Victor Melder




(MAY 2019)
Compiled by Victor Melder




Sri Lanka have slipped to number nine in the official ICC Rankings that was updated yesterday. Dimuth Karunaratne’s side is ranked sixth in Test cricket. India finished top of the Test rankings while England finished number one in ODIs. The ninth rank is Sri Lanka’s lowest and now they are in jeopardy of not qualifying for further ICC events directly.

ICC Test Team Rankings

1 India 113 (-3), 2 New Zealand 111 (+3), 3 South Africa 108 (+3), 4 England 105 (+1), 5 Australia 98 (-6), 6 Sri Lanka 94 (+1), 7 Pakistan 84 (-4), 8 West Indies 82 (+5), 9 Bangladesh 65 (-3), 10 Zimbabwe 16 (+3)

ICC ODI Team Rankings – Rank Team Points

1 England 123 (-), 2 India 121 (+1), 3 South Africa 115 (+3), 4 New Zealand 113 (+1), 5 Australia 109 (+1), 6 Pakistan 96 (-1), 7 Bangladesh 86 (-4), 8 West Indies 80 (+4), 9 Sri Lanka 76 (-), 10 Afghanistan 64 (-), 11 Zimbabwe 54 (+1), 12 Ireland 46 (+3), 13 Scotland 40 (+7). (Daily Island, 3.5.2019)

Having spent ten days in the United Kingdom acclimatizing to the conditions, the national cricket team will feature in their first game of the long tour when they take on Scotland in an ODI today in Edinburgh. The two match series is preparation ahead of the World Cup campaign that beings early next month. These two games will give an opportunity for the Sri Lankan management to decide on their composition for the World Cup campaign. Players like Angelo Mathews, Kusal Janith Perera and Nuwan Pradeep, who are returning from injuries, will be on show in today’s game. Not just for the three of them, but for majority of Sri Lankan players in the squad, the two games will be an opportunity to find their ODI form. Sri Lanka’s selectors surprised everyone when they picked as many as five players in their World Cup squad, who had not featured in an ODI for more than 18 months. Captain Dimuth Karunaratne and leg-spinner Jeewan Mendis haven’t played an ODI for more than four years. Premier fast bowler Lasith Malinga has been rested for the two games. Scotland and Sri Lanka have played two ODIs so far with Sri Lanka  winning both encounters. The Sri Lanka Squad (From):    Dimuth Karunaratne (Captain), Lasith Malinga, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Kusal Janith Perera (wk), Avishka Fernando, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dhananjaya de Silva, Thisara Perera, Isuru Udana,  Milinda Siriwardena, Jeewan Mendis, Jefferey Vandersay, Suranga Lakmal and  Nuwan Pradeep. (Daily Island, 18.5.2019)

The first ODI between Sri Lanka and Scotland yesterday at Edinburgh was called off without a ball being bowled due to inclement weather. (Sunday Island, 19.5.2019)

Britain’s leading newspaper The Daily Telegraph claims that corruption investigations in Sri Lanka will drag on at least till the end of this year and that more individuals will be charged before September, possibly after the World Cup. Sri Lankan cricket is rocked by serious allegations of corruption with former Test captain Sanath Jayasuriya banned from the game for two years and several other individuals charged. Former Fast Bowling Coach Nuwan Zoysa, former Batting Coach Avishka Gunawardene, former all-rounder Dilhara Lokuhettige and Sri Lanka Cricket’s Performance Analyst Sanath Jayasundara have been all charged for various breaches of the Anti Corruption Code. The newspaper reported that the focus of the ICC Anti Corruption Unit at the moment will be to ensure a corruption free Cricket World Cup, the sport’s showpiece event. It said that the investigators have taken the extraordinary step to warn suspected match fixers against travelling to England for the World Cup having launched the biggest ever protection operation ahead of the ten team event that will get underway later this month in England and Wales. As a result, anti-corruption officers will be posted with each of the ten teams, a step undertaken for the first time. In addition, there will be two investigators and one evidence analyst on duty throughout the tournament. The ICC has also taken steps to contact suspected match fixers through solicitors and warned them that they will be thrown out of cricket grounds if they were spotted during a game. The game’s governing body is confident that the World Cup will be clean and poses a low risk due to extra security measures. “Badly run events attract the corrupters and they look for vulnerabilities in events and players but the World Cup is highly organised, well run, well governed and the players are well protected so we expect it to be clean,” Alex Marshall, the General Manager of the ICC’s Anti-Corruption unit was quoted as saying.  (Daily Island, 21.5.2019)

South Africa beat Sri Lanka by 87 runs, to win their ICC World Cup Warm-up match, played at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff, UK. Scores:

South Africa – 338/7 in 50 Overs (du Plessis 88, Amla 65, van der Dussen 40, Phehlukwayo 35, Lakmal 2/63, Pradeep 2/77, Udana 1/42, de Silva 1/44, Mendis 1/45)  

Sri Lanka – 251 all out in 42.3 Overs (Karunaratne 87, Mathews 64, Mendis 37, Phehlukwayo 4/36, Ngidi 2/12, Duminy 1/27, Tahir 1/31, Pretorius 1/34, Rabada 1/40)

Australia beat Sri Lanka by 5 wickets, to win their ICC World Cup Warm-up match played at The Rose Bowl, Southampton, UK. Scores:

Sri Lanka – 239/8 in 50 Overs (Thirimanne 56, de Silva 43, B.K.G.Mendis 24,  B.M.A.J. Mendis 21,Zampa 2/39, Smith 1/9, Maxwell 1/14, Cummins 1/23, Starc 1/38, Lyon 1/48)

Australia – 241/5 in 44.5 Overs (Khawaja 89, Maxwell 36, Marsh 34, Stonis 32, Vandersay 2/51, de Silva 1/17, Pradeep 1/28, Siriwardana 1/28)

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7, Benambra Street, Broadmeadows, Vic 3047, Australia.

Telephone + 61 3 9309 4040

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  1.  Tides of Violence: Mapping the Sri Lankan Conflict from 1983 to 2009, May 2019 – Public Interest Advocacy Centre, Sydney, NSW 2000.

(Donated by Hemal Gurusinghe, Chelsea Heights, Vic)

  1.  ‘Viva Italia’, An Introduction to Basic Italian with Opening Exercises in English & Sinhala by Alex Van Arkadie, 2019

 (Donated by the Author, Rome, Italy)

  1.   Miracles Attributed to Ven. Fr Joseph Vaz, & Pastoral Letters, 1987
  2.   The Jeweled Isle, Art from Sri Lanka by R.Brown and et al, et al (Donated by Michael Roberts, Adelaide, SA)


       CORRECTION (Title) – BOOKS, APRIL 2019

  1. Riding the Zeitgeist, The Hemaka Amarasuriya Story by Savithri Rodrigo, 2018  (Donated by the Author, Dehiwela, Sri Lanka)


  1.  The ‘Ceylankan’ – Journal of the Ceylon Society of Australia, Journal 86, Vol XXII, No 2, May 2019.


  1.  The Journal of the Australia Ceylon Fellowship Inc (ACF), Vol 61, No 2, May 2019.
  2.  “Silverscene”, Newsletter of the Silver Fawn Club Inc, Qld, May/June 2019 issue.
  3.  “The Vine”, Evergreen’s Newsletter, Operation Hope Inc, April 2019


