three persons have been killed while two others have gone missing in an earth slip which occurred in Malapattawa, Nuwara Eliya. Meanwhile, the National Building Research Organization (NBRO) has declared the Ratnapura, Badulla and Kegalle districts as landslide-prone districts. Landslide warnings have been issued for these areas. Vehicle traffic was disrupted in several areas including the Haldummulla-Kiriwanagama Road in the Badulla District and the Welimada Road and Badulla-Passara Road in the Nuwara Eliya District. Later, yesterday a single lane of Badulla Passara road was opened for vehicle movements. The Badulla-Haldummulla and the Ragala-Nuwara Eliya roads have become impassible due to earth slips. (Daily Island, 2.12.2019)

Parliament has been prorogued on the instructions of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.The Gazette notification announcing the prorogation was issued, last night. The new session of Parliament will be held on January 03, 2020. A prorogation which is a temporary recess of Parliament, should not extend beyond more than two months, However, such date for summoning Parliament may be advanced by another presidential proclamation provided it is summoned for a date not less than three days from the date of such fresh proclamation. During the prorogation the Speaker continues to function and the MPs retain their membership even though they do not attend meetings of Parliament. The effect of a prorogation is to suspend all current business before the House and all proceedings pending at the time are quashed except impeachments. When the new sessions starts, the President is empowered to make a statement of Government Policy at the commencement of each new Session. In the past, it was known as the Throne Speech, which was delivered by the Governor-General. President Rajapaksa will open the new session of Parliament and is expected to deliver the policy statement of his Government. The President can prorogue Parliament under Article 70 of the Constitution and is empowered to make a Statement of Government Policy at the commencement of each Session of Parliament and to preside at ceremonial sittings of Parliament. Last week, President Rajapaksa appointed his Cabinet of 16 ministers as well as 38 State Ministers as part of the interim government which will be in place till the next general election. The President is constitutionally empowered to dissolve Parliament on 1 March 2020 when it completes four-and-a-half years. The next Parliamentary Election is expected in late April or the first week of May. President Rajapaksa is heading a minority government with the UPFA, which had 95 MPs. The UNP has 106 MPs, ITAK has 16 MPs, JVP 6 MPs, and the EPDP and SLMC one MP each in the 225-member Parliament. (Daily Island, 3.12.2019)

Scientists say protecting Sri Lanka’s Blue Tarantula (Chilobrachys jonitriantisvansicklei) is of foremost importance especially in view of the ever expanding exotic pet trade. Researcher and field biologist Amila Prasanna Sumanapala told The Island that the Blue Tarantuala species were very rare. He believes Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES) committee would include Blue Tarantula in its endangered species list. The spider measuring up to five inches and is a predator that hunts insects from underground burrows. It is found in a section of Sri Lanka’s southwestern rainforest, surrounded by tea and rubber plantations. Blue tarantula was given the scientific name Chilobrachys jonitriantisvansicklei, in honor of Joni Triantis Van Sickle conservationist and founder of IDEA WILD, a project dedicated to protecting biodiversity around the world. Amila noticed the beautiful spider in a small patch of rainforest in the western province in 2012, when conducting a research for the University of Colombo. He wasn’t completely sure if the blue spider was a new species and he sent his colleague, Ranil Nanayakkara, a conservation biologist specialising in arachnology (study of spiders), to the rainforest to take photographs. (Daily Island, 5.12.2019).

The heavy downpour experienced in the tea planting districts resulted in a drastic drop in the November yield, with low growns dipping from 14.4 million kilos and high growns falling to 3.4 million kilos in comparison to the previous month’s (October) figures of 17.4 million and 7 million kilos, respectively. However, the crop decline was not restricted to Sri Lanka as other major producing countries such as Kenya and India also suffered a drop in production resulting in overall price increases at the auctions. World production figures were higher in 2018 in comparison to the previous year. Sri Lanka showed minus variance of 3.87 million kilos, while Kenya, India, China, Uganda and Malawi had plus variances. The drop in production this year led to an upward trend in prices, the Forbes & Walker (F&W) tea report confirmed. Price increases are usually experienced at this time of year because of winter buying by CIS countries and Russia. The November average was Rs. 569.67, which was higher than the Rs. 525.53 sales average for October, a significant increase of Rs. 44.24. However the report also reflected a year- on-year performance of a reduced average of about Rs. 14.00 per kilo. The trend for price increases is expected to continue with the Western quality season at hand. Subject to weather conditions returning to normal with the rains easing by mid-December, the onset of cold nights in the Western districts, production levels are bound to improve with the quality weather, the report added. Analyzing price fluctuations, the F&W report further said high growns recorded the highest increase average of Rs. 540.81 for November, an increase of Rs. 63.22 over the same month in 2018. Flowery grades sold well. Although such quantities were low, prices realized exceeded Rs. 1,000. per kilo. BOP 1 fetched Rs. 1,300, while OP 1 sold at Rs. 1,700 per kilo. (Daily Island, 8.12.2019)

The total number of international tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka during November 2019 was 176,984. In comparison to November last year, there was a decline of 9.5% when the arrivals were 195,582. This month, the largest source market for tourists was India followed by Germany and China. Almost 90% of tourists travelled by air to Sri Lanka. As of 30th November 2019, 1,672,039 of tourists had visited Sri Lanka for this year. It is a decline of 19.6% over last year when 2,08,0,627 of tourists had visited the country during the same period. However, Sri Lanka saw a 70.8% significant drop in arrivals last May due to Easter Sunday Attacks and gradually it has decreased to 9.5% by November which is a promising sign for Sri Lanka Tourism. (Daily Island, 9.12.2019)

Sri Lanka has been ranked 71 out of 189 countries according to ‘the Human Development Index (HDI) 2019’ released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) yesterday. Compared to 2018, this is an improvement by 5 ranks. Sri Lanka, with a value of ‘0.780’ in a scale ranging between 0-1, falls under the category of countries with ‘High Human Development’. Key dimensions considered in the HDI rankings were “having a long and healthy life, being knowledgeable and having a decent standard of living”. According to the HDI 2019 report, Sri Lanka’s average life expectancy at birth is 80.1 years for females and 73.4 years for males. Sri Lanka’s expected years of schooling is 14 years, employment to population ratio (15 years and older) is 50.2 percent, and per capita Carbon dioxide emissions is 1.0 tonnes. It states that 34.1 percent of the country’s population uses the Internet. Compared to Sri Lanka, other South Asian countries are lagging behind in the index. Neighbouring India has been ranked at 129, Bhutan at 134, Bangladesh at 135, Nepal at 147, Pakistan at 152, Myanmar at 145, and Afghanistan at 170 in the latest HDI.Norway, Switzerland, Ireland, Germany, Hong Kong and China (SAR) are the top five countries with the highest human development respectively. According to the report’s data, the income share held by Sri Lanka’s poorest 40 percent is 17.7 percent, while the income share held by the country’s richest 10 percent is 32.9 percent. In the sector-wise analysis, the report stated that the current health expenditure of Sri Lanka is 3.9 percent of its GDP and the Government expenditure on education is 2.8 percent of GDP. The infant mortality rate is 7.5 deaths per 1,000 live births. The adult literacy rate (15 years and older) is 91.9 percent. Sri Lanka’s annual number of live births to adolescent women (15-19 years) is 20.9 per 1,000 adolescent women. The female share of employment in senior and middle management is 25.6 percent in Sri Lanka. Moreover, the mobile phone subscriptions in Sri Lanka exceed the total population and this figure is 115.1 per 100 people. This year’s Human Development Report is titled “Beyond income, beyond averages, beyond today: inequalities in human development in the 21st Century”. (Daily News, 10.12.2019)

Election Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya has found fault with political parties for unnecessary high number of candidates at the 2019 presidential poll. He says those struggling to make ends meet had to bear the burden of the heavy expenditure caused by nearly three dozen contesting the Nov 16 national poll. Deshapriya explained that sharp increase in polls-related expenditure was due to too many candidates. Responding to assertion by some representatives of political parties that the right of those interested in contesting couldn’t be denied, Deshapriya insisted such wasteful expenditure couldn’t be justified under any circumstances. The meeting was told as to how interested parties exploited loopholes in the existing law to join the fray either as proxies of two leading candidates Gotabaya Rajapaksa (Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna) and Sajith Premadasa (National Democratic Front). Jathika Hela Urumaya representative at the discussion Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe told The Island tangible measures were required to restrict the number of candidates at the next presidential election. Warnasinghe explained as to how the Election Commission had to revise expenditure estimated initially at Rs 400 mn to staggering Rs 750 mn owing to the total number of candidates being 35. Only 35 contested the presidential poll though at the onset of the process there were 41 in the fray. According to Warnasinghe of the 35 candidates, only three- Sajith Premadasa, Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Anura Kumara Dissanayake conducted real countrywide polls campaign, whereas as a couple of others, namely retired General Mahesh Senanayake, Duminda Nagamuwa, Ajantha Perera and Rohan Pallewatte engaged in electioneering to some extent. Of those 35 in the fray; Sajith Premadasa had ten proxies against Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s 13. Warnasinghe said that the rest contested to enjoy some perks and privileges for several weeks. Warnasinghe’s JHU backed Sajith Premadasa at the presidential election. At the moment, those who contested on the registered political party ticket/independents had to pay Rs 50,000 and Rs 70,000, respectived. Warnasinghe underscored the need to cut down on waste to ensure the next presidential in five years from now wouldn’t attract 50 persons. (Daily Island, 13.12.2019)

Sri Lanka’s ranking in the Human Development Index (HDI) has risen from 72 to 71 out of 189 countries, maintaining the country’s status as the best performer in South Asia, says a report by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) released in Colombo. The Human Development Report 2019 by the UNDP noted that Sri Lanka’s HDI climbed from 0.776 in 2017 to 0.780 in 2018. The report noted that the country has defeated malaria this year and maintained an annual 0.49 percent growth in HDI from 2010 to 2018. At 71, Sri Lanka is ranked much higher than China (at 85) and India (at 129) among 189 countries in the 2019 human development index. However, the report noted that taxation policies have increased the number of people living below the 2.50-U.S. dollar-per-day poverty line in the country. Notably, the new Sri Lankan government has recently announced widespread tax reliefs, especially on indirect taxes such as value added tax, to address this issue. Sri Lanka is the highest ranked country in South Asia in terms of HDI. Sri Lanka and Maldives are the only South Asian countries categorized as having High Human Development by the UNDP. The 2019 HDR explores inequalities in human development by going beyond income, beyond averages and beyond today and tries to set policies to redress these inequalities within a framework that links the formation of capabilities with the broader context in which markets and governments function. According to the HDI report, the incidence of multi-dimensional poverty varies enormously across countries and is still high. Out of the 1.3 billion multi-dimensional poor, 661 million are in Asia and the Pacific, which shares almost half of the multi-dimensional poor living in 101 countries of the world. South Asia alone shares more than 41 percent of the total number of multi-dimensional poor. Despite Indias significant progress, it accounts for 28 percent of the 1.3 billion multi-dimensional poor. The index includes a total of 189 nations and is topped by Norway followed by Switzerland, Ireland, Germany, Hong Kong and Australia in the top slots. Sudan, Haiti and Afghanistan were placed at the last three spots of the index respectively. (Daily Island, 17.12.2019)

