Victor Melder

                                       SRI LANKA NEWS
                                                          (JUNE  2020)
                                              Compiled by Victor Melder

Victor Meldor

INTRODUCTION As of 2010, there were 45,159 Sri Lankans living in the US. Substantial immigration began in the 1990s when many fled the violence of the Sri Lankan Civil War. The majority of Sri Lankan-Americans live in the vicinity of either New York City (where there’s a Little Sri Lanka on Staten Island), central New Jersey, or Los Angeles.

Two endangered leopards — including a rare black one — have been killed by snares in Sri Lanka in less than a week, sparking calls for authorities to crack down harder on the cruel traps.
A third was found alive in a snare and released back to the wild after being tranquilised.
In the latest case, the bloated carcass of a leopard was discovered Tuesday strangled by a wire snare on a cashew plantation on the edge of a forest reserve in Neluwa, some 145 kilometres (90 miles) southeast of the capital Colombo. “It is possible that the trap was set for a sambar deer, but the leopard got caught instead,” a wildlife official from the area told AFP. A week earlier, a rare black leopard — also known as melanistic because the colour is a pigment condition rather than the mark of a separate species — was found trapped alive in the Nallathanni highlands but died two days later. The third leopard was found Friday at Yatiyantota, another highland nature area, before being released back into the wild. Although setting snares in national parks and reserves is against the law, they are not illegal elsewhere and farmers often use them to protect crops or catch wild boar. Sri Lankan conservationist Jayantha Jayewardene said the spate of leopard snaring might be villagers driven to desperation because the coronavirus lockdown had deprived them of income.
There are believed to be less than 1,000 leopards in the wild in Sri Lanka, and harming the big cat is punishable by up to five years› jail.. (Daily Financial Times, 4.5.2020)

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SRI LANKA NEWS (MAY  2020) – Compiled by Victor Melder

INTRODUCTION As of 2010, there were 45,159 Sri Lankans living in the US. Substantial immigration began in the 1990s when many fled the violence of the Sri Lankan Civil War. The majority of Sri Lankan-Americans live in the vicinity of either New York City (where there’s a Little Sri Lanka on Staten Island), central New Jersey, or Los Angeles.

Victor Meldor

Sri Lanka’s merchandize export earnings fell by 41.9 percent, in March 2020, as the spread of COVID-19, in the country, disrupted the production of merchandise, the Export Development Board said. According to the monthly exports statistics, the year-on-year export earnings fell to US$ 646 million from US$ 1.112 billion, recorded in March 2019. The apparel sector, being the largest contributor, has shown a 41 percent decline during the month of March 2020, compared to the same month, in the previous year. Some of the other sectors that have recorded a significant decline, during the same period, include Tea (-22%), Rubber Products (-15.7%), Coconut products (-14.2%), Spices (-36.5%), fruits and vegetable products (-17.4%), fish and fisheries products (-29%), etc. However, analysis at disaggregate level on Coconut Milk Powder, Defatted Coconut, certain Coconut Kernel Products, Coconut Shell Charcoal, Essential Oils, Oleoresins, Ginger, Lemon, Melon and Papaya, Onions, Sweet Potatoes, Processed Food, Rice, Green Gram, Lentils, Organic Chemicals, Electrical Transformers, Boat Building, Petroleum Products etc. show a positive growth, during March 2020, compared to March 2019. Export Development Board (EDB) Chairman, Prabhash Subasinghe, notes that even though there is a decline in exports, during the month of March 2020, such a decline is expected due to the global economic and trading environment. With the release of March 2020 data, the country’s foreign exchange earnings show an overall decline of 19 percent, during January-March 2020, in comparison to the same period, in 2019, reaching US$ 3.382 billion from US$ 4.176 billion respectively, recording a 32 percent achievement, against the annual revised target of US$ 10.750 billion for the year 2020. Merchandise export earnings have recorded US$ 2.577 billion during Jan- March 2020, compared to 3.116 billion last year. Estimates in the services exports of ICT/ BPM, Construction, Financial services, Logistics and Wellness Tourism sectors show overall revenue of US$ 805 million during the period compared to US$ 1.060 billion last year. When looking at the disaggregate level of products, even though some of the major sectors show a decline in earnings, certain other sectors show a positive growth during the period under consideration. The following graph shows some sectors with negative growth, the EDB said. (Daily Island, 1.5.2020)

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SRI LANKA NEWS (MARCH 2020) – Compiled by Victor Melder.