  1.  Sinhala Muslim Relations in Sri Lanka by M. D.D.Pieris, Dr. A.M.A. Azeez Memorial Oration

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OBITUARIES: Compiled by Victor Melder (E & O.E.) – (MAY  2019)

DE ZYLVA, MAURICE, in Melbourne, on May 2, 2019. (Contributed)


DE JONG – OUIDA, wife of late Herbert, mother of Rolph, late Jeffery and od Travis and Graham, mother-in-law of Cheryl, Katy, Tamaris and Rehana. Grandmother of Nicola, Natalie, Hamish, Annalease, Griffith, Neliya, Cheyanne and Jaclyn, great grandmother of seven, in Sri Lanka. (Daily News 3.5.2019)


KLEYNIGNATIUS  LOYALA,  husband of late Pushpom Kleyn (Annie), father of Ann, Belinda, Charles, Delrin, Esther and Fritzroy,  father-in-law of Jude, Neville, Shyama, Frank (Italy), Roy and Dilhani,  grandfather of Roger, Shani, Remien, Remona  & Dexter, Remeena, Rozanna  & Ashen, Ryan, Julia & Dinith (Australia), Sharia & Jian, Gayasha, Natasha, Deanna, Jenny (UK) & Mario (UK), Jessica (UK), Jesmine (UK), Fiona, Demien, Kevin, Trevor, Bernedeen and Barbra, great-grandfather of Dion, Sheilly, Shenelle, Diendra and Daranza, in Sri Lanka. – 55/1, Alwis Town, Hendala, Wattala, Sri Lanka (Daily Island, 4.5.2019)


SMITH – DANE, husband of Padminie, father of Patrick. Son of late Elaine Mortier, step brother of late Christoper Mortier-Joseph, in Sri Lanka. – 3/9, Medagodawatte, Thumbowila, Piliyandala, Sri Lanka. (Contributed)


DELAMOTTE – GORDON SEARBY, husband of Val (dec), father, grandfather and great grandfather, in NSW. (Central Coast Express, NSW, 16.5.2019)


GREBE – BELLA, wife of late Sam, mother of Jeremy, mother-in-law of Roshika, grandmother of Dimitri, in Sri Lanka. (Daily News, 17.5.2019)


DE WAAS – MARGIE, wife of late Raymond De Waas, mother of Sandya, Sarto and Sriyantha , mother-in-law of Nimal, Lumina and Dujeewa, grandmother of Shivantha, Rochelle, Harshaka, Imali, Hanisha and Kavisha, great grandmother of Ethan. Daughter of late Christopher and Annie, sister of Rev. Fr. Joe Paul, Rev. Sr. Rose and rev. Fr. Damian, and sister of late Patricia, Therese, Eddie, Aloy and Rev. Sr Clement, in Sri Lanka, aged 84 years. – ‘Rosa Mystica’, Weboda Road, Bolawalana, Sri Lanka. (Daily News, 18.5.2019)


BARTHOLOMEUSZ – EVELYN ROSE, (July 11, 1926 – May 13, 2019), wife of the late Risien, mother of Chiron, Dylan and Delyse, mother-in-law of Anne-Marie, Kelly and Frances, grandmother of Derena and Matt, Ramon and Kate, Lorenz, Nelson, Elana, Brandon, great grandmother of Jake, Olivia and Henry. Sister of Beryl and the late Mary, in Adelaide. (The Adelaide Advertiser, 18..52019)


FONSEKA – BARBARA MIGNON (nee Ferdinands), wife of the late Wilton Fonseka, mother of Tamara, Rochelle, Suzie, David, Sandra and Nathalie, mother-in-law of Neville Davidson, Ryan Jaliel, Wilhelm Wijesekara, Ingrid Gibson and the  Jeremy Benedict and Lalith Akmeemana, grandmother of Salomie, Tina, Rosalie, Jodasche, Tracy, Trudy, Amanda, Vanessa, Deanne and Wendell, great grandmother of Sarah, Stacey, Ethan, Hannah, Dwayne, Kyra, Kimaya, Kavish, Kalena and Aiden. Daughter of the late Anna Myrtle and Oswald Arthur Ferdinands, in Sri Lanka. (Daily News 22.5.2019)


MACK – CHRIS,  (27.03.1949 – 17.05.2019), husband of Ruth, father of Craig, Margaret and Ken, father-in-law of Dean, grandfather of Harry, Joel, Logan, Toby and Cohen. Brother of Roberta (dec) and Lindy, in Canberra. (The Canberra Times, 22.5.2019)


BRUNTON – RODNEY NEVILLE, husband of Wimaladevi, father of Hermoine and Suzyanne, grandfather of Savinda, Sohan and Shannon, great grandfather. Kylie. Son of late Joseph and Mary Brunton, brother of Celine, Doris, Sandy, late Noeline and Clement, in Sri Lanka. (Daily News 23.5.2019)


KOELMEYER – NOELINE MARY, wife of Elmo, mother of Rodney, Desmond, Elvis and Romain, mother-in-law of Eleanor, Raywathy, Wendy and Tyrone, grandmother of Jacqueline, Richie, Reeve, Natasha, Tashya, Liza, Crystal, Klenn, Liam. Sister of Mignonne, Anita, late Benjamin, Olga and Milroy, sister-in-law of Kalyanaratne , Bendedict, Emil, Jacinta and late Ilene, in Sri Lanka. – 38A, Christ the King Avenue, Mahabage, Sri Lanka. (Daily News 23.5.2019).


GERREYN – STELMOND, husband of the late Blossom, father of Lorraine Lawson, Cedric, Patrick (UK) and Susie Ranchhod (Aust), on May 20, 2019. HIS BROTHER, GERREYN – HENRY, husband of the late Audrey, father of Tania and Owain (UK) and the late Trisha, on May 21, 2019. (Daily News, 24.5.2019)  


GUNASEKARA – YVONNE, (nee Rebera), wife of  late Trevor, mother of Debbie and Warren, mother-in-law of Sajith Sumanasiri, grandmother of Pehan and Vehan. Sister of late Allan, Stanley (Aust) and late Daphne, in Sri Lanka. (Daily News 24.5.2019)


THOMAS – PAULINE. Wife of the late Mr. J. Thomas, mother of Gabriel, Noel, Mary Anne, Leo, Felix, Julius and Tania, mother-in-law of Mercy, Wijee, Dilani, Brenda, Angeline, Ravi and Godfrey, in Sri Lanka. (Sunday Observer, 26.5.2019)


ALOYSIUS – DR DENNIS JESUTHASAN, husband of the late Chrisse (nee Perera), father of Rohini, Ranjini, Ranee, Prof. Rohan and Ruvani, father-in-law of John Garrett, Anil Fernando and Campion Fernando, grandfather of Angelo, Romano, late Roshika, Ashan, Cherani, Rashini, Tiyani and Ravin. Brother of Lucy Page and of the late Cyril Gardiner, Mangalam St George, Pushpam Savundranayagam, Joe, Dr Hubert and Peter, in Sri Lanka. (Daily News 27.5.2019)


DANISTER – MRS TILAKA, mother of Isha Perera (nee Kariyawasam), mother-in-law of Claude Perera, in Melbourne. (Contributed)