More than 350 elephants and about 100 people have perished due to the human-elephant conflict so far this year, the Department of Wildlife Conservation says. Wildlife officer Maithri Madushan Wickramasinghe was killed by an elephant on Sunday in Matale. The 42-year-old father of a nine-month-old infant was the third department official to die while on duty. The remains of Wickramasinghe, who was killed while on duty at Rathgammana, Matale were brought to his residence yesterday in the Kubulweva area in Raththota. (Daily Island, 18.12.2019)

September quarter earnings declined by 9.6% year-on-year (YoY) to Rs. 45.8 billion for 264 companies, but still showed better performance than previous quarters, First Capital Research said September quarter earnings dipped by 9.6% YoY to Rs. 45.8 billion, primarily due to sluggish performance in Insurance (-48% YoY), Consumer Services (-495% YoY), Capital Goods (-39% YoY) and Food, Beverage and Tobacco (-12% YoY) sectors, a report released by First Capital Research said.  However, earnings upside was witnessed in Material (108% YoY), Consumer, Durable and Apparel (13600% YoY) and Energy (646% YoY) sectors negating the negative performance in the above-mentioned sectors. “Lacklustre performance in Insurance, Consumer Services and Food, Beverage and Tobacco was mainly owing to the lower consumer spending stemmed from subdued economic activities.” Insurance sector earnings recorded a substantial drop mainly due to earnings decline in AAIC (-85% YoY) from a deferred tax adjustment and UAL (-91% YoY) due to the increased transfer of insurance contract liabilities to the life fund. Consumer Services sector earnings declined and posted a loss of Rs. 1.67 billion relatively to a profit of Rs 0.4 billion in September 2018 as a result of drop in tourist arrivals subsequent to the Easter Sunday attacks. Food, Beverage and Tobacco sector earnings dipped by 12% YoY to Rs. 7.8 billion led by BIL, MELS and tea plantation companies.  BIL posted a loss of Rs. 1.19 billion compare to loss of Rs. 0.6 billion due to higher finance and admin cost. MELS earnings dropped by 58% due to hefty taxes while the cost of sales also surged against the last year same period. Profit dip witnessed across the tea plantation counters due to weaker tea prices further dragged down the Food Beverage and Tobacco sector earnings. Material sector saw a profit growth of 108% YoY to Rs. 1.8 billion driven by TKYO (573% YoY). TKYO profits were boosted due to operational efficiencies and increase in maximum retail price. Consumer, Durable and Apparel sector saw impressive earnings growth of 13600% YoY with TJL, MGT and GREG posting earnings growth of 84%, 83%, and 184% respectively. TJL and MGT earnings growth was supported by efficiency improvements, strong order book and stable cotton prices. (Daily Island, 20.12.2019)

National economy advanced 2.7 percent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2019, up from a revised 1.5 percent in the prior period. The growth was mainly boosted by an increase in services (2.8 percent compared to 1.6 percent in Q2), particularly wholesale and retail trade (2.1 percent vs 1.2 percent) and industrial activities (3.3 percent vs 1.3 percent). Releasing National Accounts Estimates for the third quarter of 2019, the Department of Census and Statistics (DCS) stated that the Gross Domestic Product for Sri Lanka for the third quarter of 2019 at current price and constant (2010) price have reached up to Rs.4,027,051 million and Rs.2,507,363 million respectively against the current and constant (2010) prices of Gross Domestic Product reported for the third quarter of 2018 which was recorded as Rs.3,692,822 million and Rs.2,441,796 million respectively. The four major components of the economy; ‘Agriculture’, ‘Industry’, ‘Services’ and ‘Taxes less subsidies on products’ have contributed their share to the GOP at current prices by 6.9%, 26.8%, 60.0%, and 6.2% respectively in the third quarter of 2019. During the third quarter of 2019, Industry and Services activities recorded substantial growth rates of 3.3% and 2.8% respectively, while Agriculture activities recorded a slight positive growth rate of 0.4%. Among the sub activities of ‘Agriculture’ ‘Growing of Oleaginous fruits; including Coconut’, Fresh water fishing’ ‘Growing of Tea’ and Growing of Cereals’ have reported an outstanding positive growth rates of 13.9%, 10.9%, 10% and 8.1% respectively in the third quarter of 2019 compared to the third quarter of 2018. In addition. ‘Growing of Vegetables’, Forestry and Logging’, Growing of Fruits’ and ‘Growing of other perennial crops’ have reported considerable positive growth rates of 5.1%, 3.6%, 3.5% and 3.1% respectively in the third quarter of 2019. However some of the major agriculture activities have reported negative growth rates in this quarter when compared to the same quarter in 2018. Among those sub activities, “Growing of Rubber’, ‘Plant propagation’, Marine fishing’, ‘Animal production’ and ‘Growing of Rice’ have reported a substantial contraction during this quarter by 19.9%, 13.7%, 8.2%, 6.2% and 4.3% respectively. The ‘Industrial activities’, which shared the GDP by 26.8% at current price, has continued to expand further by 3.3% significantly. The overall manufacturing activities have grown by 2.5% during the third quarter of 2019, supported mainly by the sub-activities of ‘Manufacture of food, beverages and tobacco’ and Manufacture of textile and wearing apparels’, which recorded positive growth rates of 5% and 5.1% respectively during this period. (Daily Island, 20.12.2019)

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa says that General Elections would be held after March 3.Addressing the Foreign Correspondents Association at the Presidential Secretariat on Thursday, the President said that  a new budget would be presented  after he dissolved Parliament on March 3. P.B.Jayasundera, Secretary to the President said that expenditure maintained at efficient levels across all ministries would in time achieve the government’s goal of reducing National Debt to GDP ratio, from it’s current 90 percent to 70 percent. (Daily Island, 21.12.2019)

At least five people were killed and some 7,025 people belonging to 2,062 families in eight districts were affected by the prevailing heavy rains, the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) said. It warned of floods with the water levels in several reservoirs and rivers including the Mahaweli were increasing rapidly while some were overflowing because of torrential rains which had already claimed four lives. Those affected are from eight districts – Hambantota, Mullaitivu, Batticaloa, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Badulla, Moneragala and Jaffna. DMC Spokesman Pradeep Kodippily said a large number of reservoirs and tanks have started overflowing. Sluice gates at the Rajangana, Parakrama Samurda, Kala Oya, Lunugamwehera, Kumbukan Oya, Inginimitiya, Tabaowa and Ulhitiya reservoirs were overflowing by last afternoon People living along the banks of the Mahaweli River were asked to be vigilant as the water level was increasing rapidly and reaching mini flood level. Landslides warnings were issued in Nuwara Eliya, Kandy, Matale, Badulla Nuwara Eliya Eliya Monaragala districts. Meanwhile, the Department of Meteorology forecast heavy rains of about 150 mm in the Western, Sabaragamuwa and Central provinces and Galle District. Heavy rains of some 100mm are expected in the Eastern, Uva and North-Western provinces and in the Matara District during the next few days. The sea areas extending from Trincomalee to Negombo via Kankasanturai, Mannar and Puttalam and the sea areas extending from Galle to Pottuvil via Hambanthota are expected to fairly rough at times as the wind speed is expected increase up to 55kmph at times. Several areas have experienced heavy rains of 100 mm today with the highest rainfall of 136mm reported from Kurunegala, Hambantota, Kandy and Puttalam. (Daily Mirror, 22.12.2019)

The Department of Wildlife Conservation said the number of elephant deaths has increased during this year.About 350 elephants have died during the past 11 months for various reasons including human-elephant conflicts, natural causes, poisoning and collisions against trains. The department further said that the number of human deaths due to elephant attacks have also increased.According to figures, 92 persons were reported dead last year due to elephant attacks and this year the number has risen up to 103. The Wildlife Conservation Department also said 319 elephants had died during 2018. (Daily Mirror, 24.12.2019)

Headline inflation as measured by the year-on- year change in the National Consumer Price Index (NCPI, 2013=100)1 decreased to 4.1 per cent in November 2019 from 5.6 per cent in October 2019 contributed by the statistical effect of the high base prevailed in November 2018. Year-on-year (Y-o-Y) Food inflation decreased substantially to 4.0 per cent in November 2019 from 7.3 per cent in October 2019 while Non-food inflation (Y-o-Y) declined marginally to 4.2 per cent in November 2019 from 4.3 per cent in October 2019. The change in the NCPI measured on an annual average basis increased to 3.0 per cent in November 2019 from 2.8 per cent in October 2019. Monthly change of NCPI recorded 0.8 per cent in November 2019 and it was solely due to the price increases observed in the items of Food category. Within the Food category, prices of rice, vegetables, red onions and coconuts recorded increases. Meanwhile, prices of items in the Non-Food category recorded a marginal decrease during the month owing to price decreases of the items in Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco; and Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and other Fuels sub-categories. The core inflation, which reflects the underlying inflation in the economy, decreased to 5.5 per cent in November 2019 from 5.6 per cent in October 2019 on year-on-year basis. However, annual average core inflation increased to 5.6 per cent in November 2019 from 5.4 per cent in October 2. (Daily Island, 25.12.2019)