Victor Meldor



Sri Lanka’s national carrier SriLankan Airlines is expected to lose 130 million US dollars (about 26 billion rupees) in the year to March 2020, officials said, taking total losses under full state ownership and management to 232 billion rupees. The airline would also need a 300 million dollar capital injection to reduce a spiral of debt, officials said. “We estimate that by this March we will lose about 130 million US dollars,” newly appointed SriLankan Airlines Chairman Ashok Pathirage told the parliament’s Committee on Public Enterprises. The Easter Sunday bombings had hurt the airline and it the ongoing Coronavirus epidemic was also negative with flight to China being cut. However in 2021, the Airline was expecting to cut losses to about 30 million dollars, he said. The Airlines started to lose money under state management, from 2008. Losses would total of 232 billion rupees by March 2020, including 115 million dollars paid to cancel a controversial Airbus deal. Sri Lankan needs a 300 million US dollar (about 54.6 billion rupees) capital injection to reduce gearing, Pathirage said. The airline is undercapitalized due to past losses. Earlier capital injections from the tax-payer had been burned in losses. As of March 2019, SriLankan had a 168 billion rupee gap in its balance sheet. SriLankan Airlines was making losses when it was managed by Emirates, who owned 40 percent of the stock. SriLankan is looking at acquiring 4-5 year old Airbus A330 aircraft and resuming flights to Frankfurt, Pathirage said. It is also looking to start flights to Sydney in Australia. Chief Executive Vipula Gunatilleke said leasing second hand aircraft was much cheaper than getting brand new aircraft. Sri Lankan Airlines is paying above market lease installments for seven Airbus A330 CEOs it had acquired as part of a controversial deal in which is subject to a corruption probe. SriLankan is one of several state enterprises that has pushed up national debt, and has worsened the country’s debt profile. Losses at SriLankan were also hurting other state enterprises, a phenomenon known as circular debt. (Sunday Island, 1.3.2020)

By end of 2020, Sri Lanka’s central government debt was about 83 percent of gross domestic product, publicly guaranteed debt was about 5.2 percent and state enterprise debt was 14.6 percent, taking the total up to 99.4 percent of debt. SriLankan Airlines debt obligations by end 2018 was 250 billion rupees or about 1.7 percent of gross domestic product and a part of its debt was also directly guarantee by the Treasury about to 32 billion rupees or 0.2 percent of GDP, according to the International Monetary Fund estimate. SriLankan is also contributing to losses and debt at state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation, which had debt of 612 billion rupees or 4.2 percent of GDP and was indirectly financing SriLankan. In 2018, the CPC lost 80 billion rupees by borrowing unhedged dollars, despite having a price formula that brought in cash. Pathirage said SriLankan bought about 14 million US dollars of fuel a month from CPC, and it was only settling about6 million US dollars. But it has now been increase to 8 million dollars. He said his intention was to eventually settle all current purchases from CPC on time, though accumulated arrears will have to be settled separately. (Sunday Island, 1.3.2020)

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                               ACQUISITIONS   FOR  THE  MONTH  OF  JUNE  2019



  1. Cab Forward 4294, Southern Pacific Railroad’s Signature Locomotive by David N. Anderson, et al, 2018

(Donated by Udaya Peeligama, Baulkham Hills, NSW)

  1. The Penguin Book of Hell, edited by Scott. G. Bruce, 2018

(Donated by Hemal Gurusinghe, Chelsea Heights, Vic)

  1. Fond Reminiscence, A Memoir by Sheila De Zoysa, 2019  (Donated by the Author, Colombo 5, Sri Lanka)
  2. Legends All, ‘First’ in Sport in Sri Lanka, by Asoka Goonetilleke, 2016
  3. A Fiery Finale, Memories, Chronicles, Essays by Tissa Devendra, 2014
  4. Those Were the Days by P. G. Punchihewa, Reprint 2016
  5. The Ceaseless Chatter of Demons by Ashok Ferry, 2016 

 (No’s 4 – 7, Donated by Ajit St John, Meadow Heights, Vic)  

  1. A Short Historical Review of the Sylvestrine Monks in Ceylon, from 1845 to 1920 (Facsimile) by Re. Fr Laurence Hyde, OSB

 (Donated by Chris Drieberg, South Oakleigh, Vic)



  1. ‘Serendib’, The In Flight Magazine of Sri Lankan Airlines, Vol 39, No 1, March 2019
  2. ‘Serendib’, The In Flight Magazine of Sri Lankan Airlines, Vol 39, No 3, May 2019

 (No’s 1 – 2, Donated by Ajit St John, Meadow heights, Vic)

