The Hindu Morning Digest: June 27, 2024

Delhi CM and AAP National Convenor Arvind Kejriwal being brought out of the courtroom at Rouse Avenue Court in New Delhi on Wednesday.
| Photo Credit: ANI

U.S. issues rare criticism of India in religious freedom report

The United States offered rare criticism of close partner India in a report published Wednesday on religious freedom, while also voicing alarm over rising bigotry worldwide against both Jews and Muslims. Secretary of State Antony Blinken unveiled the annual report and said that the United States was also facing its own sharp increase of both anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in connection to the Gaza war.

Delhi Excise policy case: CBI arrests Arvind Kejriwal, gets three-day custody

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) formally arrested Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in the Delhi excise policy case on June 26, and was granted three days to interrogate him in its custody. The day also saw Mr. Kejriwal withdraw his petition from the Supreme Court, while promising to return with a fresh challenge against the stay of his statutory bail by the Delhi High Court on June 25.

CBI questions Jharkhand school principal and bank officials in NEET case

A Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) team probing the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET-UG) paper leak case on Wednesday reached Jharkhand’s Hazaribagh Oasis School over allegations of tampering of question papers. The CBI is conducting a nationwide probe into alleged malpractices in medical entrance exam NEET-UG and has taken over cases probed by the police in Gujarat, Rajasthan and Bihar.

India asks Italy to take prompt action against persons responsible for Indian farm worker’s death

India on Wednesday asked Italy to take prompt action against those responsible for the death of a 31-year-old Indian worker who died after he was dumped on the road without medical assistance by his employer after his arm was severed by heavy farm machinery.

Former Foreign Secretary Muchkund Dubey, at the helm when Cold War ended, passes away

Former Foreign Secretary Muchkund Dubey, who steered India’s foreign affairs establishment towards the end of the Cold War and the post-Cold War phase in the early 1990s, passed away here on Wednesday at a private hospital, Research and Information System for Developing Countries, a think tank he was associated with, announced.

With dummy FIRs and pocket guides, police get ready to switch to new criminal laws

Ahead of the implementation of the new criminal laws from July 1, at least 23 modifications have been made to the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network Systems (CCTNS), an online platform used by more than 16,000 police stations across the country to register first information reports. From July 1, the FIRs will be registered under Section 173 of the Bharatiya Nagrik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS), instead of Section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).

India is looking at ‘potential’ institutional reforms: U.S. official

India is looking at “potential” institutional reforms against the backdrop of the Pannun issue and alleged assassination attempts, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Kurt M. Campbell said on June 26, adding that the U.S. seeks “accountability” from the Indian government and has “consistently” asked for updates on the committee investigating the matter.

Coup attempt in Bolivia fails as president urges people to mobilize against democracy threat

Armoured vehicles rammed the doors of Bolivia’s government palace Wednesday in an apparent coup attempt against President Luis Arce, but he vowed to stand firm and named a new army commander who ordered troops to stand down. The soldiers later pulled back as supporters of Arce waved Bolivian flags and cheered in a central square.

U.S. issues rare criticism of India in religious freedom report

The United States offered rare criticism of close partner India in a report published Wednesday on religious freedom, while also voicing alarm over rising bigotry worldwide against both Jews and Muslims. Secretary of State Antony Blinken unveiled the annual report and said that the United States was also facing its own sharp increase of both anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in connection to the Gaza war.

Sri Lanka seals debt deal with Official Creditor Committee after financial crisis

In what it termed a significant milestone, Sri Lanka on Wednesday sealed a deal with the Official Creditor Committee [OCC], to restructure the debt owed to its bilateral lenders including India, and signed a separate agreement with China for debt treatment.

Kenya’s president withdraws finance bill that prompted deadly protests

Kenyan President William Ruto said on June 26 he won’t sign into law a finance bill proposing new taxes, a day after protesters stormed parliament and several people were shot dead. It was the biggest assault on Kenya’s government in decades. The government wanted to raise funds to pay off debt, but Kenyans said the bill caused more economic pain as millions struggle to get by. The chaos on Tuesday led the government to deploy the military, and Ruto called protesters’ actions “treasonous.”

Apple supplier Foxconn said to reject married women from India iPhone jobs 

Reuters investigation has found that Foxconn has systematically excluded married women from jobs at its main iPhone assembly plant on the grounds they have more family responsibilities than their unmarried counterparts. S. Paul, a former human-resources executive at Foxconn India, said the company’s executives verbally convey the recruitment rules to its Indian hiring agencies, which Foxconn tasks with scouting for candidates, bringing them in for interviews and employing them.

ICC T20 rankings: Travis Head replaces Suryakumar Yadav as top T20 batter, Jasprit Bumrah moves to 24

Australia opener Travis head on June 26 toppled India’s Suryakumar Yadav as the number one batter in the latest ICC T20 rankings. Suryakumar was holding the number one spot since December 2023 but Head’s splendid run at the T20 World Cup catapulted him to the top even as his team has been knocked out.

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T20 World Cup Group D Preview: Bangladesh-Sri Lanka Battle Resumes, South Africa Aim To Impress | Cricket News

Dubai :

Former ICC Men’s T20 World Cup champions Sri Lanka find themselves in Group D alongside South Africa, Bangladesh, Netherlands and Nepal for the upcoming tournament. This group promises thrilling matches with rivals Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, South Africa and Netherlands pitted against one another. While Nepal gears up for their second appearance in the marquee event, the group boasts no clear-cut favourite with history bearing witness that each team carries the potential to beat the other. Let’s run through the teams in this group and what we can expect from them.