The media reported that the Police launched a countrwide operation during this festive season to apprehend drunk drivers. This is a common practice of the Sri Lanka Police during various festivities. During this period the policemen are kept on the road all day and night for a limited number of days. This is a limited enforcement focusing on achieving a specific object for a specific time.  In March 2010 the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed a Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011–2020, with a goal of reducing the forecasted level of road traffic fatalities around the world. Sri Lanka being a party to the “Brasilia Declaration on Road Safety;” – 2015, has undertaken to reduce by 50% road traffic deaths by the end of this decade. The Sri Lanka Police responsible for realizing this target has to do a miracle in the coming year (2020) to achieve it. The available statistics for the first seven years (2011 – 2017) of the targeted period (2011 – 2020) indicates the situation in Sri Lanka is critical. Instead of decreasing the number of people killed in road accidents in the first seven years (2011 – 2017); it increased. It is significant; the number of pedestrians knocked down and killed in road accidents; pedestrian fatality has increased. It’s 20% of the total road accident fatalities in 2017. The authorities need to wake up and be seriously concerned about this disturbing situation. Speeding, driving under the influence of liquor, and driving recklessly are often the major causes of the rising fatal road accidents. Perhaps, the increased fines, suspension of driving licence and prison terms would be a deterrent to reckless drivers, who disregard the safety of other road uses. (Daily Island, 26.12.2019)

Sri Lanka will have to repay $ 4.8 billion in debt in 2020 with the Central Bank awaiting the Government’s instructions on how the funds should be raised, a top official said, assuring there is a sufficient buffer of reserves to meet repayments for the first few months. Central Bank Senior Deputy Governor Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe told reporters that they were awaiting directions from the Finance Ministry and said future plans will likely be clearer after President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s address to Parliament, which is expected to set out the policy framework of the Government. The Central Bank as also preparing to issue its first $ 500 million Samurai bond but it is now unclear when this will take place. The Government will have to decide the repayment plan, when to go to the market, and how much to raise. There are different instruments under discussion by the previous Government but the new Government has to come up with short, medium and long-term financial plans looking at the financing requirement for the year. The large repayment of $1 billion is only coming in October, so till then, there is a smooth flow of repayments, and we have raised sufficient funds to meet at least the first few months of next year. We are in a comfortable position to meet payments at least until the new Parliament commences their activities,” he said. 
He also said the new government will have to make decision on reforms, which include amendments to the Monetary Law Act that were drawn up by the previous administration and were gazetted ahead of the Presidential Election in November. However, Dr. Weerasinghe assured that the functions of the Central Bank will not be impeded by the delay in passing the fresh legislation. A new Banking Act was also under consideration earlier. 
“A lot of reforms we were proposing was only to institutionalise what we are already doing, such as the inflation targeting framework. We will continue to do follow the monetary policy framework based on the inflation targeting framework. The other new element is macro prudential authority, which we have already been practicing from time to time, so we will continue to do all those things. The only thing that will be delayed is the governance structure. We have proposed a separate monetary policy board and governing body. That structure will come into place only if the proposed amendments are enacted. The way we do business will continue as usual.”  (Daily Financial Times, 30.12.2019)

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SRI LANKA NEWS –  (NOVEMBER  2019) –    Compiled by Victor Melder.

Victor Meldor - eLanka

Sri Lanka’s top court on Tuesday effectively blocked a plan by the president to bring back hangings for the first time since 1976 before he leaves office this month. Maithripala Sirisena said in June that he had signed death warrants for four drug offenders — mirroring the Philippines’ no-holds-barred anti-narcotics drive — alarming rights groups and the international community. A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court extended on Tuesday a stay order until the hearing of 15 petitions filed against Sirisena’s bid. “The bench extended the stay order till December 9,” a lawyer representing civil society groups, who call hanging a “cruel and degrading”, said after a brief hearing. Sirisena is not seeking re-election and must leave office as soon as a winner is declared after the November 16 election, more than three weeks before the court resumes hearings. There has been a moratorium on capital punishment in Sri Lanka since 1976. Sirisena told reporters on June 26 that he had signed the four death warrants and that he expected them to be hanged within weeks, or by before he leaves office at the latest. Sri Lanka’s last hangman retired in 2014, but officials said they had selected two out of 26 candidates to succeed him. Their names are being kept secret for fear of attacks. Sirisena justified his decision by saying there were 200,000 drug addicts in the country, and 60 percent of the 24,000-strong prison population were drug offenders. The Sri Lankan leader has also snubbed UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres who urged him three months ago to reconsider. The death warrants that Sirisena says he signed will remain in force once leaves office, but his successor can withdraw them. The ruling party candidate in the election, Sajith Premadasa, has supported Sirisena’s call to resume hangings for drug offenders, but has stopped short of saying he will actually carry out executions.  His main rival Gotabhaya Rajapakse, brother of former strongman president Mahinda Rajapakse, has remained silent on the issue. (Sunday Island, 3.11.2019)

Sri Lanka government’s total debt has skyrocketed to unmanageable proportions by an increase of 71 per cent since the current administration came into power in 2015, Finance Ministry statistics showed. The present administration has to borrow money since 2016 to repay the massive loans taken by the previous regime, Treasury accounts revealed. The most significant borrowing in 2013 was the US$750 million obtained from international markets at the highest ever interest rate of 8.9 per cent at a time when the global benchmark rate for that type of loan was 1.3 per cent, a senior official said. According to Finance Ministry data, public debt has increased to over Rs. 8000 billion in 2015 from Rs.4000 billion in 2009. While the government went on a borrowing spree on international capital markets, government revenue nose-dived. In 2005, Sri Lanka’s tax-to-GDP ratio was 13.7 per cent. By 2014, it was 10.1 per cent, one of the lowest in the world. As a result, expenditure necessary for long-run growth such as health and education suffered. And Sri Lanka needed to borrow more just to repay the loans of the previous regime.  in 2014 interest payments amounted to Rs. 436 billion, 24 per cent of government expenditure. Sri Lanka’s public debt has continued to escalate placing  huge pressure on the Government budget as well, Treasury sources said. Interest payments on public debt had consumed a large part of Government revenue representing a large portion of Government expenditure. Therefore the Treasury had to finance budget deficits through more borrowings, thereby increasing the amount of public debt, sources revealed.  At this decisive moment it is essential to take prompt action towards improving the revenue base and efficient collection of taxes and implementing expenditure control at Treasury level, the official said. In addition to in-house Treasury reforms, a policy plan of public sector enterprise reforms for reducing losses, malpractices, mismanagement of resources and waste would be the only way to reduce the prevailing fiscal deficit, he added. (Sunday Times, 3.11.2019)

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Friday completed the sixth review of Sri Lanka’s economic performance under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) and approved the release of $ 164 million, bringing the total support so far to $ 1.31 billion.   This is following the IMF the granting of a waiver of non‑observance for the end‑June 2019 performance criterion on the primary balance Sri Lanka’s extended arrangement was approved on June 3, 2016, in the amount of about SDR 1.1 billion ($ 1.5 billion, or 185% of quota in the IMF at that time of approval of the arrangement. On 13 May, the Executive Board approved an extension of the arrangement by one additional year, until 2 June 2020, with rephasing of remaining disbursements.Following the Executive Board’s discussion of the review, IMF Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair Mitsuhiro Furusawa said: “The Sri Lankan economy is gradually recovering from the impact of the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks. Growth is projected to strengthen to 3.5% in 2020, from 2.7% in 2019, as tourist arrivals and related activities gradually recover.”
“Sustaining fiscal policy discipline remains critical to strengthen resilience and support growth, as important downside risks remain, amid heightened external and domestic uncertainty,” he added. (Daily Financial Times, 4.11.2019)

The TNA has decided to support New Democratic Party (NDF) presidential candidate Sajith Premadasa. The decision was announced by TNA MP and spokesman M.A. Sumanthiran in Vavuniya yesterday. Sumanthiran said the TNA had made the decision not on the basis of Premadasa’s response to the demands made by the TNA but in view of the fact that Tamil people would be able to get more from Premadasa than any other candidate in the fray. The TNA members met at a private hotel in Vavuniya yesterday to take a final decision and held a press conference there to announce it. Members of the TNA allied parties namely ITAK, TELO, PLOTE, TMK party of former Northern Province Chief Minister CV Wigneswaran and EPRLF of Suresh Premachandran were present. The TNA earlier forwarded a letter containing 13 demands for the benefit of people living in the Northern and Eastern Provinces to the presidential candidates from main parties. None of the presidential candidates responded directly to the TNA’s demands, and TNA Leader R Sampanthan said that they would wait until NDF candidate Premadasa made his manifesto public so that they could study the promises the latter might make for the benefit of people in the North and the East. MP Sampanthan then also promised that his party would discuss the content of the manifesto with other Northern political party leaders and make a final decision. Accordingly, the Northern Tamil parties discussed the NDF candidate’s manifesto at a full day meeting and made it public yesterday. (Daily Island, 4.11.2019)

With Colombo city turning into a business hub more than a residential area, recent studies of LankaPropertyWeb (LPW) show that apartment developers are now exploring the suburbs to cater to the growing interest for vertical living amongst the locals. The numerous developments taking place in the main city resulting in diminishing space amongst houses for rent in Colombo and reducing demand for houses for sale in Colombo has in fact contributed to this interest largely. The rising population in the country and the changing lifestyles of people has also further influenced the number of apartments for rent and condominium construction taking place in the city. However, over the years such constructions taking place within the inner city of Colombo (i.e. Colombo 1-15), has continued to decrease in number. According to the data gathered by the Condominium Management Authority (CMA), from 2014 to 2016 there is an increase in condominiums in Colombo. But from 2017 onwards an obvious reduction is seen. Apartment constructions in the other districts are following a downward slope as well. However, in the greater Colombo areas like Sri Jayawardena Pura Kotte, Mount Lavinia, Rajagiriya, etc. that exclude Colombo 1-15, a continuous rise in complex constructions has been witnessed. Commenting on this Daham Gunaratna, Managing Director of LankaPropertyWeb says “The main reason developers are moving out of Colombo could be the cost of construction in Colombo (mainly driven by high land value) and thus the price of apartments going up.” (Daily Island, 4.11.2019)

Sri Lanka Podujana Permauna (SLPP) Presidential Candidate Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was declared as the winner of the presidential election by the Election Commission (EC) today (Nov 17). Mr Rajapaksa received 6,924,255 votes at the presidential election, outnumbering his opponent Sajith Premadasa who received 5,564,239 votes.Thirty-five candidates contested this year’s presidential election, which saw a voter turnout of 83.72 percent, EC Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said during a meeting with the candidates. The polls chief observed that the poll had been conducted in a peaceful manner, despite having shortcomings due to the conduct of certain state media outlets, and some religious leaders. The SLPP in a statement said Rajapaksa will take oaths as Sri Lanka’s Seventh Executive President at the Ruwanweliseya Buddhist Shrine in Anuradhapura tomorrow.  He will address the nation after being sworn in as President.  (Times Online, 17.11.2019)

