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Prez against Cabinet paper by Minister on behalf of brother

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe has submitted his observations to the Cabinet over a request made by eight players, including the Cricket World Cup winning team Captain Arjuna Ranatunga, to be allowed to build and sell a housing complex by combining the land plots given to them.

The President has said in his observations that the use of land allocated for a residential project for a commercial purpose may set a bad precedent.

The President has given these observations over a Cabinet paper presented by Minister Prasanna Ranatunga on behalf of the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing.

Minister Ranatunga is the younger brother of Arjuna Ranatunga, the Captain of the 1996 Cricket World Cup winning team.

The Cabinet paper has been submitted requesting permission to combine the plots of land given separately to the eight players at Denzil Kobbekaduwa Mawatha in Battaramulla and build a housing complex.

Cabinet approval was also sought to sign a Memorandum of Understanding among the eight players or their representative, the Urban Development Authority and the company buying the housing complex.

The plan is to get all approvals within six months and complete the construction of the building within three years.

However, the transfer of ownership or sale of these plots of land which were given to the 1996 world cup winning cricketers on deeds of gift is considered legally impossible.

Through a Cabinet paper on January 22, 1997, 15 players of the 1996 World Cup winning Sri Lankan team were given 20 perches each on a vacant land in Battaramulla on a 99-year lease basis.

The then Sporst Minister S.B.Dissanayake presented the Cabinet paper.

The assessed value of a perch has been determined to be Rs.1,000 back then.

Meanwhile, seven owners have refused to give their land to this housing project.

The President has further mentioned in his observations that due to the request made by the players to build and sell a housing complex on the lands given to them, the basic purpose of giving the land has been completely changed to a commercial purpose.

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Term tests for Western province suspended

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The term tests for grade 10 and 11 in the Western province schools has been postponed after some of the question papers were shared on social media ahead of the examination.

A senior official said that the decision had been taken after complaints that several question papers had been leaked out before the examinations.

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Russian Naval Ship Varyag Visits Colombo

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The Russian Naval Ship Varyag has arrived at the port of Colombo on a formal visit. 

This 187m long Missile Cruiser, manned by a crew of 529, is led by Flag Officer Captain 1st Rank Velichko Anatoly Vasicievich, with Captain 2nd Rank Glushakov Roman Nikolaevich serving as the Commanding Officer.

During their stay in Sri Lanka, the ship’s crew is expected to participate in various programs organized by the Sri Lanka Navy, fostering camaraderie and exploring tourist attractions in the country. 

The official visit will conclude, and Varyag is set to depart from the island tomorrow.

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SL over 60s cricket team ranked 4th in the world

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The Sri Lanka Over-60s cricket team, led by Garry Gunasekara, achieved a commendable 4th place in the recently concluded Over-60s Cricket World Cup in Chennai. 

Twelve teams, including all major cricketing nations except Pakistan and Bangladesh, participated in the tournament.

In the group league stages, Sri Lanka secured victories against India, Wales, and the Rest of the World. 

They also tied with the West Indies and suffered their only defeat to Australia, finishing 2nd in the group. 

Sri Lanka faced England in the first semi-final, resulting in a loss, while New Zealand lost to Australia in the second semi-final. Australia went on to convincingly win the final against England.

In the third-place match, Sri Lanka faced New Zealand and narrowly lost by 20 runs, ultimately securing the 4th position in the Over-60s Cricket World Cup.

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