BALASINGAM – PATHMASIRI, husband of Ann Raji, father of Nithiya Shri, Kaaviyansiri and Samudra Sri. Son of Velupillai Balasingam and late Maheswari Balasingam, son-in-law of Rajeswaran and late Amalasothy (Rani). Brother of late Mangalasiri and Nimalsiri, brother-in-law of Aravinthan (Melb), Sumangala (UK) and Yasodai Sivapriya (Syd), in Melbourne on May 24, 2019. (Daily News 29.5.2019)


HINGERT – JEAN, wife of late Edgar, mother of Shane and Shama, Nigel and Melanie, grandmother of Ryan, Dyan, Clire and Jason, in Sri Lanka. (Daily News 29.5.2019)

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




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SRI LANKA NEWS IN BRIEF (MAY 2019) – Compiled by Victor Melder

Victor Meldor - eLanka

Archbishop of Colombo Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith yesterday declined a bullet proof vehicle offered by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. Addressing the media, after a meeting with former JHU Parliamentarian Ven. Omalpe Sobitha Thera, the Cardinal said that the government should focus on ensuring the security of all Sri Lankans instead of a select few. The Cardinal said that he was still not satisfied with the security measures adopted to deal with terrorists. “Some houses in Periyamulla, Negombo have been closed after the Easter Sunday bombings but they have not been checked,” he said. He also urged youth not to use social media to misinform people and spread hatred. Sobitha Thera said that the conduct of the Cardinal was an example to all Sri Lankans.  “All religious leaders must unite to get the country out of this,” the thera said. (Daily Island, 1.5.2019)

The Government has awarded a $ 91.27 million contract to India’s IRCON International Ltd. to upgrade the northern railway line. Sri Lanka Railways, under the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation, has awarded the contract to the public sector undertaking (PSU) under the Government of India to upgrade the northern railway line from Maho to Omanthai. “The company has been awarded an international railway contract worth approximately $ 91.27 million – equivalent to INR 6,350 million – from Sri Lanka Railways,” IRCON said in a release. IRCON said this is an item rate contract, financed through Exim Bank of India as per Indian lines of credit. According to a release, under the contract, IRCON will upgrade the single line broad gauge track from Maho to Omanthai – around 128 km – including associated infrastructure works. “The project is to rebuild the rail track to make it capable of carrying trains at speeds of 120 kmph with heavier loads and to ensure efficient, safe, and comfortable transport services for passengers and freight,” IRCON said. IRCON previously completed the upgrade of the 114 km Colombo-Matara coastal railway line under Indian line of credit, the reconstruction of Medawachchiya to Madhu Road railway line in the Northern Province, and the restoration of the northern railway line from Omanthai to Jaffna. (Daily Financial Tomes, 4.5.2019)

Selected Christian churches will resume Sunday services today after the Easter Sunday bombings, while all Catholic churches throughout the country will remain closed for services. As a security precaution, some of the Christian churches have adjusted the times of the services, in addition to implementing increased security measures, with volunteers keeping a close watch on those arriving for service. Parking restrictions will also be placed around churches. Catholic churches will not have holy masses today in view of the security situation. Instead, there will be a live telecast of the holy mass celebrated by Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith at the Archbishop’s House from 8 a.m. The Cardinal had previously advised the clergy only to refrain from conducting holy masses in the Colombo Archdiocese, but subsequently the Bishops’ Conference decided that that masses throughout the country should not be held, Archbishop’s House Spokesman Fr. Edmund Thilakaratne said. He said the decision was changed based on “information received”, but did not elaborate. However, the Cardinal, in a communication circulated  among the churches and Catholic institutions, said they had information from a “reliable foreign source” that attackers were planning to target a famous church and a Catholic Apostolic institution. Some Christian churches, however, said Sunday services would be held as scheduled and security measures would be taken for the safety of the congregation. (Sunday Times, 5.5.2019)

More than 600 foreigners, including Islamic preachers who have come on tourist visas, have been deported during the past week for violating visa regulations. Home Affairs Minister Vajira Abeywardena, under whose purview the Immigration Department comes, told the Sunday Times that at a meeting presided over by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, a directive was issued to the Immigration Department higher-ups to deport all persons violating visas. Accordingly all those people arrested for violating visa regulations have been deported. An Immigration Department official said that at present, at least 200 foreigners were in involved in Islamic preaching in Sri Lanka. They were issued visas on the recommendations of the Muslim Affairs Ministry. He said that at the prime minister’s meeting, senior Immigration Department officials submitted a list of foreign Islamic preachers in Sri Lanka. He said that his Department issued them visas after obtaining security clearance from the Defence Ministry, in keeping with the usual procedure. (Sunday Tomes, 5.5.2019)

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SRI LANKA NEWS IN BRIEF (APRIL 2019) – Compiled by Victor Melder

Victor MeldorThe Budget 2019 was passed in Parliament yesterday with a majority of 45 votes. It received 119 votes in favour and 74 against. The TNA, the SLMC and the CWC voted with the government while the Joint Opposition, JVP and some SLFP members voted against it. Many SLFP members were absent. At the end of the debate, a division was called by MEP leader Dinesh Gunawardena. Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera winding up the second reading of the Budget 2019 themed ‘Empowering the People and Nurturing the Poor’ said that the Opposition’s criticisms of the budget were unfair and baseless.  He said that it was the country’s 73rd budget and the UNF government’s first budget. It was the fifth budget of the present government. “This is the first budget we presented as a government led by the UNF,” he said. Minister Samaraweera made the Budget Speech in Parliament on March 5. The second reading of the Budget debate was held from March 6-12. The Second Reading of the Appropriation Bill (2019) was passed on March 12 by the House with a simple majority of 43 votes with 119 voting in favour and 76 opposing. The Third Reading of the Appropriation Bill or the Committee Stage Debate on the expenditure heads for each ministry, commenced on March 13 and continued until yesterday. During the committee stage of the debate the expenditure heads of the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development and Ministry of Internal and Home Affairs and Provincial Councils and Local Government were defeated. The supplementary estimates presented for the two ministries were passed yesterday evening after the vote. When the two expenditure heads were taken the TNA informed Parliament that it would abstain from voting for the Ministry of Internal and Home Affairs and Provincial Councils (Daily Mirror, 6.4.2019)

The Cabinet of Ministers has approved a proposal from the Minister of Tourism to issue visa on arrival to tourists visiting Sri Lanka from 39 countries. Cabinet also decided to issue these visas on gratis basis as an incentive to attract tourists. The programme will be a pilot project effective for an initial period of six months commencing May 1 2019 and ending October 1, 2019. The programme will be considered for continuation thereafter based on the progress achieved during the pilot period. The countries included in the visa on arrival programme includes UK, USA, nations from EU, Japan, Australia, South Korea, Canada, Singapore, New Zealand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Thailand and Switzerland. Minister Amaratunga stated that the programme was being introduced to boost arrivals during what is usually perceived as the ‘off season.’ “We will run this as a pilot project initially in order to increase arrivals during the off season. We estimate that this initiative will result in a 20 percent increase in arrivals. Depending on its success in the initial period we will decide whether to continue with it,” Minister Amaratunga stated. The Department of Immigration and Emigration is now in the process of making necessary arrangements to implement the visa on arrival programme from May 1. Amaratunga added that the travel and tourism industry stakeholders had welcomed the move as a step in the right direction. In addition to the visa relaxation Sri Lanka Tourism in association with airlines, hotels and other industry stakeholders will also launch a discounted country promotion package. (Daily News, 6.4.2019)