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa appointed a 16-member Cabinet yesterday, establishing an interim government focused on carrying out the manifesto which he presented to the public before the Presidential Election. President Rajapaksa stated that the interim government will hold office till the General Elections, expected early next year. “That’s why we appointed a Cabinet of 15 Ministers,” he said, pointing out that the manifesto indicated a reduced Government if he is elected. There were no Muslim Parliamentarians appointed to the Cabinet. 
The President recalled that the public had placed their trust in them and asked the new Cabinet to work towards a new political culture. “In the lead up to the Election, the public rejected the old political culture. I expect you all to work together for change,” he added. President Rajapaksa, addressing the Cabinet and other Parliamentarians, urged them to work with the State Ministers, who will be appointed next week. The President stated that heads and director boards of State institutions and enterprises will be appointed by a selection committee, and instructed newly appointed Ministers to make recommendations on suitable individuals to hold such posts to the committee. . President Gotabaya Rajapaksa made history this week when he appointed his brother, Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa, as the Prime Minister. Yesterday, he entrusted the Prime Minister with multiple portfolios. They include Minister of Finance, Economic Affairs, Policy Development, Buddha Sasana, Cultural, Water Supply and Urban Development, and Housing Facilities.The other Cabinet appointments were Nimal Siripala de Silva as Minister of Justice, Human Rights and Legal Reforms, Arumugam Thondaman as Minister of Community Empowerment and Estate Infrastructure, Dinesh Gunawardena as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Skills Development, Employment and Labour Relations, Douglas Devananda as Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Pavithra Wanniarachchi as Minister of Women and Child Affairs, Social Security, Health and Indigenous Medicine, Bandula Gunawardene as Minister of Information and Communications Technology, Higher Education, Technology and Innovations, Janaka Bandara Tennakoon as Minister of Public Administration, Home Affairs, Provincial Councils and Local Government, Chamal Rajapaksa as Minister of Mahaweli Development, Agriculture and Trade, Dullas Alahapperuma as Minister of Education, Sports and Youth Affairs, Johnston Fernando as Minister of Roads and Highways, Ports and Shipping, Wimal Weerawansa as Minister of Small Medium Enterprises (SME) and Enterprise Development, Industries and Supply Management, Mahinda Amaraweera as Minister of Passenger Transport, Power and Energy, S.M. Chandrasena as Minister of Environment, Wildlife, Land and Land Development, Ramesh Pathirana as Minister of Plantations and Export Agriculture, and Prasanna Ranatunga as Minister of Industrial Exports and Investment Promotions, Tourism and Aviation. (Daily Financial Times, 22.11.2019)

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is expected to lead an eight-member delegation to India next week in his first-ever overseas visit since assuming office. Among members of the Sri Lankan delegation are Secretary to the President Dr. P.B. Jayasundera, Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha, and former Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga, who was yesterday granted approval for travel temporarily by the Court. President Gotabaya will visit New Delhi from 29 November to 1 December, following an invitation from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. .It was learnt that President Gotabaya is likely to visit China next. (Daily Financial Times, 23.11.2019)

Headline inflation as measured by the year-on-year change in the National Consumer Price Index (NCPI, 2013=100)* increased to 5.6 per cent in October 2019 from 5.0 per cent in September 2019. The monthly increases of prices of items in the Food category contributed to this increase. Accordingly, Food inflation (Y-o-Y) increased to 7.3 per cent in October 2019 from 4.9 per cent in September 2019. However, Non-food inflation (Y-o-Y) recorded 4.3 per cent, continuing its decreasing trend observed since May 2019. The change in the NCPI measured on an annual average basis increased to 2.8 per cent in October 2019 from 2.3 per cent in September 2019. Monthly change of NCPI recorded 1.0 per cent in October 2019 and it was solely due to the price increases observed in the items of Food category. Within the Food category, prices of big onions, rice and vegetables recorded increases. Meanwhile, prices of items in the Non-Food category declined during the month owing to price decreases of the items in Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and other Fuels; Transport; and Health sub-categories.The core inflation, which reflects the underlying inflation in the economy, remained unchanged at 5.6 per cent in October 2019 on year-on-year basis. However, annual average core inflation increased to 5.4 per cent in October 2019 from 5.2 per cent in September 2019. (Sunday Observer, 24.11.2019)

The Edinburgh University of the United Kingdom will return a set of nine human skulls to their homeland of Sri Lanka in a repatriation ceremony today.The skulls will be presented to the Chieftain of the Vedda community Uruwarige Wanniyalaththo, after anatomy researchers at the University agreed to the Vedda’s claim as the earliest inhabitants of Sri Lanka, Edinburgh Evening News reported.Vedda Chief will attend the presentation at the University’s Playfair Library in Vedda dress of a knee-length sarong and holding a traditional axe.
The skulls, thought to be over 200 years old, were taken from their place of origin more than a century ago. The Vedda plan to display the skulls in a collection that will showcase their history as traditional hunter-gatherers and forest-dwellers. Chief Uruwarige said the dead are very important in Vedda society.“Every year we hold a special ceremony to honour those who are no longer with us. Even though these remains have been in Edinburgh for many years, their spirits have remained with us in Sri Lanka.“This reuniting of spirits and physical remains – for which I thank the University – is a very special moment for my people.”University of Edinburgh Chair of Anatomy Professor Tom Gillingwater said: “We are delighted to welcome the Vedda tribes-people to Edinburgh and mark the return of their ancestral remains.”“Our vast and diverse collection is often used in research breakthroughs and teaching. We are pleased to be able to return these culturally-important artefacts to help ensure the Vedda’s legacy endures for generations to come.”The ceremony marks the end of a study by Anatomy researchers at Edinburgh University and researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Science of Human History in Germany, which confirmed the Vedda as Sri Lanka’s earliest inhabitants.(Daily Financial Times, 23.11.2019)

SriLankan Airlines has incurred a loss of over Rs. 44 billion in the financial year that ended on March 31, 2019, Auditor General, W. P.C. Wickramaratne says in his report on the state venture. The accumulated loss of the company was Rs. 230 billion. The Company’s current liabilities exceeded its current assets by Rs. 186 billion and total liabilities exceeded its total assets by Rs. 177 billion. Further, the Group (Company and its subsidiaries) incurred a loss of Rs. 41 billion during the same time with an accumulated loss of Rs. 223 billion and, as at that date, the Group’s current liabilities exceeded its current assets by Rs. 177 billion and total liabilities exceeded its total assets by Rs. 168 billion. The Auditor General has said: “These events and conditions, along with other matters as set forth in another part of the report, indicate a material uncertainty that may cast significant doubt on the Group’s ability to continue as a going concern.” Wickramaratne added that his opinion of the company’s situation had not changed despite mitigatory factors such as Cabinet approval on 27 August 2019 and the letter issued by the Secretary to the Treasury on 16 September 2019 confirming the support of the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) to the Company to continue its operations. Commenting on the decision to re-fleet with 14 aircraft and Termination of lease Agreements on 04 A350-900 aircraft, Wickramaratne said that: “Company had not adhered to Government Procurement Guidelines in obtaining consultative services for the entire process, selecting companies for purchasing six A 330-300 aircraft and four A350-900 aircraft, leasing another four A350-900 aircraft and sell and lease back of above six A 330-300 aircraft, within 08 years from the year 2013.” The decision for purchasing aircraft had been taken by the Board of Directors of the Company without obtaining approval of the Cabinet of Ministers and without making a proper cost benefit analysis. A sum of Rs. 17,058.1 million had paid as compensation in the process of revocation of lease agreements for obtaining four A350-900 aircraft on lease which was scheduled to be delivered in the year 2016/2017. “The Company is in negotiation with Airbus SAS Company to amend the purchase agreement of four A350-900 aircraft which are to be delivered in 2020 and 2021 to replace with A321 NEOs and/or A330 NEOs and as at the reporting date amounting to Rs. 2,528.12 million ( USD 19.21 Mn) had been paid to Airbus as pre-delivery payment. However, no final decision had been taken until the date of this report.” (Daily Island, 27.11.2019).

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday said he would renegotiate the Hambantota Port lease agreement, terming it a “mistake” and calling on the Chinese company to be open to the move while assuring that he remained committed to strong relations with the global superpower. (Daily Financial Times, 27.11.2019) 

The cabinet has agreed to reduce Value Added Taxes (VAT) and Nation Building Taxes (NBT) imposed on imported goods from December 1. Cabinet spokesman Bandula Gunawardena said the cumulative value of VAT and NBT which stood at 17 percent will be reduced to eight percent.  He said Economic Service Charges, Capital Gain Taxes, Pay As You Earn (PAYE) taxes, VAT imposed on condomoniums, and Withholding Taxes on interest have also been scrapped. In addition, taxes imposed on export of tea, rubber and minor export crops has been lifted with effect from December 1, Minister Gunawardena said.  Meanwhile, the cabinet spokesman said that steps would be taken to reduce prices of rice following complaints that the rice prices had gone up . (Daily Financial Times, 27.11.2019)