T20 World Cup 2024 Points Table | T20 World Cup 2024 Latest News


Bangladesh enters the T20 World Cup with a bit of uncertainty as they continue to look for their strongest XI. Experienced opener Litton Das has been out of form of late with an average of 13.16 this year in six matches. Although teammate Tawhid Hridoy is confident that Das will make a strong comeback in the tournament.

Another concern is the injury to vice-captain Taskin Ahmed and his fitness will be monitored prior to Bangladesh’s first contest against Sri Lanka on 7 June after he suffered a side strain before the final match of the recent series against Zimbabwe.

The Tigers have backed experience. Other than Das, they have former Bangladesh skippers Mahmudullah and Shakib Al Hasan who can provide Najmul Hossain Shanto much-needed support as he undertakes his first ICC tournament as the new captain.


Najmul Hossain Shanto (c), Taskin Ahmed (Vice Captain), Litton Kumer Das, Soumya Sarkar, Tanzid Hasan Tamim, Shakib Al Hasan, Tawhid Hridoy, Mahmud Ullah Riyad, Jaker Ali Anik, Tanvir Islam, Shak Mahedi Hasan, Rishad Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman, Shoriful Islam, Tanzim Hasan Sakib. Travelling reserves: Afif Hossain, Hasan Mahmud


7 June: Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh, Dallas

10 June: South Africa vs Bangladesh, New York

13 June: Bangladesh vs Netherlands, St. Vincent

16 June: Bangladesh vs Nepal, St. Vincent

Players to watch out for:

In conditions that are expected to be slow with some assistance from spinners, Mustafizur Rahman’s skill set including deceptive off-cutters can turn out to be useful.

Mustafizur has time and again proven to be a match-winner for Bangladesh. His control in the middle overs and effectiveness in the final overs with a recovering Taskin Ahmed make him a priceless inclusion.


Nepal will feature a young side at the T20 World Cup, with 21-year-old Rohit Paudel leading the team as captain. Paudel’s recent form against West Indies A in the lead up to the tournament is a big positive with scores of 112, 71*, and 82 in the series.

Gulshan Jha, who appeared at the U19 World Cup earlier in the year, along with 19-year-old Pratis GC are the other young stars expected to bring fireworks.

Sompal Kami, the fast bowling all-rounder, is the sole player from Nepal’s inaugural 2014 squad to feature in the 2024 edition, with veteran Karan KC joining him as the team’s senior member.

This will mark Nepal’s second appearance in the tournament making them the least experienced side in the group.


Rohit Paudel (c), Aasif Sheikh, Anil Kumar Sah, Kushal Bhurtel, Kushal Malla, Dipendra Singh Airee, Lalit Rajbanshi, Karan KC, Gulshan Jha, Sompal Kami, Pratis GC, Sundeep Jora, Abinash Bohara, Sagar Dhakal, Kamal Singh Airee


4 June: Netherlands vs Nepal, Dallas

11 June: Sri Lanka vs Nepal, Florida

14 June: South Africa vs Nepal, St. Vincent

16 June: Bangladesh vs Nepal, St. Vincent

Players to watch out for:

The latest entrant in the six sixes club, Dipendra Singh Airee, comes in with a hard-hitting reputation. Dipendra bludgeoned six sixes in the ACC Men’s T20I Premier Cup clash against Qatar becoming only the third men’s player to do so in T20Is after Yuvraj Singh (2007) and Keiron Pollard (2021).

He also is the current record holder of the fastest T20I fifty. The right-handed batter achieved this feat in nine balls, breaking Yuvraj’s record of 12 deliveries.

The 24-year-old’s contribution in the middle overs can help Nepal put up a strong challenge in the group.


The Netherlands have often brought the element of surprise in an ICC tournament. They have the edge over Proteas, beating them in the last two ICC Men’s tournaments – in the 2022 T20 World Cup and the 2023 Cricket World Cup.

They will face South Africa again on 8 June in New York with the aim to complete a hat-trick of wins. 20-year-old Michael Levitt has found a place in the absence of Colin Ackermann after an impressive hundred against Namibia earlier this year.

The Dutch have restored their core players for this edition with captain Scott Edwards, Bas de Leede, Logan van Beek, Max O’Dowd, Sybrand Engelbrecht, Vikram Singh and Wesley Barresi bringing the experience.


Scott Edwards (c), Aryan Dutt, Bas de Leede, Daniel Doram, Fred Klaassen, Logan van Beek, Max O’Dowd, Michael Levitt, Paul van Meekeren, Sybrand Engelbrecht, Teja Nidamanuru, Tim Pringle, Vikram Singh, Viv Kingma, Wesley Barresi. Reserve: Kyle Klein


4 June: Netherlands vs Nepal, Dallas

8 June: Netherlands vs South Africa, New York

13 June: Bangladesh vs Netherlands, St. Vincent

16 June: Sri Lanka vs Netherlands, St. Lucia

Players to watch out for:

Bas de Leede has been instrumental for the Netherlands with both bat and ball. For his impressive performance last year, de Leede was awarded with the ICC Men’s Associate Cricketer of the Year.

However, the 24-year-old all-rounder has played little T20I cricket of late, with his recent appearances in the tri-series with Scotland and Ireland being his first matches in the shortest format since 2022 at the most recent edition of the T20 World Cup. De Leede was one of the Netherlands’ best at the event where he finished as their leading wicket-taker with 13 scalps.

South Africa:

Perhaps the strongest side in this group and the tournament, South Africa have put together a strong squad.

The batting line-up consists of experienced Quinton de Kock, Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller and Reeza Hendricks who can bludgeon bowling attacks with Ryan Rickelton and Tristan Stubbs promising to bring the spark of youth.