In what was described as an “alarming trend” by wildlife officials, 24 deaths of elephants were reported from the Polonnaruwa wildlife zone within the first three months of this year. In addition, three human deaths were also reported within this period in related incidents. During last year (2018), the number of deaths of elephants within this zone was placed at 76, while 21 humans also lost their lives in connected incidents. In comparison, 2017 witnessed the lowest within the zone; 44 elephants and 16 humans. Illegal human activity within the wildlife zone and its environs has aggravated the human-elephant conflict, says W. D. M. J. Wickremasinghe, the assistant director in charge of the zone. Referring to the latest figures within the first three months of this year, he said many of the jumbos were killed due to electrocution, gunshot injuries, rail accidents and as a result of falling victim to hakka patas explosive devices. (Sunday Island, 7.4.2019)


More than 500,000 people have been affected by the severe drought, according to the Disaster Management Centre (DMC). The DMC said, 529,420 persons, belonging to 136,329 families, had been affected by the prevailing drought. The worst affected areas are in the Northern Province. In Delft, Kayts, Karainagar, Velanai and Maruthankarny areas in the Jaffna District, 33,488 persons, belonging to 24,207 families, have been affected while in the Mannar District 53,569 people of 13,129 families are in distress. In the Kalutara District, seawater flowing into the Kalu Ganga has affected over 244,065 people from 58,175 families. According to the Department of Meteorology, the sun will be directly above the latitudes of Sri Lanka until 15th April while fairly heavy rain falls above 75 mm can be expected at some places in Uva, Sabaragamuwa, Central and Southern provinces. Director General of the Meteorology Department Athula Karunanayake said warm weather would continue until May. (Sunday Island, 11.4.2019)

Sri Lanka’s first research statellite ‘Raavana 1’ which was released yesterday reached NASA’s International Space Station at around 6:30 pm (local time) today (Apr 19). The statellite, designed and built by two young Sri Lankans had left for space aboard the Cygnus cargo spacecraft and had neared the Space Station at around 4:40 pm (local time) before being accepted by the same. The spacecraft spanning 11.3 centimetres in length and weighing 1.5 kilograms, was the brainchild of research engineers Tharindu Dayaratne and Dulani Chamikaat at Japan’s Kyushu Institute of Technology. (Times online, 20.4.2019)

A recent study has shown that the ban on polythene is largely ineffective and unlikely to reduce its use in the country. Sampath Fernando, a research officer of the Kobbekaduwa Agrarian Research and Training Institute, says that in terms of the findings of the study conducted by him, the majority of a random sample of 1,390 people of the Western province believed that the government’s ban on polythene had failed to generate the desired results. The ban is largely ineffective without a proper alternative being offered on the use of polythene, the study outlined. Of the people interviewed during the study, 62% were of the view that the prohibition on polythene had failed to impact positively on achieving its objective of reducing environmental degradation, the researcher said. In the case of consumers using polythene, 41% said that they were now using more polythene bags (commonly called ‘siri siri’ bags) than before the ban came into effect. Overall, it can be concluded that the ban on polythene is merely restricted to paper, as practically, there has been no tangible impact in efforts to curb its use in a bid to save the environment, Fernando said. The police have no powers under the law to enforce the ban though there exists a separate unit in the police department to ensure environmental protection. The environmental police are expected to be brought into the picture to tackle the growing threat of widespread polythene use, he said. “We are waiting for a directive to crack the whip on the indiscriminate use of polythene”, the police official said. (Sunday Island, 21.4.2019)

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, promised to inform the public, after consulting the police, whether any organised group was behind yesterday’s attacks that claimed 207 lives and injured over 450 people. Wickremesinghe’s statement comes in the wake of attacks, at churches, hotels, a reception hall and at a residence in Dematagoda. Former President and Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa said that it was the result of weakening the security under the current administration. “We defeated brutal terrorists and ensured the safety of the people. But those who played a significant role in this, including intelligence officers and security forces personnel, have been harassed and demoralised. I blame the government for taking us back to the dark ages of fear. Nine of the deceased were foreign tourists, including four Chinese nationals. Police Spokesperson SSP Ruwan Gunasekera said that they suspected an organised group had carried out the attacks and that the CID has been entrusted with the investigations. “All were bomb blasts and right now we suspect that the bomb in Negombo was a suicide attack. We cannot confirm it at this moment whether the others too were suicide attacks.” Three suspects, all Sri Lankans had been arrested in connection with the attacks, Gunasekera said. Their identities and whether they were linked to an international terrorism groups could most probably be revealed today or tomorrow, he said. Gunasekera added that steps had been taken to identify all those who died in the attacks and to expedite the postmortems. Blasts rocked three churches, St. Anthony’s Church in Kochchikade, Kotahena, St.Sebastian’s Church in Katuwapitiya, Katana and Zeon Church, Batticaloa and three Colombo hotels, the Shangri-La, Cinnamon Grand and Kingsbury. Subsequent explosions took place opposite a reception hall near the Dehiwala Zoo and inside a house in Mahawila Gardens Dematagoda. Three policemen from the Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) were also killed during the blast in Dematagoda while another policeman was injured. “We received information about some suspects when we were investigating the blasts in the three churches and Colombo hotels, which occurred between 8.30 and 9.45 am yesterday. Based on this information some CCD officials went to inspect the house and when they attempted to question the residents, an explosion took place. Three CCD officers died and it took us some hours to recover their bodies which were under the rubble,” he said. (Daily Island, 22.4.2019)

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

Victor Meldor


                               ACQUISITIONS   FOR  THE  MONTH  OF  APRIL  2019


  1. Song of the Sun God by Shankari Chandran, 2017

(Donated by the Author, Sydney, NSW)

  1. They Call Him Ken, The Life & Times of a Corporate Colossus by Savithri Rodrigo, 2017
  2. Riding the Zeitgeist, The Hemal Amarasuriya Story by Savithri Rodrigo, 2018

(Donated by the Author, Dehiwela, Sri Lanka)


  1. Explore Sri Lanka, Vol 32, No 10, March 2019  (Donated by Kevin Melder. Dalkeith, WA)
  2. Hi!! – The Society Magazine, Sri Lanka, Series 17, Vol 1, 2019.


  1. “Silverscene” – Newsletter Silver Fawn Club, Qld, March/April 2019 issue.
  2. “Outreach” Newsletter – Voluntary Outreach Club Inc, (VOC), March 27, 2019 issue.
  3. “The Old Aloysian”, Journal of The Old Aloysians Sports Club (Australia) Inc, April 2019.
  4. “Floreat”, Newsletter Royal College Old Boys Association Australia Inc, April 2019.


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

Victor Meldor



                               ACQUISITIONS   FOR  THE  MONTH  OF  MARCH  2019


  1. Amazing Grace, The Memoirs of Tara Bolling, 2012  (Donated by Ms Hilary Koch, Middlesex, UK)
  2. A Different Kind of Madness by Pauline Schokman, 2019.  (Donated by the Author, South Yarra, Vic)


  1. Hi Magazine, The Society Magazine, Series 16, Vol 6, 2019
  2. SilverKris, (Singapore Airlines Inflight Magazine), March 2019)
  3. Silkwinds,  (Silk Air Inflight Magazine), March 2019.