Rajapaksa, giving his first interview since taking office, told Indian Journalist and Defence Analyst Nethin S. Gokhle that he remained committed to close ties with both China and India. 
In an hour-long interview aired on Gokhle’s Strategic News International (SNI) web platform and on the defence website Barthshakthi, President Rajapaksa stressed that Sri Lanka’s close relations with China during his brother’s 2005-2015 presidential tenure were misinterpreted by international analysts as a strategic military relationship, and claimed instead it was purely an economic partnership. “We don’t want to become a part of a big power rivalry,” Rajapaksa stressed, pointing out that Sri Lanka would not do anything that would negatively impact India’s national security.  Rajapaksa stated that he would seek to reassure India that Sri Lanka would not do anything to harm India’s security interests and would be seeking continued Indian investment to Sri Lanka during his upcoming visit to New Delhi.  “We were never to give control of the port [Hambantota] to China; that was a mistake,” Rajapaksa opined, pointing out that the decision was made by the previous administration.
“The previous Government gave it on a 99-year lease, and even though China is a good friend of ours and we need their assistance for development, I am not afraid to say that was a mistake.”
Rajapaksa stated that he would request the Chinese to renegotiate the joint venture. Rajapaksa highlighted that the public was unhappy with the deal and pointed out that while leasing land for commercial purposes or for property development was acceptable, giving control of a strategic “economic location like a port” was not. 
President Rajapaksa called regional and international powers such as Singapore, Japan, India and Australia to invest in Sri Lanka, acknowledging that the said countries viewed Chinese investment in Sri Lanka with suspicion. 
President Rajapaksa also claimed that there was an inaccurate perception of him as an authoritarian and racist individual. “I am a disciplined person, that doesn’t mean I am authoritarian,” he stated, pointing out that he had proved in action that he was not racist nor did he work for only one section of the population. 
“That is why I invited the Tamils, the Muslims and everybody to join me to develop the country and build it up,” he argued, pointing out that the Opposition could paint him out as a dictator but the public would see him for who he was through his actions. He called on the international media not to believe or propagate rumours, but to come speak to him and understand his ways. Rajapaksa argued that war crimes allegations against the Sri Lankan military and him were unfairly blown out of proportion while the actions of superpowers in conflicts were not highlighted. “I like the Tamil diaspora to forget about these things, nobody benefits from these things [allegations]. Work with the country to benefit all communities,” he suggested, pointing out that if minority communities acted in a manner that was suspicious, it would trigger a reaction from the majority. Rajapaksa claimed that even in so-called advanced societies, divisions existed. Nevertheless, he declared that all Sri Lankan citizens were equal. 
“There will always be differences between communities, but through understanding they can coexist and thrive,” he added. (Daily Financial Times, 27.11.2019)

India will lend Sri Lanka $ 400 million for infrastructure projects, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday after talks with the new President Gotabaya Rajapaksa aimed at improving bilateral ties. Sri Lanka, located off the southern tip of India, has become an arena of competing influence between New Delhi and China, which has built ports, power stations and highways as part of President Xi Jinping’s signature Belt and Road Initiative, designed to boost trade and transport links across Asia .But the terms of some of those projects have drawn criticism from politicians in Sri Lanka and opened the way for countries such as India, the United States and Japan to rebuild ties in the Indian Ocean country that lies near key shipping lanes. Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka’s former wartime Defence Chief, is on his first visit to India after a sweeping election victory earlier this month won on a platform promising to pull the country out of its deepest economic slump in more than 15 years. He told reporters he wanted to take bilateral ties with India to a “very high level”. Modi said India would provide Sri Lanka with $ 50 million for its security needs in addition to the $ 400 million for infrastructure. “India is fully committed to the development of Sri Lanka,” he said. (Daily Financial Times, 30.11.2019)

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7, Benambra Street, Broadmeadows, Vic 3047, Australia.
Telephone + 61 3 9309 4040
E-mail < >
Web Site < >

Victor Meldor - eLanka


                               ACQUISITIONS   FOR  THE  MONTH  OF  NOVEMBER  2019


  1. The History of Royal College, 2019 (Donated by Senaka Weeraratne, Colombo 5, Sri Lanka) 
  2. Lions of Sri Lanka, Cricket – An Island Passion, Featuring the 30 Greatest Cricketers, LMD Publication, May 2019

(Donated by Roland de Silva, Media Services (Pvt) Ltd, LMD, Colombo 5, Sri Lanka)

  1. Cultures of the World: Sri Lanka by Nanda Pethiyagoda Wanasundera, 2002
  2. Sri Lanka, a Travel Survival Kit by Tony Wheeler, 1982.
  3. Tamil Tigress by Derek Bartholomeusz, 1997.
  4. Island of a Thousand Mirrors, by Nayomi Munaweera, 2012.

(No’s 3 – 6, Donated by Cuthbert Lethbridge, Noble Par, Vic)

  1. My Island Paradise by Dodwell Keyt, 2019.


  1. Discover Sri Lanka, January – March, 2019
  2. Discover Sri Lanka, 2019 Edition 2
  3. Living, A Celebration of Life, August 2019.
  4. Brands Annual, 2019 Edition.
  5. Most Respected Entities in Sri Lanka, Compiled by LMD, 2019 Peer Review.
  6. LMD 100, Sri Lanka’s Leading Listed Companies, Financial Year 2017/2018
  7. LMD, The Voice of Business, May 2019.
  8. LMD, The Voice of Business, September 2019.

   (No’s 1 – 8, Donated by Roland de Silva, Media Services (Pvt) Ltd, LMD, Colombo 5, Sri Lanka)

  1. National Geographic, Vol 164, No 2, August 1983.
  2. The Sri Lankan: One Island. One Nation,  Vol 5, No 5, Oct – Nov, 2014
  3. Arts of Asia, Vol 15, No 6, Nov – Dec, 1985.
  4. Arts of Asia, Vol 16, No 2, March – April 1986

(No’s 9 – 12, Donated by Cuthbert Lethbridge, Noble Park, Vic)  

  1. The ‘Ceylankan’ – Journal of the Ceylon Society of Australia, Journal 88, Vol XXII, No 4, November 2019.                                     



  1. “Silverscene”, Newsletter of The Silver Fawn Club, Qld, November//December 2019 issue.
  2. “The Harbinger”, Family Magazine of The Australia / Sri Lanka Welfare Guild Inc (ASWG), Vol 44, No 5, November 2019.
  3. Journal of The Australia Ceylon Fellowship Inc (ACF), Vol 61, No 4, November 2019
  4. Newsletter – St Peter’s College Old Boys Social Club Melbourne Inc, Spring 2019.
  5. Newsletter – Eighty Club Melbourne Inc, Newsletter 150, 3rd Edition, Nov 2019 –  March 2020.   



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Compiled by Victor Melder
(E & O.E.)
(OCTOBER  2019)

VAN STARREX – HANS ANTON, son of late Mr Hans Andreas Van Starrex and Gertrud Therese Van Starrex, in Sri Lanka. (Daily News, 1.10.2019)

JURIANSZ – LORENZO (SHANNON), aged 21 years, tragically in Melbourne. (Contributed)

AMBROSE – ANTHONY  (TONY), in Melbourne (Contributed)

PIETERSZ- KENNETH  (KENNY), in Melbourne. (Contributed)

MARCELINE – MARK, husband of Sonia, father of Dina, Anil, Nirmali, Zaneta and Sanayi, grandfather of Ashani, Nicolai, Camila, Marco and Marianna, great grandfather of Troy. Brother of Hedy and the late Frances, Greg, Annette, Bertha, Bernie, Billy and Hilary, in Sri Lanka. (Daily News, 2.10, 2019)  

FOENANDER – OLGA  (nee Gerreyn), daughter of the late Joe & Nita Gerreyn. Wife of Gordon (Weenie), mother of Karen Foenander and Denise Greep, grandmother of Jake Greep. Sister of the late Crosby, Annesley, Flo, Doreen, Lucien, Genevieve, Rita, Stelmond, Trixie and of Phyllis, late Lawrence (Lolly), Christy, Marie and late Henry, in the UK. (Daily Island, 8.10.2019)

FERNANDOPULLE – JENNIFER, wife of Bernard Sri Rajan. Daughter of Hyacinth and Joseph Holsinger, sister of Jacynth and the late Ian (Kinky) Mendis, Travice & Celine, Monty & Wendy, Bernard & Pauline, Janice & the late Iggy Paiva, sister-in-law of Nihal, Neville, Mahen and Praksah, in Sydney, On October 11, 2019 (Contributed & Sunday Observer, 13.10.2019)) 

PARSONS – HYACINTH, wife of Eric Parsons (dec), mother of Dennis (Aust), Jean (Aust), Romauld (Aust), Ralson (Aust), mother-in-law of Lorna Cole (Aust), Andrew Balfour (Aust), Liya (Aust) and Sharma (Aust), grandmother of 7, great grand Mother of 9. Daughter of Collin & Beatrice Nunna Alvis (dec), sister of Olga Peries (dec), Elmo Alvis (Can) dec, Merril, Anton, Myrtle (SL) and Gladys De Silva (Australia), in Melbourne. (Daily News 10.10.2019)

FRANCKE – RITA MAUREEN (nee Melder), wife of late Elmo Francke, mother of Collin, late Beverley and of Kevin, mother-in-law of Anne and Anouk, grandmother of Anya, Cian, Kieran, Keanu and Kiera. Daughter of late Felix and Greta Melder, sister of late Juby & Aloy, Lorna, Anette, Dawn & late John (Cuckoo), in Sri Lanka. (Daily News 10.10.2019)  

CALLANDER – HELEN MONICA, wife of Ralph, mother of Marina. Daughter of the late Hubert and Connie Congreve. Sister of the late Duncan and of Cynthia and Kenneth, in Sri Lanka. (Daily News, 15.10.2019)

DELAMOTTE – MARIE, friend to Joe (dec), Zalie, Dowson, Tanya and family for 40 years, in Perth. (The West Australian, 12.10.2019)

DEVADASON – DR INDRAN, father and father-in-law of Jeyanthi & Dushan and Inbam & Lashitha, grandfather of Benjamin, Sonya, Nathan, Rebekah, Ranisha, Chrishan, Sitara and Haran, in Perth, on October 8, 2019. (The West Australian, 15.10.2019) 

CASPERSZ – DAWN RITA (nee Weinman), wife of  Trevine (dec), mother of Sharon, Charlene, Tracy, Donella, Jeremy and Tamara and their partners. Grandmother of 13, great grandmother of 10, in Perth, on October 12, 2019. (The West Australian, 15.10.2019)

DE SILVA – SUNALINI (LINA), wife of late Dr D.P.K.M. De Silva (Metta), mother of Dr Chinthaka and Dr Ramela, mother-in-law of Sharmela and Mahesh, grandmother of Shehan, Shamil and Shanya, in Perth, WA. (Daily Island, 16.10.2019)

WILLIAMS – MERLE, daughter of the late Capt. Hendrick Mariampillai Williams and V.H.A.Rosaline, sister of the late Mary, Emily, Bernard, Emil and Anton, in Sri Lanka. (Daily News, 16.10.2019) 

SIMMONS – GERTRUDE (MONA), nee Coenraad, wife of late B.M.T. (Ben) Simmons, mother of Sherwood, Randolph (Aust), Bernadine Soertsz and Sandra Vanderlaan, mother-in-law of Indrani, Bernadette Darrell Soertsz and Ashley Vanderlaan, grandmother of Geraldine, Janine, Rozanne, Bernard, Diana, Ryan, Bradley and Stefan, great grandmother of Rihanna, Monique, Shahilyah, Shaniece, Shania, Amelia and David.