The fast-bowling department displays assurance with Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Gerald Coetzee, Marco Jansen and Ottniel Baartman. Meanwhile, Keshav Maharaj, Tabraiz Shamsi and Bjorn Fortuin complete the spin department.

However, the Proteas miss a genuine all-rounder in their line-up. Jansen has proven to be handy with the bat but primarily serves as their opening bowler.

The pressure will be on as Proteas hope to make their first appearance in a final of the Men’s T20 World Cup.


Aiden Markram (c), Ottniel Baartman, Gerald Coetzee, Quinton de Kock, Bjorn Fortuin, Reeza Hendricks, Marco Jansen, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, David Miller, Anrich Nortje, Kagiso Rabada, Ryan Rickelton, Tabraiz Shamsi, Tristan Stubbs


3 June: Sri Lanka vs South Africa, New York

8 June: Netherlands vs South Africa, New York

10 June: South Africa vs Bangladesh, New York

14 June: South Africa vs Nepal, St. Vincent

Players to watch out for:

The dangerous Heinrich Klaasen has been in top form since the start of this year. Across all T20 competitions, Klaasen has smashed 69 maximums in 25 matches from 25 matches.

Klaasen brings versatility. Not only can he keep wickets, but he also brings the ability to attack spin bowling with a strike rate of 159.09 against them in T20s. His performance in this year’s SA20 and the IPL has confirmed that he can play the explosive middle-order batter role to perfection.

Sri Lanka:

Wanindu Hasaranga will undertake his first major assignment as the newly appointed Sri Lanka. The Lions have struck a balance with a unit that checks most boxes.

Kusal Mendis, Pathum Nissanka, Charith Asalanka, Sadeera Samarawickrama, and Dhananjaya De Silva compose a firm batting group. Angelo Mathews and Dasun Shanaka bring experience as seam-bowling all-rounders with captain Hasaranga and Dunith Wellalage as the spin-bowling all-rounders.

Maheesh Theekshana is expected to share spin duties with Hasaranga equally. Dilshan Madushanka’s bowling prowess in the Powerplay will be lethal to deal with Matheesha Pathirana to take care of the final overs with Dushmantha Chameera, and Nuwan Thushara completing the pace attack.


Wanindu Hasaranga (c), Charith Asalanka, Kusal Mendis, Pathum Nissanka, Kamindu Mendis, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Angelo Mathews, Dasun Shanaka, Dhananjaya De Silva, Maheesh Theekshana, Dunith Wellalage, Dushmantha Chameera, Nuwan Thushara, Matheesha Pathirana, Dilshan Madushanka. Traveling Reserves: Asitha Fernando, Vijayakanth Viyaskanth, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, and Janith Liyanage


3 June: Sri Lanka vs South Africa, New York

7 June: Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh, Dallas

11 June: Sri Lanka vs Nepal, Florida

16 June: Sri Lanka vs Netherlands, St. Lucia

Players to watch out for:

A bowler who can deliver every ball at over 145 kmph with a lethal yorker in his arsenal – Matheesha Pathirana will be a headache for most batters, especially in the death overs.

Pathirana’s recent exploits at the Indian Premier League (IPL) have added to his reputation as a dangerous pacer despite only having played six T20Is. In only six games for Chennai in IPL 2024, the death-specialist 13 wickets with an economy rate of 7.68.

Although he returned midway through the IPL season with a hamstring injury, Pathirana has been named in the squad and is expected to be fit in time.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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The Hindu Morning Digest: December 31, 2023

With announcement of new notification, Census to be delayed till at least October 2024

The deadline to freeze the administrative boundaries of districts, tehsils, towns, and municipal bodies, among others, has been extended till June 30, 2024, a senior government official told The Hindu. This means that the decennial Census exercise, initially scheduled to be begin in 2020, will now be postponed till at least October 2024 as it usually takes about three months after the boundaries are set to identify and train the enumerators.

Ayodhya airport takes off ahead of January 22 Ram Temple consecration ceremony

The world awaits the Ram Temple consecration ceremony on January 22, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared on Saturday in Ayodhya, adding that no stone will be left unturned to develop the holy place. Given the security arrangements that would be in place, the Prime Minister requested people to visit the temple city only after the consecration ceremony. 

Punjab Police form SIT to investigate Nicaragua ‘human trafficking’ case

The Punjab Police set up a Special Investigation Team on Saturday to probe a suspected human trafficking case related to Indian passengers on an aircraft run by Romania’s Legend Airlines, originally destined for Nicaragua, but detained in France. Though the passengers have now returned to India, no victim has yet come forward to register any case.

PM Modi visits 10th crore beneficiary of Ujjwala scheme in Ayodhya

Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a surprise visit on Saturday to the Ayodhya home of Meera Manjhi, the tenth-crore beneficiary of the PM Ujjwala Yojana, and had tea at her residence during his one-day tour of the temple city.

Launched in May 2016 to provide subsidised LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) connections to poor households, the Ujjwala scheme aims to empower women, protecting their health and reducing the number of deaths in India due to unclean cooking fuel.

BJP president releases commemorative stamp on 200 years of Indian origin Tamils in Sri Lanka

BJP President J.P. Nadda on Saturday released a commemorative stamp on 200 years of arrival of Indian-origin Tamils in Sri Lanka. BJP’s Tamil Nadu unit chief K. Annamalai said that PM Narendra Modi has always considered Sri Lanka, “our civilisational twin” and has been instrumental in supporting the country with humanitarian and financial aid during its times of distress.

The release of the commemorative stamp has strengthened this commitment of unwavering support to the Indian-origin Tamils living in Sri Lanka, a statement released by the Sri Lankan govt. said.