(No’s 2 – 3, Donated by Roger Thiedeman, Keysborough, Vic)


  1. Burgher Association (Australia) Inc, Summer Newsletter, March 209.
  2. The Journal of the Australia Ceylon Fellowship Inc (ACF), Vol 61, No 1, March 2019.
  3. Newsletter – Ceylonese Welfare Organisation Inc (CWO), Vol 37, Issue 2, April 2019.
  4. Newsletter – Eighty Club Melbourne, 1st Edition, March – June 2019, Newsletter No 148.  
  5. “The Harbinger” Family Magazine – Australia / Sri Lanka Welfare Guild Inc (ASWG), Vol 44, No2, March 2019.
  6. Newsletter – The Burgher Welfare League of WA Inc, Vol 29.3, March 2019.


  1. The Sorrowful, The Death Railway, 1942-1943, by U.Wan Htain. (The Myanmar-Thailand Railway)
  2. CD – The Death Railway Museum, Thanbyuzayat, 1942-43 (Myanmar)

(No’s 1 -2, Donated  by Roger Thiedeman, Keysborou

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SRI  LANKA  NEWS  IN  BRIEF  –  MARCH 2019 – By Victor Melder

Victor Meldor    The International Monetary Fund on Friday revived a $1.5 billion bailout for Sri Lanka that was suspended over a government power struggle last year that seriously slowed economic growth. The Washington-based lender said officials visiting Colombo agreed to re-activate the three-year loan, which started in 2016 and spread the instalments over an additional year.”The team reached understandings at the staff level with the Sri Lankan authorities… to allow more time for the completion of the economic reform agenda,” the IMF said. The Fund had been due to release an instalment in October when President Maithripala Sirisena sacked his Prime Minister and called fresh elections, triggering a two month power struggle in the island nation. Because of the crisis, the economy grew by just 3.0 percent last year, making it the slowest expansion in 17 years, according to the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. The IMF said it expected Sri Lanka’s growth to improve to 3.5 percent in 2019. Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court eventually held that Sirisena’s actions were unconstitutional, allowing Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe to resume his duties. Wickremesinghe told parliament in January that his dismissal on October 26 was a “coup” and a “death blow” to the economy. During the crisis, three international credit rating agencies downgraded the country’s debt and the extra borrowing costs forced Sri Lanka to abandon plans to raise loans abroad .But the IMF noted that Sri Lanka’s economy was “gradually stabilising after the weak economic performance in 2018, in the context of external shocks and domestic political uncertainty.” Official figures show that Sri Lanka will have to repay a record $5.9 billion in foreign loans in 2019. One of the biggest drags on the balance sheet is national carrier Sri Lankan Airlines, which has accumulated losses and debts of over $2 billion. The government has failed to privatise the airline, but the president has revived attempts to find a partner who could inject new capital to keep the airline afloat. (Sunday Island, 3.3.2019)

Sri Lanka’s biggest mass grave predates the country’s bloody civil war by hundreds of years, according to an independent carbon dating report unveiled in a court. The remains of over 300 men, women and children were found last year at a site in the northern Mannar district, where ethnic Tamil guerrillas fought security forces during a 37-year ethnic war that ended in May 2009. Sri Lanka’s Office on Missing Persons (OMP) funded tests on the remains to determine whether the victims were killed during the conflict, which claimed the lives of at least 100,000 people. But a Miami-based laboratory concluded that the victims likely died up to 615 years ago – predating even the first European colonisation of the Indian Ocean Island by the Portuguese – according to testimony in the Mannar Magistrates’ Court. The mass grave in the former war zone was discovered by construction workers. The OMP, which is independent of the Government but has a State mandate, said just over 300 skeletal remains had been found, including the remains of about 20 children. (Daily Financial Times, 8.3.2019)

Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera, yesterday, announced that all public servants would receive an additional allowance of Rs. 2,500 from July 1, and that a pension adjustment would be made on the same day to rectify all pension anomalies in respect of those who retired before 2016. The government has made an additional allocation of Rs. 40 billion for the increase in public servants’ allowance and Rs. 12 billion to rectify the pension anomalies. Presenting the government’s delayed budget, the Finance Minister reminded the House that the salaries of public servants had been increased by 107 percent under the current government. The Finance Minister, delivering the 2019 Budget speech, themed, ‘Focusing on Empowering the People and Nurturing the Poor’, said that several salient budgetary proposals were the removal of production tax imposed on small trucks, provision of milk to students in rural schools free of charge, increasing allocation for development of temples from Rs. 500,000 to Rs. 1 million, increasing allowance for persons with special needs from Rs. 3,000 to Rs. 5,000, allocating Rs 1,480 million to provide a 5,000-rupee allowance to kidney patients, increasing the allowances given to armed forces and increasing the salaries of teachers. Another salient feature was the proposal to give full scholarships to the top scorers at GCE AL students for them to study at prestigious international universities such as Harvard, MIT, Oxford and Cambridge. Samaraweera said 14 students would be selected for the programme in the current year and the number would be increased to 28 next year. The scholarship recipients would be required to return and serve here for 10 years in Sri Lanka. “Expressway rush hour toll fee has been increased by Rs. 100. According to the new tax revisions on vehicles, the Production tax on Petrol vehicles less than 1000cc has been increased by Rs. 175,000 and that on the petrol vehicles less than 1300cc has been increased by Rs. 500,000. Production tax on Petrol vehicles less than 800cc will be increased by Rs. 150,000. (Daily Island, 6.3.2019)

Presenting the fifth budget of the current government and the 73rd national budget of Sri Lanka Samaraweera also said: Cigarette prices will be increased by five rupees from mid-night yesterday. Fees charged for the issuing of passports will be revised from July 1 and accordingly fee for one day service has been increased to Rs 15,000 and fee for regular service has been increased to Rs 3,500. “Enterprise Sri Lanka loan scheme will be spread across the country. Rs. 500 million has been allocated for the programme and Rs 60 billion already disbursed to over 30,000 recipients.  Action will be taken against bank officers who discourage Small and Medium Enterprises,” the minister said, adding that a hotline ‘1925’ is available to lodge complaints. The Finance Minister observed that only 30 percent of women were represented in the labour market of the country though 50 percent of university students were female and, therefore, he proposed amending labour laws to allow women to work from home and under flexible working hours. Samaraweera also stressed the need for more women in decision-making positions in the business sector. Tax concessions would be provided to companies that grant three-months of maternity leave. The Budget encouraged firms with over 250 workers to provide day care facilities for children of workers, he said Referring the need to combat the drug menace, the Minister proposed to establish special rehabilitation camps in Weerawila and Ambepussa for drug addicts. Females in prisons would be given the opportunity to learn arts and craft at a special facility in Dompe with an allocation of Rs 50 million, Samaraweera said. The budget also proposes a series of new loan schemes in the Budget 2019. It proposes to introduce a housing loan scheme ‘Home Sweet Home’ for newly wedded couples to repay within 25 years at a 6 percent interest rate. Rs 10 million concessionary loan will be given to middle income earners to buy their first house. He said that ‘Dream Home’ loans would be introduced for registered migrant workers to obtain Rs.10 million with two year grace period to be paid within 15 years. Students who could not get into universities after the AL exam would be provided ‘My Future’ interest free loans up to Rs 1.1 million with two years grace period to enrol at non-state universities. It has also been proposed to allocate Rs.600 million to expand ‘1990 Suwaseriya Ambulance Service’ throughout the country and improve parking places for them. With reference to foreign investments, the minister said foreign companies would not be allowed to bid without establishing a joint venture with a local company. The Minister said that Rs 48 billion had been allocated for the Gamperaliya development programme. He also disclosed that an expressway to Jaffna would be finished before the end of the tenure of the government. He said that the Outer Circular Highway construction would be completed this year and Ruwanpura Expressway construction too would commence this year. The Budget 2019 also proposes to construct two new harbours at Pesalai and Mandaitivu as fish exports to Europe increased after the restoration of GSP+ tariff concession. Other budget concessions and revenue measures were announced. (Daily Island, 6.3.2019)  