Sister of Olga Ekanayake and the late Ralph, Vere, Victoreen and Rex, in Sri Lanka. (Daily News 18.10.2019)

SCHOKMAN – FELIX, husband of Mala Schokman, father of Ashan Schokman, grandfather of Swetha, Marissa, Nicole, Miron and Joel. Brother of Concey Janz and Sydney Francios Schokman, in Sri Lanka. (Daily News 19.10.2019)

DIAZ – PATRICIA OLIVE, wife of late Hamilton (Bonnie), mother of Hamilton, Patrina, Keith, grandmother of Anslem, Haidy, Haily, Adele , Kimberly and Yaniah, great grandmother of Aaron, in Sri Lanka. (Daily News, 19.10.2019)

KRONEMBERG – DR HARRY AM, partner of Robyn, father of Ruth Ann (dec) and partner David, Coralie and partner Luke and Hugh. Grandfather of Clare, Yanni, Heather, Mischa, Alex, Lucien, Luca and Sam, great grandfather of Jasper, Odette, Elvira, Jude and Rufus, in Perth, on October 11, 2019, aged 93 years. (The West Australian, 19.10.2019) 

DAVIOT – CARL, husband of Shirley, father of Stephen and partner Lea, Bev and Phil and Mark. Grandfather of Jay and Radi, Stacey and Robin, Renee and Ryan, Matt and Brooke, Todd and Jake, great grandfather of Darcie, Ashton, Max, Elvie and Hunter, in Perth. (The West Australian, 21.10.2019)

SIMONSZ – ANTHONY TYRONE (TYRONE), husband of Paulette, father and father-in-law of Nigel and Kimber, grandfather of  Zachary and Allison. Brother to Cody, Suzie, Rosie, Arlene (dec), Maurice (dec) and Penny (dec), in Brisbane, on October 13, aged 77, years. (The Courier Mail, 21.10.2019)

MANT – WALTER EDWARD, husband of Leila, father of Tina, Bradley and Jay, father-in-law of Ross. Grandfather of Shantia and Pearl, in Brisbane, on October 18, 2019, aged 77 years. (The Courier Mail, 21.10.2019)

JANSZ – MONICA (BUDDY) nee Feltman, wife of late J. E. H (Joe) Jansz, mother of Rienze, late Trevine, late Randolph, Berny (Aust), Judy, Shane (USA) and Remo, mother-in-law of Audrey, Indranie, late Waldo, Hillery, Nadira and Indu. Sister of late Olga Jansen and late Shirley Feltman, in Sri Lanka. (Daily News, 22.10.2019)

MOLDRICH – JOSEPH LISTER ALLISON, (24 April 1946 – 17 October 2019), Son of Benjamin Augustus Moldrich & Constance Magdalene Holmes (both dec). Husband of Camille, nee Willenberg (dec), father of Merc, Mallory, Marvin and Mellany and their partners Abbie, Cassanra & Martina. Grandfather of Ethan, Coen, Zachry and Caleb. Brother of late Chalice (Syd), Christopher (UK), Royce and Travis (Qld),  in Sydney. (Sydney Morning Herald, 23.10.2019 & Contributed)

CRAMER – IRENE, wife of late Joseph (Joe) Cramer, mother of late Brian, mother-in-law of Rani, grandmother of Lenny, Adrian, Jacqueline, Rinnety and Darrel, great grandmother of Andrea, Keith, Spencer, Sondra, Marlon, Daphne and Jayden, in Sri Lanka, aged 103 years. (Daily News, 24.10.2019)

WILLEMBERG – TRAVIS, husband of the late Barbara, father of Brandon and Tamaris, in California, USA, aged 88 years. (Contributed)

EDMONDS – GEORGE CECIL WILLIAM, husband of Betty (dec), father & father-in-law of Robert & Gail, Stephen & Patricia and Peter and Jonathan, grandfather of Anthony &Renee, great grandfather of Aila and Kade, on October 10, 2019, aged 94 years, in Sydney (Sydney Morning Herald, 25.10.2019)

MILLS – DR BENJAMIN AMIRTHANAYAGAM, (3.4.1927 – 22.10.2019), husband of Leelawathy Pathmaranee Mills, father of Ravi & Dr Ruth, Anusha & Dr Binojan, Selvan and Dr Tiasha, grandfather of Dr Nilani, Priyanka, Jesuran, Jaden and Zale, in Sydney, aged 92 years. (Sydney Morning Herald, 25.10.2019)

DE SILVA – KARUNA (nee Siriwardena), wife of Chandana De Silva, mother of Priyani Bond, Kumari De Silva and Anjali (Kemp) De Silva,

in Sydney, Australia. (Daily News, 29.10.2019)

FREDERICKS – MELVYN ANTHONY, husband, brother, father, father-in-law, grandfather and great grandfather, in Perth, on October 19, 2019, aged 76 years – Esther, Sylvia, Nigel, Mark, Neil, Martyn, Michelle, Angela, Rebecca, Dustin, Jeremy, Amanda, Elijah, Bryce, Kaleb and

Max. (The West Australian, 30.10.2019)

VANHEER – DAVE J., husband of Minola Vanheer, father of Ivana. Son of the late Clarence Vanheer, the late Therese and Kingsley Kanangara, son-in-law of late Monty and Ayesha Janiel. Brother and brother-in-law of Valerie & Jorge (USA), Anslem & Romaine (Aus), Ophelia (Aus), Susan & Raj, Dilshan & Chamica (Aus), in Sri Lanka. (Daily News, 30.10.2019)

INCH – MABEL (DOTTIE), wife of late Herbert Inch, mother of Leonard and Milroy (Can), mother-in-law of Christine and Sabrina (Can), grandmother of Andre (NZ), late Sean (Can) and Shane (Can), great grandmother of Jarryd (NZ). – 50/4, Gunasinghe Gardens, Tennekumbara, Kandy, Sri Lanka. (Daily News 30.10.2019) 

Note: All spelling of names as taken from Sri Lankan newspapers

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7, Benambra Street, Broadmeadows, Vic 3047, Australia.
Telephone + 61 3 9309 4040
E-mail < >
Web Site < >



                               ACQUISITIONS   FOR  THE  MONTH  OF  OCTOBER  2019


  1. Ivor Beven, ‘Fieldview’ and Beyond  by Joanne Russo, 2017

(Donated by Michael Roosmale-Cocq, Elanora, Qld)

  1. Kachchativu: and the Maritime Boundary of Sri Lanka by W. T. Jayasinghe, 2003

 (Donated H. E:  W.P.S.Prasanna Gamage, Sri Lanka Ambassador to Vietnam)

  1. The Empire’s Other Anzacs, The Ceylon Planters Rifle Corps, by Lieutenant Colonel Neil. C. Smith, AM, 2014



  • “Thorathuru”, News Magazine, Sri Lanka Association of New South Wales Inc , 2019 First Half issue
  • Newsletter of the Ceylonese Welfare Organisation Inc (CWO), Vol 37, Issue 4, October 2019.



  1. Article – “Dutch Burghers & Portuguese Mechanics: Eurasian Ethnicity in Sri Lanka by Dennis B. McGilvray

(Comparative Studies in Society & History 24 (2): 235-263, April 1982)


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                                VICTOR  MELDER  SRI  LANKA LIBRARY
7, Benambra Street, Broadmeadows, Vic 3047, Australia.
Telephone + 61 3 9309 4040
E-mail < >
Web Site < >

Victor Meldor - eLanka



                               ACQUISITIONS   FOR  THE  MONTH  OF  SEPTEMBER  2019


  1. New Buddhist Extremism and the Challenges to Ethno-Religious Coexistence in Sri Lanka by Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri, 2016

(Donated by Channa Wickremasinghe, Glen Waverley)




  1. Burgher Association (Australia) Inc, Spring Newsletter, September 2019.
  2. “Silverscene”, Newsletter of the Silver Fawn Club, Qld, Issue: September/October 2019
  3. “The Vine”, Evergreen’s Newsletter, Operation Hope, August 2019.
  4. “The Harbinger”, Family Magazine of the Australia / Sri Lanka Welfare Guild Inc (ASWG), Vol 44, No 4, September 2019.
  5. “Floreat”, Newsletter, Royal College Old Boy’s Association Australia, September 2019.



  1. “The Role of  Defence Establishments in Facing New Threat Dimensions Whilst Ensuring National Harmony”, General Deshamanaya Denis

             Perera Oration by Air Marshall Sumangala Dias, on August 11, 2019

             (Donated by Mrs Ranji Perera, Etul Kotte, Sri Lanka)

  1. Burgher Association (Australia) Inc, Notice of Annual General Meeting, 2019/2020

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SRI LANKA CRICKET NEWS (SEPTEMBER 2019) – Compiled by Victor Melder

Victor Meldor - eLanka

The touring New Zealanders, defeated Sri Lanka by 5 wickets, to win the first T20 International, played at Pallekelle International Cricket Stadium, Kandy. Scores:

Sri Lanka –  174/4 in 20 Overs (Mendis 79, Dickwella 33, Southee 2/20, Santner 1/22)

New Zealand –  175/5 in 19.3 Overs (Taylor 48, Grandhomme 44, Mitchell 25no, de Silva 2/21, Malinga 2/23, Dananjaya 1/30)

Player of the Match: Ross Taylor (New Zealand)

T20 debut: Wanindu Hasaranga (Sri Lanka)

The touring New Zealanders, defeated Sri Lanka by 4 wickets, to win the second T20 International, played at Pallekelle International Cricket Stadium, Kandy. Scores:

Sri Lanka – 161/9 in 20 Overs (Dickwella 39, Fernando 37, Mendis 26, Rance 3/33, Southee 2/18, Kuggleijn 2/38, Sodhi 1/34)

New Zealand – 165/6 in 19.4 Overs (Grandhomme 59,  Bruce 53, Dananjaya 3/36, Udana 1/18, de Silva 1/32)

Player of the Match: Tim Southee (New Zealand)

Sri Lanka beat the touring New Zealanders by 37 runs to win the third and final T20 International, played at Pallekelle International Stadium, Kandy. Scores:

Sri Lanka – 125/8 in 20 Overs (Gunathilaka 30, Dickwella 24, Santner 3/12, Astle 3/28, Kuggeleijn 1/21)

New Zealand – 88 in 16 Overs (Southee 28no, Santner 16, Malinga 5/6, Dananjaya 2/28, de Silva 1/12, Sandakan 1/33)

Player of the Match: Lasith Malinga (Sri Lanka)

Player of the Series: Tim Southee (New Zealand)

T20 debut: Lahiru Madushanka (Sri Lanka)

New Zealand won the 3-match series 2-1.