  1. Hi!! – The Society Magazine, Sri Lanka, Series 17, Vol 2, 2019.


  1. Newsletter, St Peters College Old Boys Social Club Melbourne Inc, Autumn/Winter 2019 issue.
  2. Newsletter, Burgher Association (Australia) Inc, Winter 2019 issue.
  3. “The Harbinger”, Family Magazine, Australia / Sri Lanka Welfare Guild (ASWG) Inc, Vol 44, No 3, June 2019







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SRI LANKA CRICKET NEWS – JUNE 2019 by Victor Melder

Victor Meldor

Sri Lanka will wear a World Cup cricket uniform made out of recycled plastics that were polluting the ocean. The initiative has been hailed around the world. The country’s clothing sponsor, MAS Holdings, has recycled plastic sea waste from the Sri Lankan coastline and, with the help of the Sri Lanka Navy, produced the predominantly blue strip. Veteran bowler Lasith Malinga said the kits felt “very comfortable”. Malinga said his teammates were keen to support the eco-friendly cause to clean up the beaches of Sri Lanka and around the world. “It’s a good thing for Sri Lanka and the People”, Malinga said. “(We’re) very happy to wear that and we will support it” (HeraldSun, 29.5.2019)

Sri Lanka lost to New Zealand by 10 wickets,  in their first Match of the One-Day International Competition (3rd Match of the Series), played at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff, England. Scores:

Sri Lanka – 136 in 29.2 Overs (Karunaratne 52no, M. Perera 29, N. Perera 27,  Ferguson 3/22, Henry 3/29, Santner 1/5)

New Zealand – 137/0 in 16.1 Overs (Guptill 73no, Munro 58no)

Player of the Match: Matt Henry (New Zealand) 

Sri Lanka defeated Afghanistan by 34 runs, winning the 7th Match of the One Day International Series, played at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff, England. Scores:

Sri Lanka – 201 in 36.1 Overs (M. Perera 78, Karunaratne 30, Thirimanne 25, Nabi 4/30, Khan 2/17, Zadran 2/34)

Revised Target for Afghanistan, (D/L Method) 187 runs from 41 Overs)

Afghanistan – 152 in 32.4 Overs (Zadran 43, Zazai 30, Naib 23, Pradeep 4/31, Malinga 3/39, N. Perera 1/19, Udana 1/28)

Player of the Mach: Nuwan Pradeep (Sri Lanka)

The 11th Match of the One Day International Competition, between Sri Lanka and Pakistan, was abandoned due to rain

The 16th Match of the One day International Competition, between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, was abandoned due to rain.

Australia defeated Sri Lanka by 87 runs, winning the 20th Match of the One Day International Series, played at London. Scores:

Australia – 334/7 in 50 Overs (Finch 153, Smith 73, Maxwell 46no, Warner 26, de Silva 2/40, Udana 2/57, Malinga 1/61)

Sri Lanka – 247 in 45.5 Overs (Karunaratne 97,  M.Perera 52, Mendis 30, Starc 4/55, Richardson 3/47, Cummins 2/38)

Player of the Match: Aaron Finch (Australia)

Sri Lanka defeated England by 20 runs, winning the 27th Match of the One Day International Series played at Headingley, Leeds, England. Scores:

Sri Lanka – 232/9 in 50 Overs (Mathews 85no, Fernando 49, Mendis 46,  de Silva 29, Wood 3/40, Archer 3/52, Rashid 2/45)

England – 212 in 47 Overs (Stokes 82no, Root 57, Morgan 21, Malinga 4/43, de Silva 3/32, Udana 2/41, Pradeep 1/38)

Player of the Match: Lasith Malinga (Sri Lanka)

South Africa defeated Sri Lanka by 9 wickets, winning the 35th Match of the One Day International Series played at Riverside Grounds, Chester-le-Street. Scores:

Sri Lanka – 203 in 49.3 Overs (M. Perera 30, Fernando 30, de Silva 24, Mendis 23, Pretorius 3/25, Morris 3/46, Rabada 2/36)

South Africa – 206/1 in 37.2 Overs (du Plessis 96no, Amla 80no, Malinga 1/47)

Player of the Match: Dwaine Pretorius (South Africa)

Sri Lanka’s hope of reaching the World Cup semi-finals were dented as South Africa thrashed them by nine wickets. The Sri Lankans gave a woeful batting performance. Play was interrupted for a few minutes after Lunch, when a swarm of bees invaded the pitch, resulting in the players and umpires having to lie flat on the grounds until the swarm moved away. (Daily News 29.6.2019)

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(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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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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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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