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Chameera ruled out of match against Netherlands

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Dushmantha Chameera has been ruled out of Sri Lanka’s final Group A match against Netherlands, a match they will almost certainly need to win in order to qualify for the Super 12s stage of the World Cup.
Chameera claimed 3 for 15 in a thumping win over UAE that has increased Sri Lanka’s chances of progression, but was unable to finish his spell after pulling up with a calf injury. It was later confirmed to ESPNcricinfo by Professor Arjuna de Silva, who oversees Sri Lanka’s medical operations, that Chameera would miss the Netherlands game, with his participation in the rest of the tournament in doubt.

There are also concerns over Danushka Gunathilaka, who missed the UAE game, and Pramod Madushan, with both due to go for scans on hamstring injuries, although Sri Lanka’s medical team are hopeful the latter’s is not too serious.

The loss of Chameera and, potentially, Madushan is a blow after Sri Lanka’s bowlers dominated the match against UAE, dismissing the opposition for 73 inside 18 overs. There remains concerns over the side’s batting, after they collapsed from 117 for 3 in the 15th over to only post 152 for 8.

Having also put up a poor batting performance against Namibia, Sri Lanka’s middle order go into the last match of the qualifying stage significantly short of runs. For coach Chris Silverwood, this may have something to do with the weather, as temperatures have frequently dipped into the low teens in Geelong over the past two weeks.

“The temperatures we’re experiencing, the boys are not used to,” Silverwood said. “It’s certainly not Colombo. Even I’m cold, a little bit. You can’t help it. The preparation and facilities we were given having arrived early, were superb. The boys have prepped the best we possibly can. We had a good camp in Kandy before we got on an airplane and came here. We’ve made the best of what we’ve had really.”

The bowlers, at least, put in a complete performance on Tuesday. Seamers Chameera and Madushan decked the top order, before the spinners ripped out UAE’s middle- and lower-order batters.

“I think we adjusted pretty well today,” Silverwood said. “In the first game we didn’t read the conditions particularly well, and we certainly didn’t grasp them. We’re not hiding from that. That’s something that we spoke about in the debrief quite honestly.

“They’ve faced facts and and come out today, and applied themselves much better. The track was a little bit slow. We saw that if the bowlers bang it in hard, it’s very difficult to get them away. So we have to be patient, we have to build innings, and for the majority of today we did that.”

Sri Lanka’s top three also provided a good platform at the start of the match. Opener Pathum Nissanka was Sri Lanka’s best performer on the batting front, scoring one more run (74 off 60) than UAE’s entire team did. He progressed in a measured fashion through the early overs, before striking boundaries towards the death to raise his strike rate, on a difficult surface.

“Pathum at the top of the order played a real match-winning innings. He should be very proud of himself for what he’s done, helping the team get across the line.”
(espncricinfo.com)
(Except for the headline, this story, originally published by espncricinfo.com has not been edited by SLM staff)

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Retired Major and Agent Arrested for Recruiting Sri Lankan Mercenaries for Russian Army

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The Human Trafficking, Human Smuggling and Maritime Crime Investigation Division (CID) arrested a retired major and an employment agent, identified as leaders of an organized scheme that recruited retired military personnel as mercenaries for the Russian army.

These two suspects were remanded till May 2 upon being produced before Negombo Magistate’s Court yesterday evening.

Investigations have revealed that the agency was promoted by young women, including popular actresses currently featured in well-known television dramas.

It is alleged that they deceived these individuals, promising them employment in Europe with work visas, ultimately defrauding them of significant sums of money.

The arrests occurred at the residences of the suspects in Wariyapola and Digana, respectively.

The arrested Major, previously a member of the Army Special Forces, is identified as Wijebandara and the agent is named Bandula.

According to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), these arrests are part of a broader operation, with additional suspects expected to be detained.

The CID has also uncovered that Chathuranga, who operated a large-scale agency on Katugastota Road in Kandy, is a key figure in this racket. He has reportedly fled to Russia and is currently in hiding.

Further revelations indicate that the recruited ex-military personnel were sent to Russia under the guise of performing maintenance work at military camps, but were instead employed as frontline mercenaries. A retired corporal, who managed to escape from the Russian mercenary force, disclosed that around 500 Sri Lankans are engaged in military activities within the Russian forces. This information led to the arrests of Wijebandara and Bandula.

The investigation has also highlighted that many of those recruited into the Russian mercenary forces from Sri Lanka, particularly from commando and special forces backgrounds, were ostensibly hired for non-combatant roles but were ultimately used in active military operations. According to the escaped corporal, those attempting to flee were either shot or captured and imprisoned.

This same corporal disclosed that his deployment was orchestrated by the retired Major from Wariyapola and that the logistics for his travel to Russia was arranged by Bandula and Chathuranga. The group of 37, including the corporal, departed for Russia from Katunayake International Airport on February 24. They have all retired from military service. The return of the corporal to Sri Lanka on March 1 was facilitated by the Red Cross and the Russian Embassy. He also revealed that two of his companions, who fled with him, have been captured by Russian forces and are currently detained in a military facility.

It has been reported that two Sri Lankans were killed in a drone attack by the Russian army in the Donetsk region of Ukraine on March 8 of the previous year, following the deaths of two others in Russia from an attack by Ukraine.

(Except for the headline, this story, originally published by dailynews.lk has not been edited by SLM staff)

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Man arrested over selling overpriced Vadai to tourist

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The Tourist Police in Moragolla has arrested a man over selling an overpriced Vadai and tea to a foreign  tourist in Kalutara.

Footage of the incident had sparked public ire after going viral online.

It has been revealed that the suspect is a 60 year old residing in Kalutara and is usually seen loitering near the eatery.

Police say that investigtations have revealed that he had duped foreigners visiting the eatery many times.

He is to be produced before the Kalutara Magistrate Court tomorrow (April 19).

It is also reported that officials of the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) and the Moragolla Tourist police have also arrived at the eatery, and sternly advised the owner after questioning him.

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NPP’s 7-point statement on Easter attacks, presented to the Cardinal

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The National People’s Power (NPP) today (April 18) presented to Archbishop of Colombo – Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, their 7-point statement pledging to mete out justice to the victims of the Easter Sunday attacks.

The statement included key points such as implementing law against those responsible for the attacks so as to mete out justice to those who lost lives in the attacks and family members of the victims and to take action against those who were directly or indirectly involved in the attacks.

NPP members Professor Krishantha Abeysinghe, Attorney-at-Law Sunil Watagala, President’s Counsel Upul Kumarapperuma, Rohan Fernando and Aruna Shantha Nonis participated in the occasion.

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