In biggest election year ever, politics may have impact on India’s foreign policy the most

Domestic policy, rather than geopolitical events, could be a major factor in foreign policy in 2024, given that more than a fourth of the world, in terms of population and number of countries, will go to vote during the year. For India, which will hold the world’s largest election, the diplomatic calendar and focus will be decided by countries in the neighbourhood, global powers and major countries in the Global South, all of which will hold parliamentary or presidential elections next year.

Centre releases draft guidelines to make Railways more user-friendly for persons with disabilities

The government has released draft guidelines on accessibility of railway stations, facilities in trains for persons with disabilities, highlighting the need for integrating technology-enabled features such as text-to-speech and user-friendly pictograms. The Department of the Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) has asked stakeholders and the public to give their comments, objections and suggestions by January 29 on the proposed guidelines to create a more user-friendly environment.

India seeks extradition of Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed from Pakistan

India has asked Pakistan to extradite Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed, the 2008 Mumbai terror attack mastermind and a United Nations-proscribed terrorist, who is wanted by Indian probe agencies in a number of terror cases. India also took note of reports of Saeed’s son Talha Saeed standing for elections in Pakistan and said the “mainstreaming” of radical terrorist outfits in that country is nothing new and that it has been part of its state policy for a long time.

Singapore envoy praises tripartite pact with ULFA faction

The peace pact signed with the pro-talks faction of United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) will pave the way for investment into the northeastern region, the High Commissioner of Singapore Simon Wong has said. The envoy had earlier in November observed that products of Assam have a ready market in Singapore.

This is the first response from a foreign representative on the pact that was signed on Friday under which a time-bound programme would be made by the Home Ministry to fulfil the demands of the ULFA and a committee would be constituted to monitor its progress.

6.5 magnitude earthquake shakes part of Indonesia’s Papua region, no immediate reports of casualties

A powerful earthquake shook Indonesia’s easternmost region of Papua early Sunday, but there were no immediate reports of serious damage or casualties. The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude 6.5 quake was centered 162 kilometers (101 miles) northeast of Abepura, a subdistrict in Jayapura, the capital of Papua province. It happened at a depth of 10 kilometers (6 miles).

Indonesia’s Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysical Agency said there was no danger of a tsunami but warned of possible aftershocks as the earthquake was centered in land.

British actor Tom Wilkinson, known for ‘The Full Monty’ and ‘Michael Clayton’, dies at 75

Tom Wilkinson, the Oscar-nominated British actor known for his roles in “The Full Monty,” “Michael Clayton” and “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” has died, his family said. He was 75. A statement shared by his agent on behalf of the family said Wilkinson died suddenly at home on Saturday. It didn’t provide further details.

China eases visa application for U.S. tourists

China will simplify visa applications for tourists from the United States from Jan. 1, cutting the documents required, according to a notice on Friday on the website of the Chinese embassy in Washington. The move is the latest by China to revive tourism and boost the world’s second-largest economy following a slump during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Major blow to Imran Khan as Pakistan’s top poll body rejects his nomination papers from two seats

In a major blow to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) ahead of the February 8 general elections, Pakistan’s top poll body on December 30 rejected nomination papers of party founder and former Prime Minister Imran Khan and several of his stalwart colleagues on what they described as “flimsy grounds”.

Finance Minister meets heads of PSBs, reviews financial performance

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharman on Saturday held a meeting with heads of public sector banks and reviewed their financial performance. During the meeting, concerns related to cyber security and the risks on the financial sector were discussed, sources said. Issues related to fraud and wilful defaulters and progress on the National Asset Reconstruction Company Ltd (NARCL) also came up for discussion.

India in South Africa | Rohit Sharma focuses on Mukesh during net session, Jadeja goes full tilt

It was an optional session at the Supersport Park but for India skipper Rohit Sharma, skipping the nets wasn’t an option. Outfoxed by South African pace spearhead Kagiso Rabada in both innings of the opening Test, Rohit was present as skipper and batter in equal measure during a two-hour session.

The Indian captain was focussed on facing Mukesh Kumar, who bowled only to Rohit for at least 45 minutes.

Dominic Thiem survives qualifying and a brush with venomous snake at Brisbane International

Former U.S. Open champion Dominic Thiem had a brush with one of Australia’s most venomous snakes during a qualifying match at the Brisbane International on Saturday The former world No.3 was a set down to 20-year-old Australian James McCabe in a first round qualifying match when fans courtside spotted the snake.

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New Zealand vs Sri Lanka Live Score, Cricket World Cup 2023: Daryl Mitchell Solid As Three-Down New Zealand Cruise Towards Victory | Cricket News

New Zealand vs Sri Lanka Live Score Updates: Sri Lanka are struggling against New Zealand.© PTI

NZ vs SL, ODI World Cup 2023, Live Updates: Daryl Mitchell is solid in the crease as three-down New Zealand are cruising towards the 172-run target against Sri Lanka in Bengaluru. Devon Conway (45) and Rachin Ravindra (42) took New Zealand off to a solid start in the paltry chase. Earlier, Trent Boult took three wickets as New Zealand bowled out Sri Lanka for 171 after Kane Williamson won the toss and opted to bowl first. New Zealand always had an upper hand in the game as they kept on scalping wickets at regular intervals. For Sri Lanka, Kusal Perera was the highest scorer with 51 runs. (Live Scorecard | Points Table)

Live Updates: New Zealand vs Sri Lanka Live | NZ vs SL, Straight from Bengaluru

  • 19:21 (IST)

    NZ vs SL Live Score: OUT!