The national cricket team will leave for Pakistan on Tuesday on a two week tour where they will play three ODIs and three T-20 Internationals in Karachi and Lahore. Karachi will host the first leg of the tour consisting three ODIs and then the team will travel to Lahore for the T-20 leg. Sri Lanka will take wings to Karachi on Emirates via Dubai. After ten senior players pulled out of the tour, SLC was forced to select a second string team. All support staff agreed to make themselves available for the tour. Performance Analyst Hanish Shetty will not be able to go to Pakistan as he is not able to get a visa. Shetty is an Indian national. The tour was in jeopardy after the Prime Minister’s office warned SLC of a possible terror attack during their stay in Pakistan. The board then put the ball back into government’s court requesting for a new security clearance. Officials of the defense ministry went to Pakistan to study the security measures in place for the team and following government level negotiations, SLC was given the clearance to go ahead with the tour. Some 8500 security forces will guard the national cricket team and officials during their stay in Pakistan. The team will travel to the ground for games and practices in two armoured vehicles. They will be taken in a security convoy in a diamond shape and all roads will be closed down for public when the team is on the move. While SLC left the choice to tour for the players, the board will be in a spot if some of the young players who are making the tour come up with impressive performances. (Sunday Island, 22.9.2019)

The Sri Lanka ODI Squad: Lahiru Thirimanne (Captain), Oshada Fernando, Avishka Fernando, Isuru Udana, Danushka Gunathilaka, Shehan Jayasuriya, Angelo Perera, Dasun Shanaka, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Minod Bhanuka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lakshan Sandakan, Nuwan Pradeep, Kasun Rajitha and Lahiru Kumara

Sri Lanka T-20 Squad: Oshada Fernando, Avishka Fernando, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Danushka Gunathilaka, Shehan Jayasuriya, Angelo Perera, Dasun Shanaka (Captain), Lahiru Madushanka, Isuru Udana, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Minod Bhanuka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lakshan Sandakan, Nuwan Pradeep, Kasun Rajitha and Lahiru Kumara.

Sri Lanka in Pakistan Schedule:

Sep 27 1st ODI in Karachi

Sep 29 2nd ODI in Karachi

Oct 03 3rd ODI in Karachi,

Oct 05 1st T20I in Lahore

Oct 07 2nd T20I in Lahore

Oct 09 3rd T20I in Lahore. (Sunday Island, 22.9.2019)

Sri Lanka will play three T20 International (T20I)’s in India next year, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said, replacing India’s scheduled encounter with Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe had been suspended from international cricket since July this year by the International Cricket Council (ICC) citing political interference in the game. The ICC’s decision is to be reviewed at its board meeting expected next month. Accordingly, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had invited Sri Lanka for a three-match tour which would begin on January 5 and end on January 10.

The schedule is as follows :

  • January 05, 2020 : 1st T20I –  Guwahati
  • January 07, 2020 : 2nd T20I – Indore
  • January 10, 2020 : 3rd T20I – Pune         (Times Online, 26.9.2019)

Sri Lanka’s second One Day International (ODI) encounter with Pakistan has been rescheduled to September 30, hours after the first game had been washed out in Karachi today (Sept 27). The heavy downpour resulted in a soggy outfield at the Karachi National Stadium, which the PCB had said would take at least two days for ground staff to curate it for the next match. Both teams were expected to play the second game on September 29. However, Sri Lanka Cricket said the fixture had been revised after being consulted by the Pakistan Cricket Board. Sri Lanka, sans several senior players who dropped out citing security concerns, are to take on Pakistan in three ODI’s and T20 International (T20I)’s each.  The ODI’s would be played in Karachi while Lahore will host the T20I games. (Times Online, 27.9.2019)

The second ODI of the three-match series between Pakistan and Sri Lanka, which was originally scheduled for Sunday, will now be played on September 30 at the National Stadium in Karachi. The decision was taken mutually by both the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) in order to ensure the ground staff get an additional day to ensure the playing conditions are better after the first match was washed out due to rain on Friday. “This week’s unseasonal heavy rains have forced us to review the series schedule. I am thankful to Sri Lanka Cricket as well as our host broadcasters for agreeing to amend the match schedule to ensure there are no further abandonments due to rain in what is an important bilateral FTP series for Pakistan,” said PCB Director, International Cricket, Zakir Khan in an official statement. The tickets sold for the first ODI, as well as for September 29 will be valid for both the second and the third ODI. Also, the ticket holders, who were unable to attend the game on the rescheduled day, will be refunded. The first ODI between Pakistan and Sri Lanka was set to be the first in over 10 years that Karachi would have hosted an ODI match. The last match was also played between the two teams on January 21, 2009. The 2009 match was played before the tour ended when the Sri Lankan team bus was attacked outside the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.(Sunday Times, 29.9.2019)

Pakistan beat the touring Sri Lankans by 67 runs to win the Second ODI, played at the National Stadium, Karachchi. Scores:

Pakistan – 305/7 in 50 Overs (Azam 115, Zaman 54, Sohail 40, de Silva 2/63, Kumara 1/59, Udana 1/60)

Sri Lanka – 238 in 46.5 Overs (Jayasuriya 96, Shanaka 68, de Silva 30, Shinwari 5/51, Khan 2/76, Amir 1/21, Riaz 1/27)

Player of the match: Usman Shinwari )Pakistan)

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SRI LANKA NEWS (SEPTEMBER 2019) – Compiled by Victor Melder.

Victor Meldor - eLanka


Sri Lanka’s gross official reserves were 8,532.6 million US dollars by the end of August, up from 8,343.9 million US dollars in July, latest Central Bank data showed. By the end of August, foreign currency reserves were 7,494.7 million dollars while the reserve position in the IMF was 65.5 million dollars. Special Drawing Rights were 14.5 million, reserves in Gold were 956.8 million and other reserve assets were 1.1 million US dollars. The outstanding stock of T-bills and T-bonds held by foreigners decreased by 0.45 percent during the week compared to the previous week. During the year up to 6th September 2019, the Sri Lanka rupee has appreciated against the US dollar by 1.2 percent. (Daily Island, 9.9.2019)

The first-ever anti-venom serum developed in Sri Lanka to treat snake bites victims is expected to be introduced to the market shortly, officials said. The government spends around Rs. 1 billion to import anti-venom serum from India, but experts have pointed out that the potency of the venom, particularly when it comes to Russell’s Viper and Hump-nosed Viper in Sri Lanka, is more toxic than in India. The anti-venom ICP and AVRI that has been produced locally is polyspecific and it covers multiple species including, for the first time, the Hump-nosed Pit Viper, the most common cause of snakebite envenoming in Sri Lanka, and is known to cause serious systemic toxicity and death. Medical experts have shown that a victim with serious bites ends with acute kidney damage plus many other complications when it comes to the hypnale species. A decade ago, snake bites were a major problem with some 60,000 people falling victim annually. Only around 40,000 of the victims received treatment from hospitals, while the others resorted to traditional native snake bite treatment. In total, 97% of snake bite deaths are caused by the cobra, Russell’s Viper and Common Indian Krait. Apart from them, the Sri Lankan Krait and Saw Scaled Viper are categorized as a deadly species though they have not caused many deaths. The Merrem’s Hump-nosed Viper is now considered by the Sri Lanka Medical Association as a dangerous species. However, of the land snakes only a few are medically important or can inflict a bite, where the venom could be mild, moderate or highly venomous. It is of interest to note that to date, modern medical literature record human fatalities only due to four species of snakes – Russell’s Viper, Cobra, Kraits and the Hump-nosed Viper. The Hump-nosed Pit Viper (Hypnale Merrem’s pit viper) is a snake widely distributed in Sri Lanka and the South Western coastal region of India. It is the most common snake responsible for venomous snakebites in Sri Lanka, estimated to be between 22% to 77% of all snakebites (de Silva, 1981; Seneviratne, 2000). For centuries, it was considered a relatively innocuous snake until 1821, when for the first time, swelling and bleeding due to bites by H. hypnale was reported in animals (Davy, 1821) (Sunday Island, 15.9.2019)

A new dwarf day gecko has been added to Sri Lanka’s list of gecko species. The latest addition to the diverse herperto fauna brings the Cnemaspis richness to 33 species. The new species is dedicated to Sri Lanka’s Father of Herpetology, renowned scientist, Dr. Anslem De Silva. Dr. De Silva said that there are a number of species, especially reptiles and amphibians new to science, which are to be named soon. He commended young researchers for their devoted service to the field of science. The new species was named Cnemaspis anslemi by environmental scientists D. M. S. Surajan Karunarathna and  Kanishka Ukuwela. The new day gecko species of Genus Cnemaspis Strauch 1887 is from a midland forested area of Udamaliboda (north-western foothills of Samanala Nature Reserve) in Sri Lanka. The species is medium in size (30–35 mm SVL) and can be differentiated from all other Sri Lankan congeners by a suite of distinct morph metric, meristic and color characters (dorsum with smooth and homogeneous granular scales; chin, gular, pectoral, and abdominal scales smooth; precloacal pores absent in males, 14–15 femoral pores separated by 9–11 unpored interfemoral scales in males; subcaudals smooth, sub hexagonal, enlarged, sub equal, forming a regular median row). It was recorded from tall trees with smooth bark in home gardens, and also on clay walls in very old tall houses in wet, cool and shady forests, distributed across mid elevations (~450–650 m) with limited anthropogenic disturbance. They can climb of up to heights of 7m on vertical surfaces of trees. The most noteworthy behavior of this species is that when “scared,” it runs only upward to the canopy of a tree or along the wall to hide within crevices. Suranjan Karunarathna warned that the major threats to this species in Udamaliboda and other locations in lower Samanala Nature Reserve are habitat loss due to expansion of commercial-scale agriculture and monoculture plantations, and illicit forest encroachments. “Therefore, these foothill forests warrant special conservation, habitat protection, further in-depth research and specific hands-on management practices,” he stressed. (Sunday Island, 15.9.2019)