Sri Lanka has raised $2.4 billion as it returned to the international bond market for the first time since a political crisis triggered rating downgrades, the central bank announced. A power struggle between the president and the prime minister late last year prompted three international rating agencies to downgrade Sri Lanka, forcing the government to abandon plans to borrow overseas. With the end of the dispute, the International Monetary Fund has revived a bailout program with Sri Lanka, and Colombo has resumed its international sovereign bond sales. Sri Lanka’s central bank said it went to market on Thursday following the strong backing from the IMF which last week lifted its suspension of a $1.5 billion bailout agreed in June 2016. The issue of $1 billion in bonds with a five-year tenure and a 10-year $1.4 billion bond were hugely oversubscribed. Both bonds attracted offers of $7.5 billion, the bank said. The bonds were bought at an average yield of 6.58 percent for the five-year tenure and 7.85 percent for the 10-year bonds. Because of the political crisis, economic growth slowed to 3.0 percent last year, the weakest in 17 years, according to the central bank.  The IMF said it expected Sri Lanka’s growth to improve to 3.5 percent in 2019. (Sunday Island, 10.3.2019)

Sri Lanka’s tourist arrivals rose 7% in February 2019 compared to the same period last year, the data released by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) showed. The month recorded 252,033 tourists arriving in the country compared to the 235,618 arrived in February 2018. India, United Kingdom, China, France and Germany were Sri Lanka’s top five international tourist generating markets in the month of February this year. India was the largest source of tourist traffic to Sri Lanka with 13% of the total traffic received in February 2019. United Kingdom accounted for 12% of the total traffic; while China, France and Germany accounted for 11%, 7% and 7% respectively. Arrivals from North America rose 61.7 percent to 16,280 in February and the arrivals from US rose 61.7 percent to 9,678 during the month while arrivals from Canada increased 61.8 percent. Tourist arrivals from Europe increased by 11.4 percent with the arrival of 135,934 tourists. Most of the tourists came from UK (29,750), followed by France (17,295), Germany (17,268), and Russian Federation (13,008). Tourist arrivals from Middle East declined by 5.2 percent with the arrival of 3,691 visitors compared to the 3,894 arrived in February 2018. Tourist arrivals from Asia & Pacific declined by 3.8 percent with 94,058 arriving in the island. Tourist arrivals from India declined by 1.9 percent with 32,286 visitors arriving while arrivals from China fell by 22.0 percent to record 28,039 arrivals. Arrivals from Australia recorded 54.8 percent increase with 8,810 visitors entering the country in February 2019. (Daily Island, 11.3.2019)

A concessionary loan agreement for JPY 30,040 million (approx. Rs. 48 billion) was signed yesterday between the Government of Sri Lanka and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for engineering services and construction of a Light Rail Transit (LRT) line between Malabe and Colombo Fort. 
The loan will finance Sri Lanka’s first rail-based, electrified urban mass rapid transit line. It will serve to connect the Colombo’s commercial hub with the administrative capital, and significantly reduce travel time in the most congested transport corridor in the country, and the only major corridor currently not supported by railway. The Malabe-Fort LRT line has a total length of approximately 16 km, with 16 stations. The stations are placed at frequently accessed locations and include Malabe – IT Park, Battaramulla, Rajagiriya, Cotta Road Railway Station and National Hospital up to current Fort/Pettah Railway Station. The entire rail track and stations will be on elevated viaducts to minimise requirement of land acquisition. At peak travel times in the morning and evening, trains are planned to run every two to three minutes (headway). Each four-carriage train will have a passenger capacity of over 800, which could be increased by adding more carriages in future when necessary. With an 80km/h top speed, travel time from Malabe to Fort will be approximately 30 minutes (incl. stopping time at stations) with the LRT. The Government of Sri Lanka has requested for the cost of infrastructure, rolling stock and engineering services to be financed through a series of time-slice loans from JICA, in line with the annual fund requirement for the project. High quality Japanese technology would be used to establish Sri Lanka’s first urban electric light rail line. In order to promote technology transfer and economic cooperation between Sri Lanka and Japan, JICA’s loans for this Project are provided under Special Terms for Economic Partnership, with interest rates of 0.1% p.a. for civil works and equipment cost, 0.01% p.a. for engineering services cost and 40 year repayment period including 12 years’ grace period. To facilitate inter-connectivity with other public transport modes, multi modal terminals are proposed at Malabe (together with bus terminal) and Cotta Road (connecting with railway). At Fort/Pettah the LRT line will connect to the planned Multi Modal Transport Hub accessible to both railway and bus. Station facilities and LRT carriages will be designed to ensure accessibility to persons with disabilities, as well as passengers with small children and senior citizens. Although the elevated viaduct will minimise the requirement, some land acquisition is needed at the Depot and some of the Station locations. The Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development, the executing agency for the Project, will conduct such acquisition in accordance with the National Involuntary Resettlement Policy, and JICA’s environmental and social considerations guidelines to ensure inclusive development through public projects. Since the railway tracks and stations are constructed at high elevation and over national roadways with high traffic volume, appropriate safety measures during construction are critical to ensure the safety of the construction personnel and the general public. JICA will continue to pay special attention to safety aspects in implementation of the project. (Daily Financial Times, 12.3.2019)

Land prices in Colombo, in the second half of 2018, have increased by 18% compared to the 2nd half of 2017, according to the Land Price Index (LPI) for Colombo District, compiled by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL). “The index has reached 125.9 during the 2nd half of 2018, recording an increase of 18 per cent compared to the 2nd half of 2017. The three sub–indices of LPI, namely residential, commercial and industrial have contributed to this increase,” CBSDL said issuing a press release. CBSL adds that LPI is compiled covering all Divisional Secretariat (DS) divisions of  the Colombo District using per perch bare land prices collected from the Government Valuation Department in order to monitor the developments in the real estate sector. To maintain homogeneity, three separate sub-indices for residential, commercial and industrial lands are computed, considering the diverse nature of the land use, and the overall LPI is calculated by taking the average of these three sub-indices Daily Island, 12.3.2019)