    Angelo Mathews has got the wicket of Kane Williamson. The New Zealand skipper played the ball on his stumps. New Zealand are three down but that won’t worry even a bit as they are almost there. They need only 42 runs to win.

    NZ 130/3 (18.2)

  • 19:14 (IST)

    NZ vs SL Live Score: SIX!

    New Zealand are in some sort of hurry to finish the game it seems! Daryl Mitchell comes down the track and hits the Maheesh Theekshana delivery over long-off for a six.

    NZ 124/2 (17.2)

  • 19:13 (IST)

    NZ vs SL Live Score: FOUR!

    16.4 – A strong shot from Kane Williamson on the off-side and New Zealand are now 56 runs away from a win over Sri Lanka.

    A total of 10 runs came off the first over of Angelo Mathews.

    NZ 118/2 (17)

  • 19:02 (IST)

    NZ vs SL Live Score: FOUR!

    Easy pickings for Daryl Mitchell. It was bowled on the pads from Maheesh Theekshana and Mitchell just flicked it away to wide of long-on for a four.

    NZ 103/2 (15)

  • 19:01 (IST)

    NZ vs SL Live Score: SIX!

    A six over the long-off from the bat of Daryl Mitchell. It was a powerful shot from the Kiwi star on the bowling of Dushmantha Chameera. New Zealand need 73 more to win.

    NZ 99/2 (14.4)

  • 18:57 (IST)

    NZ vs SL Live Score: Another WICKET!

    A bit of motivation here for Sri Lanka. Maheesh Theekshana has dismissed Rachin Ravindra and New Zealand are now two down. Conway wanted to go over the extra cover fielder but he got a thick inside-edge on the delivery and Chameera took the catch at mid-wicket. Ravindra is gone for 45 off 42 balls.

    NZ 88/2 (13.3)

  • 18:48 (IST)

    NZ vs SL Live Score: WICKET!

    Devon Conway is gone at his score of 45 off 42 balls. Dushmantha Chameera gets the wicket for Sri Lanka and the side at least has something to celebrate. New Zealand need 86 runs more to win and they are still in command of this game.

    NZ 86/1 (12.2)

  • 18:36 (IST)

    NZ vs SL Live Score: A superb start for New Zealand!

    New Zealand openers Rachin Ravindra and Devon Conway have taken the side off to a solid start in chase of a paltry target of 172 against Sri Lanka. New Zealand need 99 runs more to win with a required run rate of around 2.5 per over. It must be a cakewalk for them from here.

    NZ 73/0 (10)

  • 18:27 (IST)

    NZ vs SL Live Score: SIX

    SIX!!! Rachin Ravindra hits a six off Dhananjaya de Silva’s delivery. Ravindra plays a slogsweep over the deep mid-wicket as the ball goes sailing over the fence.

    NZ 58/0 (7.3 overs)

  • 18:21 (IST)

    NZ vs SL Live Score: FOUR

    FOUR!!! Devon Conway inches closer towards his half-century as he is dealing in boundaries. In the previous over of Dilshan Madushanka, he smashes two back-to-back fours as New Zealand are confidently approaching the target of 172. Conway is currently standing unbeaten at 34. 

    NZ 51/0 (7 overs)

  • 18:17 (IST)

    NZ vs SL Live Score: SIX

    SIX!!! Rachin Ravindra smashes a huge six off Dhananjaya de Silva’s delivery. Ravindra smashes it hard towards the extra cover as the ball lands straight into the crowd for a maximum. 

    NZ 40/0 (5.3 overs)

  • 18:14 (IST)

    NZ vs SL Live Score: FOUR

    FOUR!!! Devon Conway hit another boundary in the same over of Dilshan Madushanka. Conway plays a terrific down the ground shot as the fielder fails to stop it from going for a four. 

    NZ 32/0 (5 overs)

  • 18:11 (IST)

    NZ vs SL Live Score: FOUR

    FOUR!!! Devon Conway hits a boundary off Dilshan Madushanka’s delivery. The ball hits the top edge of the bat and dodges the wicketkeeper and goes past the boundary line for a four. 

    NZ 22/0 (4.2 overs)

  • 18:09 (IST)

    NZ vs SL Live Score: 2 runs off the over

    Maheesh Theekshana bowls an excellent over and gives a sigh of relief to Sri Lanka. In the previous over, he concedes only two runs as Sri Lanka eye some quick wickets. 

    NZ 18/0 (4 overs)

  • 18:04 (IST)

    NZ vs SL Live Score: Good start for New Zealand

    Rachin Ravindra and Devon Conway are standing steady for New Zealand in the chase. In the first over, the duo scores four runs, followed by eight runs in the next over. They aim to get some boundaries in the coming overs. 

    NZ 12/0 (2 overs)

  • 17:51 (IST)

    NZ vs SL Live Score: We are back

    Hello and welcome to the second innings of the match between New Zealand and Sri Lanka. In the chase of 172, Rachin Ravindra and Devon Conway have opened for New Zealand while Dilshan Madushanka will be bowling the first over for Sri Lanka. 

  • 17:24 (IST)

    NZ vs SL Live Score: Sri Lanka 171 all out

    Sri Lanka got bundled out for 171 in 46.4 overs against New Zealand. For Sri Lanka, Kusal Perera scored 51 while Maheesh Theekshana remained unbeaten at 39. For New Zealand, Trent Boult took three wickets while Lockie Ferguson and Mitchell Santner took two wickets each. 

  • 17:07 (IST)

    NZ vs SL Live Score: Good partnership for Sri Lanka!

    Maheesh Theekshana and Dilshan Madushanka have added 34 runs off 59 balls for the last wicket so far. This pair is frustrating the New Zeland bowlers. Mitchell Santner, Lockie Ferguson and Trent Boult, who all together took 7 wickets out of the 9, have already completed their quota of overs. 