A senior spokesman for the Election Commission, last night, said the presidential election would be held on Nov. 16, 2019. The official said the relevant gazette notification would be issued Wednesday (18) night. The announcement was made in the wake of the SLPP alleging President Maithripala Sirisena planning to consult the Supreme Court again in respect of the duration of his term. The official said the nominations for the elections would be called for on Oct. 07. “There will be a two week-period to receive nominations. Cash deposits can be made in view of the elections, till noon on October 6.” The Commission took that decision in keeping with the election law, the official said. The SLPP and the National People’s Power Movement (NPPM) have named wartime Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Anura Kumara Dissanayake as their respective presidential candidates. The SLPP named Gotabaya Rajapaksa as its candidate on Aug 11. The JVP-led coalition made its announcement on Aug. 18. The UNP and its partners and the civil society are still continuing discussions among themselves, with UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, its Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa and Speaker Karu Jayasuriya vying for presidential nomination. UNP General Secretary Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said that the Working Committee would soon decide on the party candidate who would contest, through the National Democratic Front (NDF). Political sources said that contrary to claims by various spokesmen, the SLFP wouldn’t field a candidate. It would be the first time the SLFP will not in the presidential fray. The last presidential election was held on January 08, 2015. (Daily Island, 19.9.2019)

As envisioned in Budget 2019 proposals by Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera, the Cabinet of Ministers has approved the payment of a monthly interim allowance of Rs. 6,000 to families of missing persons including family members of the armed forces and the police missing in action, the Finance Ministry said. Issuing a statement, the Ministry said that across the island, in addition to heartbreak and trauma, families of missing persons had been undergoing severe economic hardships due to the disappearance of their loved ones, in most cases the breadwinner of the family. The Office of Missing Persons (OMP), in its interim report published in August 2018, had recommended providing interim relief to families of missing persons that had Certificates of Absence. Budget 2019 incorporated these recommendations. The interim relief is of Rs.6000 monthly bank deposit to the recipient of a certificate of absence. It will be provided until the newly-established Office of Reparations provides compensation and other forms of reparation. Interim relief will also not be a waiver of the right to adequate, prompt and effective reparations to seek judicial remedies. So far, 656 certificates of absence have been issued to families of missing persons in both the North and the South, some of whom include families of armed forces personnel who are missing in action. In order to facilitate the speedy issuance of certificates of absence, the Cabinet also approved the recruitment of additional officers to the Registrar General’s Department on a contract basis. (Daily Mirror, 20.9.2019)

The Working Committee of the United National Party (UNP) has agreed to nominate Minister Sajith Premadasa as its presidential candidate today (Sept 26). Accordingly, UNP Deputy Leader Mr. Premadasa would contest under the UNP-led Democratic National Front (DNF) banner which would be formed on October 9.  A final decision in this regard had been taken during a meeting at the UNP Headquarters which took place this afternoon.  Accordingly, the UNP would make its cash deposit for Minister Premadasa at the Elections Secretariat tomorrow.   UNP leader Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Speaker Karu Jayasuriya too were among the names tipped to be nominated as the presidential candidate. So far seven candidates have placed their cash deposits to contest at the November 16 election. This includes former Defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, businessman Rohan Pallewatta, and Ariyawansa Dissanayake. United National Party (UNP) presidential candidate Sajith Premadasa today (Sept 26) said that UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe will serve as Prime Minister, under his government.  “This isn’t a problem about choosing a Prime Minister. It is the presidential election,” Mr. Premadasa said in his first news conference after announcing his candidature. (Times Online, 26.9.2019)

The United Nations suspended Sri Lankan Army deployments in the world body’s peacekeeping operations after the Indian Ocean island nation appointed a war veteran who has been accused of serious human rights violations, an official said on Wednesday. “We have expressed our concern to the Government of Sri Lanka over the appointment of Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva to the position of Commander of the Sri Lanka Army despite well-documented, credible allegations of his involvement in serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law,” UN Spokesman Farhan Haq said in New York. “In light of this appointment, the UN Department of Peace Operations is therefore suspending future Sri Lankan army deployments except where suspension would expose UN operations to serious operational risk.” Silva, 55, is credited with successfully leading an army division against dissident Tamil Tigers in the final phases of the island nation’s 26-year-long brutal civil war. His victory, however, was highly controversial. Thousands of civilians were killed in the last phases of the conflict, including in areas declared by the government to be a “no-fire zone” which came under sustained army shelling, including hospitals. A United Nations panel has accused Silva’s division of suspected extrajudicial executions of unarmed rebels in the final week of the war, which ended in 2009, and systematic torture of people in custody. Silva, who joined the Army in 1984 and had been its Chief of Staff since January, has denied the accusations.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said in a statement in August that Silva’s promotion “severely compromises Sri Lanka’s commitment to promote justice and accountability”. The United States expressed its disapproval of Silva’s appointment in a strongly-worded statement and said “the allegations of gross human rights violations against him, documented by the United Nations and other organisations, are serious and credible.” Silva was named Head of the Army after the term of the previous Chief, Mahesh Senanayake, ended in July. Various countries contribute forces to UN peacekeeping missions around the world. (Daily Financial Times, 27.9.2019)

The Government said yesterday it was in discussion with the UN  Secretary General over the latter’s announcement of UN Department of Peace Operations deciding to repatriate Sri Lankan Army Unit and individual officers serving with the UN Peace Keeping. “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who is leading the Sri Lanka delegation to the 74th General Assembly Session, is scheduled to discuss this matter with the Under Secretary General of the UN Department of Peace Operations, on Friday 27 September 2019,” the Ministry said in a statement. Deputy Spokesman for the UN Secretary General Farhan Haq on Wednesday said that the UN Department of Peace Operations has decided to repatriate a Sri Lankan Army unit and individual officers currently serving with UN Peacekeeping, due to concerns over the appointment of Lt. Gen. Shavendra Silva as the Commander of the Sri Lanka Army. (Daily Financial Times, 27.9.2019)

Exports in July declined by 7% after posting steady growth for more than a year, which expanded the trade deficit to $ 717 million but in carminative terms the deficit for the first seven months of the year contracted by $ 2 billion in the first seven months, the Central Bank said. The trade deficit widened in July as exports fell more than the decline in imports. Export earnings recorded a decline of 7% (year-on-year) after a steady growth for several months while import expenditure declined by 2.2% (year-on-year) in July. The decline in export earnings in July can be largely attributed to a reduction in earnings from petroleum products due to lower prices of bunker fuel and the export of a naval craft in July 2018, which resulted in a higher export base in the corresponding month of the previous year. The trade deficit widened to $ 717 million in July compared to the deficit of $ 316 million recorded in June. The deficit in the trade account, which contracted significantly since November 2018, widened in July, both on a year-on-year basis and month-on-month basis. In cumulative terms, the deficit in the trade account contracted by $ 2,076 million to $ 4,314 million during the first seven months of 2019 in comparison to the corresponding period of 2018. Meanwhile, the terms of trade, which represents the relative price of imports in terms of exports, improved by 3.9% (year-on-year) as export prices, on average, reduced at a slower pace than the decline in import prices. However, on a cumulative basis, the terms of trade deteriorated marginally by 0.8% during the first seven months of 2019 in comparison to the corresponding period of 2018. (Daily Financial Times, 28.9.2019)

Three more elephants have been found dead yesterday at the Thumbikulam reserve at Habarana, bringing the total number of elephants found dead at the park to seven, Wildlife Conservation Department (DWC) officials said. In a pathetic scene, a five-year-old calf was seen refusing to leave the site of one of the elephants, believed to be its mother. The baby elephant attempted to revive the dead elephant by trying to breath into its mouth. Since wildlife officers were unable to approach the mother elephant to carry out a post-mortum examination they were forced to tranquilise the calf and drive it into the jungle. A visibly shaken Wildlife State Minister Ranjith Aluwihare who arrived at the scene reprimanded wildlife officers for not informing him about the tragedy. He said he had to learn of the deaths from media reports. Earlier on Friday, wildlife officials had found four dead elephants in the same reserve. The officials said they believed all the animals were from a single herd, and they were females with their ages ranging between 25 and 35 years. Meanwhile, DWC Director General Chandana Sooriyabandara, told the Sunday Times they had informed the Kekirawa Magistrate about the deaths. He said two veterinary surgeons had carried out the post-mortem examination and another veterinary surgeon was scheduled to go there today to carry out investigations into the mysterious deaths” The Wildlife Department would be producing a progress report in court to get an order to send samples collected at the post-mortem examinations for further investigation. Meanwhile, in another incident the body of a tusker had been found in Moragahawewa in Puttlam. Veterinarian Dr. Chandana Jayasinghe, said he believed the animal, around 7 feet tall and 15 years old, had died of poisoning. He added one of the tusks of the beast was missing and said he believed that whoever attempted to retrieve the tusks was unable to remove the other as the animal had fallen in a muddy area. (Sunday Times, 29.9.2019)

Sri Lanka is trailing behind many Asian and middle income countries in human capital with lower relative education and stunted children, while though the country is doing better in life expectancy, a new report has found. In newly compiled cross-country Human Capital Index (HCI) compiled by World Bank, Sri Lanka scores 58 points giving a ranking of 74 out of 157 countries. After 13 years of education a child in Sri Lanka has education level equal to about eight years of education in Singapore, Harsha Athurupane, Lead Economist and Program Leader for Human Development for Sri Lanka and Maldives said. Sri Lanka was weak in areas such as mathematics, he said. Based on the HCI index a child in Sri Lanka born today will be 58 percent as productive in adulthood compared to their full potential. “Children born in Singapore today can expect to achieve 88 percent of their potential, Children born in Japan and the Republic of Korea will achieve 84 percent and in Hong Kong 82 percent. “Sri Lanka was the best performing country in South Asia,” the report Sri Lanka Human Capital Development noted. “However it lags behind East Asian countries such as China, Malaysia, Mongolia, Thailand and Vietnam. In Sri Lanka a child has a 99 percent chance of surviving to age 05. About 26 percent of children die of accidents. The expected number of years of schooling is 13 years, on par with high income countries. On learning outcomes Sri Lanka scores 400, above lower middle income country average of 391, but less than the average upper middle income of 428. It is below the mean score of East Asia and Pacific of 451. The report found that Sri Lanka’s Southern Province had the highest HCI value of 63.3 higher than the Western province’s 61.8, largely due to improvements by the provincial council to schools. Southern Province overtakes Western in Sri Lanka human capital index In Sri Lanka 83 percent were not stunted, above the 73 percent for lower middle income countries, but below the average for upper middle income countries. “The county has deep-rooted challenges in stunting (reflecting chronic under-nutrition) and learning adjusted years of schooling,” the report said. “These are second generation challenges that are hard to address.” (Daily Island, 29.9.2019)

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