Tourist earnings rose to $ 4,381 million in 2018, in comparison to $ 3,925 million in 2017, the Central Bank said this week but workers remittances declined by 2.1% to $ 7 billion last year.  Workers’ remittances in December 2018 declined by 13%, year-on-year, to $ 584 million. On a cumulative basis, workers’ remittances recorded a decline of 2.1% to $ 7,015 million in 2018, from $ 7,164 million in 2017. Tourist arrivals recorded a growth of 3.5% in December 2018, resulting in a total of 2.3 million arrivals during 2018, compared to 2.1 million arrivals in 2017. Tourist arrivals from all major regions, except East Asia and the Middle East, increased in 2018.India remained as the leading source country for tourist arrivals in 2018, while China remained the second largest origin, albeit with a marginal decline, followed by the UK, Germany, and Australia. With the growth in tourist arrivals, and an increase in estimated average spending by tourists, earnings from tourism recorded a healthy growth of 11.6% during 2018. (Daily Financial Times, 16.3.2019)

Sri Lanka has obtained a US$ one billion (Rs 178 billion) loan from China Exim Bank for the construction of first stage of the Central Expressway project.  The loan is required for the construction of the Kadwatha-Mirigama section – a stretch of 37.09 km — began in 2015 soon after the United National Front Government was elected to power. “Sri Lanka’s financial situation, political issues and adverse reports about utilisation of funds for various projects delayed the approval of the loan,” ERD  Director General R.M.P. Rathnayake said..  The expressway’s first phase was due to be completed by June next year, but it would now take about three more years. Road Development Authority Chairman Nihal Suriyaarachchi said the completion of the Kadawatha-Mirigama stretch would enable the linking of the southern expressway to the first phase. The extended sections of the Southern Expressway — Matara to Beliatta (30 Km), Beliatta to Wetiya (26Km) and Wetiya to Andarawewa (15 Km) and Andarawewa to Mattala and Hambantota (25 Km) — would be ready for opening in August this year, he said (Sunday Times, 17.3.2019)

The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) commenced the implementation of the cloud seeding project where moderate artificial rainfall was experienced in the catchment areas of the Maussakele reservoir. Sri Lanka Air Force deployed a Y-12 aircraft to introduce the chemicals into the cloud in order to induce the showers. The Y-12 aircraft hovered above the reservoir at 8000 feet which is reported to have produced a moderate rainfall for about 45 minutes, according to a senior Sri Lanka Air Force official .A team of artificial rain experts from Thailand had provided the necessary technical assistance to carry out the project upon a request put forward by the CEB. A CEB official noted that a similar artificial rain project was carried out successfully in the catchment areas of the Maussakele and Castlereigh reservoirs in 1980. (Times online, 22.3.2019)

Inflation rose to 2.4% in February from 1.2% in January, largely on non-food items, the Census and Statistics Department said.  Headline inflation as measured by the year-on-year change in the National Consumer Price Index (NCPI, 2013=100) increased to 2.4% in February 2019 from 1.2% in January 2019 mainly due to the base effect. Meanwhile, year-on-year Non-food inflation increased to 6.7% in February 2019 from 6.5% in January 2019 while Food inflation also increased to -2.9% in February 2019 from -4.8% in January 2019.
The change in the NCPI measured on an annual average basis marginally decreased to 1.7% in February 2019 from 1.8% in January 2019. The month on month change of the NCPI was -0.5% in February 2019. This was mainly due to decrease in the prices of the items in the Food category where vegetables, green chillies, rice, coconuts, limes, big onion and banana recorded significant decreases. However, on month on month basis, the prices of the items in the Non-food category increased among which the Education sub-category recorded the highest increase. Further, Health, Transport, Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco, and Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels sub-categories also reported increases during the month.  The core inflation, which reflects the underlying inflation in the economy, increased from 5.1% in January 2019 to 5.5% in February 2019 on year-on-year basis. Meanwhile, annual average core inflation also increased from 2.7% in January 2019 to 3% in February 2019. (Daily Financial Times, 22.3.2019)

The Export-Import Bank of China (EXIM Bank) of China has agreed to provide a concessional loan of US$989 million covering 85% of the contract price for the Central Expressway Project Section 1 from Kadawatha to Meerigama. The loan is to complement the existing expressway network, Central Expressway Project (CEP) has been initiated with the purpose of linking Colombo with Kandy and Kurunegala. Section 1 of the CEP will start from Kadawatha where four expressways, namely Outer Circular Highway (OCH) II, OCH III and Colombo-Katunayaka Expressway and the Central Expressway link through the Kadawatha interchange. This will create an uninterrupted connectivity from Hambanthota to Katunayaka or Hambanthota to Kandy linking several provinces and economically important ports, airports and commercial cities. The Export- Import Bank of China (EXIM Bank) has agreed to provide a concessional loan amounting to US$ 989 million covering 85% of the contract price, for the Central Expressway Project – Section 1 from Kadawatha to Meerigama. The total estimated cost of the project is US$ 1,164 million. Furthermore, this loan is the single largest loan approved by the EXIM Bank for Sri Lanka. (Daily Mirror, 23.3.2019)

Tourism Development Minister John Amaratunga said the government would grant on arrival visas for tourists from 36 countries free of charge from May 1 onwards for a trial period of six months. Minister Amaratunga said that tourists from the countries such as those in European Union, New Zealand, Australia, Thailand, Cambodia and Japan would be given this facility. Afterwards, the Minister said it would be implemented for six months initially. “Depending on its success, we will decide whether to proceed with it further or not. They will be allowed into the country without a fee. Every year, there is a drop in tourist arrivals during the six months period starting from May. We will implement this program during this period in a move to boost tourist arrivals,” he said. The Minister said his target was to attract three million tourists to the country by the year’s end. (Daily Mirror, 25.3.2019)

The depreciation of the Sri Lankan rupee between January 2015 and November 2017 has increased the foreign debt by Rs.626.4 billion, the Government told Parliament yesterday, but stressed that foreign investment increases showed that confidence in the Sri Lankan economy was improving. Responding to a question for oral answer, the State Minister of Finance Eran Wickramaratne held the rupee had depreciated by 14.6% during the period in focus affecting the amount of total foreign debt of the central Government.  Rejecting impact on rupee depreciation from failing investor confidence on bonds, the State Minister said: “Depreciation of the rupee will lead to increase the foreign debt. This wouldn’t have happened if we took rupee loans.” “Foreign Direct Investment in 2016 was $1.5 billion. This has gone up to $ 1.7 billion in 2017 and was increased to $2.34 billion last year. This shows the growing foreign direct investment in Sri Lanka,” he confirmed. According to research, Sri Lanka’s total external debt decreased to $ 53,177.39 million in the third quarter of 2018 from $ 53,487.28 million in the second quarter of 2018. The external debt in Sri Lanka averaged $ 44,865.87 million from 2012 until 2018, reaching an all-time high of $ 53,487.28 million in the second quarter of 2018 and a record low of $ 37,098.10 million in the fourth quarter of 2012. (Daily Financial Times, 27.3.2019)

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Compiled by Victor Melder

Victor Meldor

Australia beat the touring Sri Lankans by 366 runs to win the second and final day/night Test, played at Manuka Oval, Canberra. Scores”
Australia, 1st Innings – 534/5 dec (Burns 180, Head 161, Patterson 114no, Paine 45no, Fernando 3/126, Karunaratne 1/130)
Sri Lanka, 1st Innings – 215/9 dec (Karunaratne 59, Thirimanne 41, De Silva 25, Dickwella 25, Starc 5/54, Lyon 2/70, Cummins 1/32)
Australia, 2nd Innings  – 196/3 (Khawaja 101no, Head 59no, Rajitha 2/64, Fernando 1/43)
Sri Lanka, 2nd Innings –  149 (Mendis 42, Thirimanne 30, Dickwella 27,  Starc 5/46, Cummins 3/15, Labuschagne 1/6, Richardson 1/29)
Australia won the 2-match series 2-0.
Man of the match: Mitchell Starc (Australia)