    SL 162/9 (42)

  • 16:58 (IST)

    NZ vs SL Live Score: Injury scare for Sri Lanka!

    A short ball from Lockie Ferguson hit Maheesh Theekshana on the arm. The play was halted for a bit of time but it has resumed now with Tim Southee bowling the 41st over.

    SL 155/9 (40)

  • 16:49 (IST)

    NZ vs SL Live Score: FOUR!

    A boundary comes after a long time for Sri Lanka. The Lockie Ferguson delivery had a good pace and Dilshan Madushanka just guided the short ball over the 30-yard circle for a four. The ball went over the backward point region for a four.

    SL 150/9 (37.4)

  • 16:43 (IST)

    NZ vs SL Live Score: Sri Lanka continue to struggle!

    Maheesh Theekshana has been joined by Dilshan Madushanka, the last man to come out to bat, after the wicket of Dushmantha Chameera. New Zealand just need one good ball to wrap up the Sri Lankan innings.

    SL 144/9 (37)

  • 16:38 (IST)

    NZ vs SL Live Score: OUT!

    32.1 – Sri Lanka are nine down. Rachin Ravindra dismissed Dushmantha Chameera and New Zealand are only one wicket away from bundling out Sri Lanka to a really low total.

  • 16:24 (IST)

    NZ vs SL Live Score: Close call!

    A Trent Boult delivery hit the front pad of Maheesh Theekshana. Since the ball seemed to be going down the leg side prima facie, the umpire was unmoved on the LBW appeal. New Zealand went upstairs but ball tracker revealed that the umpire was right.

    SL 128/8 (32)

  • 16:11 (IST)

    NZ vs SL Live Score: Sri Lanka need a big partnership!

    The onus is completely on lower-order batters Maheesh Theekshana and Dushmantha Chameera to keep the team going. On the other hand, New Zealand bowlers are bowling really tight and it won’t be a surprise if Sri Lanka fail to cross even 150. 

    SL 125/8 (29)

  • 15:51 (IST)

    NZ vs SL Live Score: OUT

    OUT!!! Lockie Ferguson has taken his second wicket of the day as he dismissed Chamika Karunaratne for 6. Chamika fails to judge the delivery as the ball hits the edge and wicketkeeper Tom Latham takes a catch behind the stumps. 

    SL 113/8 (23.3 overs)

  • 15:45 (IST)

    NZ vs SL Live Score: Maiden over

    Lockie Ferguson bowls an excellent over and creates pressure on Sri Lanka batters. In the previous over, he bowls a maiden as New Zealand aim to end Sri Lanka’s innings at the earliest. 

    SL 112/7 (22 overs)

  • 15:36 (IST)

    NZ vs SL Live Score: OUT

    OUT!!! Mitchell Santner has taken his second wicket of the day as he dismissed Dhananjaya de Silva for 19. The ball hits the top edge and Daryl Mitchell takes a brilliant catch at the slip. Seventh wicket gone for Sri Lanka. 

    SL 105/7 (18.3 overs)

  • 15:22 (IST)

    NZ vs SL Live Score: OUT

    OUT!!! Mitchell Santner has taken his first wicket of the day as he dismissed Angelo Mathews for 16. Mathews tries to flick it for a boundary but ends up giving a catch to Daryl Mitchell. Sixth wicket gone for Sri Lanka. 

    SL 104/6 (16.4 overs)

  • 15:19 (IST)

    NZ vs SL Live Score: SIX

    SIX!!! Dhananjaya de Silva smashes a huge six off Tim Southee’s delivery. Dhananjaya simply lofts it over the fence as the ball lands straight into the crowd for a huge maximum. 

    SL 102/5 (16 overs)

  • 15:13 (IST)

    NZ vs SL Live Score: 4 runs off the over

    Angelo Mathews and Dhananjaya de Silva are standing steady as five-down Sri Lanka rely on their partnership. In the previous over of Mitchell Santner, the duo scores four runs and aims for boundaries in the coming overs. 

    SL 95/5 (15 overs)

  • 15:08 (IST)

    New Zealand vs Sri Lanka Live Score: FOUR

    FOUR!!! Dhananjaya de Silva smashes a boundary off Lockie Ferguson’s delivery. Dhananjaya stays back and punches it away to leave deep third man as the ball comfortable goes across the boundary line for a four. 

    SL 90/5 (13.4 overs)

  • 14:59 (IST)

    NZ vs SL Live Score: FOUR

    FOUR!!! Angelo Mathews hits a boundary off Lockie Ferguson’s delivery. Mathews makes a good use of the short ball as he places it perfectly towards the fine leg and steals four runs. 

    SL 83/5 (11.3 overs)

  • 14:54 (IST)

    NZ vs SL Live Score: OUT

    OUT!!! Lockie Ferguson joins the party and takes his first wicket of the day in the form of Kusal Perera for 51. Perera smashes it hard but the ball goes up in the air as Mitchell Santner takes a stunning catch. Fifth wicket gone for Sri Lanka. 

    SL 70/5 (9.3 overs)

  • 14:52 (IST)

    NZ vs SL Live Score: OUT

    OUT!!! Trent Boult has taken his third wicket of the day as he dismissed Charith Asalanka for 8. Boult strikes directly onto the pads of Asalanka but the on-field umpire signals not out. Later, the DRS reviews shows that the wickets were hitting and Asalanka was declared LBW out. 

    SL 70/4 (8.2 overs)

  • 14:40 (IST)

    NZ vs SL Live Score: Perera hits 50

    FOUR!!! Kusal Perera hits a boundary off Lockie Ferguson’s delivery and brings up his half-century in style. It is his 17th half-century in the ODI format and he brings it up in 22 balls. Terrific batting from Perera. 

    SL 70/3 (7.3 overs)

  • 14:36 (IST)

    NZ vs SL Live Score: Perera nears 50

    Kusal Perera is standing like a strong wall for Sri Lanka as he is fearlessly smashing boundaries and inching closer towards his half-century. In the previous over of Tim Southeee, he smashed three boundaries and a six while in the next over of Trent Boult, he hit two boundaries. 

    SL 61/3 (7 overs)

  • 14:30 (IST)

    NZ vs SL Live Score: OUT

    OUT!!! Trent Boult have struck twice in the same over and this time he dismissed Sadeera Samarawickrama for 1. Sadeera fails to judge the delivery as the ball hits the edge and Daryl Mitchell takes a brilliant catch at the slip. Third wicket gone for Sri Lanka. 

    SL 32/3 (4.4 overs)

  • 14:23 (IST)

    NZ vs SL Live Score: OUT

    OUT!!! Trent Boult has provided New Zealand with their second wicket as he dismissed Kusal Mendis for 6. Mendis tries to smash it hard but fails to time the shot as the ball goes up in the air and lands into the hands of Rachin Ravindra at the third man. 

    SL 30/2 (4.1 overs)

  • 14:21 (IST)

    NZ vs SL Live Score: Perera on fire

    Kusal Perera completely changes the momentum of the game with his powerful hitting. In the previous over of Tim Southee, he smashes two boundaries and a six and the pacer leaks 15 runs. Terrific batting from Perera. 

    SL 30/1 (4 overs)

  • 14:18 (IST)

    NZ vs SL Live Score: 12 runs off the over

    Sri Lanka get a big over and Kusal Mendis and Kusal Perera start dealing in boundaries. In the previous over of Trent Boult, the duo scores 12 runs, which include one boundary from both the batters. 

    SL 15/1 (3 overs)

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Pakistan vs Sri Lanka Highlights, ICC ODI World Cup 2023: Pakistan Record Highest-Ever World Cup Chase, Beat Sri Lanka By 6 Wickets | Cricket News

PAK vs SL Highlights, World Cup 2023: Pakistan beat Sri Lanka by 6 wickets.© AFP

Pakistan vs Sri Lanka Highlights, ODI World Cup 2023: Mohammad Rizwan scored 131 not out while Abdullah Shafique hit 113 as Pakistan defeated Sri Lanka by 6 wickets to record the highest chase of World Cup history. Earlier, fiery centuries from Kusal Mendis and Sadeera Samarawickrama guided Sri Lanka to 344 for 9 in 50 overs. Opting to bat first, Sri Lanka lost an early wicket of Kusal Perera but they got back on track. Mendis smashed 122 runs while Sadeera scored 108. (Scorecard | Points Table)

Here are the Highlights of the ODI World Cup 2023 match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka:

  • 22:28 (IST)

    PAK vs SL, Cricket WC Live: Pakistan win!!!

    Pakistan have won the game by 6 wickets. They have recorded the highest-ever World Cup chase. What a win this is for the side! They lost two early wickets in this chase of 345 runs but Mohammed Rizwan and Abdullah Shafique scored impressive centuries to help the side win the game.

  • 22:14 (IST)

    PAK vs SL, Cricket WC Live: Pakistan four down!

    Pakistan have lost the wicket of Saud Shakeel of late, but they are still solid in this chase, thanks to Mohammad Rizwan’s unbeaten century. Apart from their poor bowling, Sri Lanka also have their poor luck to blame. Pakistan need 26 runs in 24 balls.

    PAK 319/4 (46)

  • 21:53 (IST)

    PAK vs SL, Cricket WC Live: Century for Rizwan!

    Mohammed Rizwan races to his third ODI century in 97 balls. He still there at the middle despite struggling with his fitness. This is turning out to be a wonderful knock for Pakistan.

  • 21:31 (IST)

    ODI WC Live:Injured Rizwan continues to fight!

    Mohammad Rizwan seems to be suffering with cramps but he continues to bat for Pakistan. They need 94 runs in 78 balls. Meanwhile, Rizwan is 90 not out off 82 balls.

    PAK 251/3 (37)

  • 21:11 (IST)

    PAK vs SL, Cricket WC Live: OUT!

    The partnership for the fourth wicket has finally been broken! That’s a stunning catch from a substitute fielder Hemantha to dismiss Abdullah Shafique at backward point. The batter has to depart at the score of 113 runs and Sri Lanka will take a sigh of relief, at least for sometime now. 

    PAK 213/3 (33.1)

  • 21:00 (IST)

    PAK vs SL, Cricket WC Live: Shafique on fire!

    A fantastic four from Abdullah Shafique on the off side. He has put his foot on the accelerator pedal and Pakistan are in complete control of this chase now. 19 runs came off the Dilshan Madushanka over.

    PAK 207/2 (32)

  • 20:56 (IST)

    PAK vs SL, Cricket WC Live: Century for Shafique!

    A four to wide of long-on and Abdullah Shafique gets to his maiden ODI century in his first World Cup appearance for Pakistan. What a player he is! Pakistan needed the opener to deliver tonight and here he is… right on the money! 

    PAK 192/2 (31.2)

  • 20:44 (IST)

    PAK vs SL, Cricket WC Live: Fifty for Mohammed Rizwan!

    Mohammed Rizwan hit his fifty in 58 balls. Both he and Abdullah Shafique are well set in the crease and Pakistan are bossing the chase now. Sri Lanka badly need a breakthrough to stay alive in the game.