The touring Sri Lankans beat South Africa by 1 wicket to win the first Test played at Kingsmead, Durban. Scores:
South Africa – 1st Innings – 235 (de Kok 80, Bavuma 47, du Plessis 35, Fernando 4/62, Rajitha 3/68, Lakmal 1/29, Embuldeniya 1/51)
Sri Lanka – 1st Innings –  191 (Perera 51, Karunaratne 30, Embuldeniya 24, de Silva 23,  Steyn 4/48, Philander 2/32, Rabada 2/48)
South Africa, 2nd Innings –   259 (du Plessis 90, de Kok 55, Elgar 35, Embuldeniya 5/66, Fernando 4/71, Rajitha 1/54)
Sri Lanka, 2nd Innings –  304/9 (Perera 153no, de Silva 48, Fernando 37, Thirimanne 21, Maharaj 3/71, Steyn 2/71, Olivier 2/35)
Man of the match: Kusal Perera (Sri Lanka)

World Cup-winning skipper and Minister Arjuna Ranatunga failed to take control of Sri Lanka Cricket, yesterday. Ranatunga, 55, contested for one of two vice-president posts but only came third in voting. His brother, Nishantha, who was nominated as secretary, was also defeated. Ranatunga ally Jayantha Dharmadasa also failed in his bid to become Sri Lanka Cricket president, losing out to Shammi Silva a loyalist of former SLC chief Thilanga Sumathipala, Ranatunga’s arch-rival. Ranatunga, who led Sri Lanka to victory at the 1996 World Cup, had vowed to clean up the board, which the International Cricket Council recently described as the sport’s most corrupt national body. The former skipper had hoped to wrest control of the SLC ahead of the World Cup tournament, which commences in England on May 30. Former SLC chief Sumathipala was in power for more than two years until early 2018 and decided against contesting again. He backed Silva and other candidates opposed to Ranatunga. Ranatunga had promised to “kick out” players he accused of being corrupt. (Daily Island, 22.2.2019)

The touring Sri Lankans beat South Africa by 8 wickets to win the second and final Test played at St George’s Park, Port Elizabeth. Scores:
South Africa, 1st Innings – 222 (de Kok 86, Markram 60, du Plessis 25, Rabada 22, Fernando 3/62, Rajitha 3/67, de Silva 2/15)
Sri Lanka, 1st Innings –  154 (Dickwella 42, Thirimanne 29,  Perera 20,  Rabada 4/38, Olivier 3/61)
South Africa, 2nd Innings –  128 (du Plessis 50no, Amla 32,  Lakmal 4/39, de Silva 3/36, Rajitha 2/20)
Sri Lanka, 2n d Innings – 197/2 (Mendis 84no,Fernando 75no, Olivier 1/46, Rabada 1/53)
Sri Lanka won the 2-match Test series, 2-0.
Player of the match: Kusal Mendis (Sri Lanka)
Player of the series: Kusal Perera (Sri Lanka)

Cricket legend Sanath Jayasuriya has been banned from all cricket for two years after admitting two breaches of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Anti-Corruption Code, the sport’s governing body announced. The 49-year-old — regarded as one of the greatest One Day International batsmen of all time and was pivotal in winning the 1996 World Cup — accepted the punishment. “This conviction under the Code demonstrates the importance of participants in cricket cooperating with investigations,” said Alex Marshall, ICC General Manager of the Anti-Corruption Unit in a statement. “Compelling participants to cooperate under the Code is a vital weapon in our efforts to rid our sport of corruptors. These rules are essential to maintain the integrity of our sport.” Jayasuriya was charged in October after failing to provide his mobile phones to the ACU. He was also accused of obstructing or delaying any investigation into corruption in the game. Jayasuriya in a statement said he had pleaded guilty to the charges expecting a mitigated punishment. “Consequent to correspondence between the ICC ACU officials and my lawyers we agreed to a sanction of a period of ineligibility of two years, which period is to take effect from the 15th of October 2018,” Jayasuriya said. Jayasuriya who also captained the country played 110 Tests, 445 one-day internationals and 31 Twenty20s during his illustrious career between 1989-2011. Sri Lankan cricket has been mired in corruption allegations in recent years, including claims of match fixing ahead of an international Test against England last year. In November, former Sri Lankan fast bowler Dilhara Lokuhettige was suspended for corruption linked to a limited-over league in 2017. Lokuhettige was the third Sri Lankan player charged for violating the ICC’s anti-corruption code, following those levelled against Jayasuriya, and former paceman Nuwan Zoysa. (Daily Island, 27

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Victor Meldor





  1. Ceylon the Portuguese Era, Vol 2 by Paul E.Pieris, 1983 

   (Donated by Ms Diane Inman, Sydney)

  1. Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai, 1994.
  2. It’s  Not in the Stars by Rizvina Morseth de Alwis,2015.
  3. Colombo Heat by Christopher Hudson, 1986.
  4. A Decade in the Village by Mahinda Jayaweera, 2010

(No’s 2 – 5, Donated by Jeremy De Lima, Vermont South, Vic)

  1. The Island of Singing Fish, a Colonial Childhood in Ceylon  by Tina Faulk, 2014
  2. Kakiyan, The Story of a Crow by Elmo Jayawardena, 2018
  3. After the Flames by Roderic Grigson, 2017
  4. Journey for Justice, The Life & Work of Rev. Fr Michel Rodrigo. OMI
  5. Colonial Mixed Blood, A Story of The Burghers of Sri Lanka by Allan Russell Juriansz, 2013

(No’s 6 – 10, Donated by Keith Bennett, Noble Park, Vic)

  1. A  Review of the Southern Border of Sinharaja by F. Hudha & A.Gunawrdena, 2018.
  2. Mandalarama (Vattarama) & Alokalena (Alulena) by G. R. Gunawardana Banda, 2017
  3. Sri Lanka Sculpture – Bodhisattva by N. Chutiwongs, L. Prematilleke & Roland Silva, 2011.
  4. (No’s 11 – 13, Donated by Hemal Gurusinghe, Chelsea Heights, Vic)
  5.  Kakiyan, The Story of a Crow, by Elmo Jayawardena, 2018

 (Donated by the Author, Moratuwa, Sri Lanka)


  1. The ‘Ceylankan’ – Journal of the Ceylon Society of Australia, Journal 85, Vol XXII, No 1, February 2019.
  • ‘Serendib’, The In Flight Magazine of Sri Lankan Airlines, Vol 38, No 11, January 2019.
  • ‘Serendib’, The In Flight Magazine of Sri Lankan Airlines, Vol 38, No 12, February 2019

    (No’s 2 – 3, Donated by Hemal Gurusinghe, Chelsea Heights)



  1. ‘The Harbinger’ – Family Magazine, Australia / Sri Lanka Welfare Guild Inc (ASWG), Vol 44, No 1, February 2019.



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