  • 20:23 (IST)

    PAK vs SL, Cricket WC Live: Pakistan in control!

    Pakistan are going well in this chase with both Mohammad Rizwan and Abdullah Shafique solid at the crease. However, the only thing the Babar Azam-led side need to look from here is that the required run rate doesn’t go too high.

  • 20:07 (IST)

    PAK vs SL, Cricket WC Live: Fifty for Shafique!

    Abdullah Shafique raced to his half-century in 58 balls. The milestone for the player came on the final ball of the 19th over. Dunith Wellalage bowled the 20th over and six runs came off it. This partnership between Shafique and Mohammad Rizwan now looks threatening for Sri Lanka.

    PAK 110/2 (20)

  • 19:51 (IST)

    PAK vs SL, Cricket WC Live: Pakistan make recovery!

    Abdullah Shafique is getting close to his half-century. Pakistan are looking in control of this chase now as Mohammad Rizwan is also solid at the other end.

    PAK 81/2 (16)

  • 19:19 (IST)

    PAK vs SL, Cricket WC Live: Sri Lanka lose a review!

    That was more of a desperate review from Sri Lanka and they lose it. A bouncer from Dilshan Madushanka hit the helmet of Abdullah Shafique before the fielder caught the ball. Sri Lankan players thought there was an edge but they were completely wrong as confirmed by the snickometer.

    PAK 48/2 (10)

  • 19:05 (IST)

    PAK vs SL, Cricket WC Live: OUT!

    Babar Azam is out! He has literally thrown his wicket away to a poor ball in such a crucial chase. Sri Lanka will take it with open arms though. It was bowled down the leg side from Dilshan Madushanka and Babar nicked it to wicketkeeper Samarawickrama.

    PAK 37/2 (7.2)

  • 18:45 (IST)

    PAK vs SL, Cricket WC Live: WICKET!

    This is a really good start for Sri Lanka now. Dilshan Madushanka has got the wicket of Imam-ul-Haq and Pakistan are in a bit of trouble here.  

    PAK 16/1 (3.3)

  • 18:33 (IST)

    PAK vs SL, Cricket WC Live: Pakistan’s chase underway!

    Pakistan have kicked off their chase of 345 runs. Imam-ul-Haq and Abdullah Shafique have opened the batting for the side. Six runs came off the first over that was bowled by Maheesh Theekshana.

  • 17:58 (IST)

    PAK vs SL, Cricket WC Live: Sri Lanka 344/9 in 50 overs

    Sri Lanka end their innings at 344/9 in 50 overs against Pakistan. For Sri Lanka, Sadeera Samarawickrama scored 108 runs while Kusal Mendis scored 122. Apart from them, Pathum Nissanka scored 51. For Pakistan, Hasan Ali took four wickets while Haris Rauf took two wickets. 

  • 17:56 (IST)

    PAK vs SL, Cricket WC Live: OUT

    OUT!!! Haris Rauf dismisses Maheesh  Theekshana for duck. Theekshana completely fails to judge the delivery as the ball dislodges the off stump. 

    SL 343/8 (49.1 overs)

  • 17:54 (IST)

    PAK vs SL, Cricket WC Live: FOUR

    FOUR!!! Dunith Wellalage hits a boundary off Shaheen Afridi’s delivery. He smashes it hard towards the deep extra cover and steals four runs. 

    SL 343/7 (49 overs)

  • 17:49 (IST)

    PAK vs SL, Cricket WC Live: OUT

    OUT!!! Hasan Ali takes his fourth wicket of the day and this time he removes Sadeera Samarawickrama for 108. Sadeera tries to play a scoop shot but the ball hits the edge and Rizwan takes a brilliant catch behind the stumps. 

    SL 335/7 (48 overs)

  • 17:40 (IST)

    PAK vs SL, Cricket WC Live: OUT

    OUT!!! Shaheen Afridi has taken his first wicket of the day and he removes Dasun Shanaka for 12. Shanaka smashes it hard for a six but fails to time it as the ball lands safely into the hands of Babar Azam. 

    SL 324/6 (46.3 overs)

  • 17:36 (IST)

    PAK vs SL, Cricket WC Live: Sadeera hits ton

    Sadeera Samarawickrama takes a single off  Hasan Ali’s delivery and brings up his century. It is his maiden ton in the ODI format and he brings it up in 82 balls. Terrific batting from Sadeera.

    SL 318/5 (45.5 overs)

  • 17:27 (IST)

    PAK vs SL, Cricket WC Live: SIX

    SIX!!! Sadeera Samarawickrama smashes a huge six off Mohammad Nawaz’s delivery. Sadeera makes room outside the leg-stump and plays a beautiful inside-out loft over extra-cover. 

    SL 305/5 (43.3 overs)

  • 17:19 (IST)

    PAK vs SL, Cricket WC Live: OUT

    OUT!!! Mohammad Nawaz has provided Pakistan with another breakthrough as he dismisses Dhananjaya de Silva for 25. De Silva smashes it hard but ends up giving a catch to Shaheen Afridi. 

    SL 294/5 (41.1 overs)

  • 17:15 (IST)

    PAK vs SL, Cricket WC Live: 11 runs off the over

    Sri Lanka are in a fiery mode as Sadeera Samarawickrama and Dhananjaya de Silva are dealing in boundaries. In the previous over of Hasan Ali, the duo scores 11 runs, which include two boundaries from Sadeera. 

    SL 294/4 (41 overs)

  • 17:02 (IST)

    PAK vs SL, Cricket WC Live: FOUR

    FOUR!!! Dhananjaya de Silva smashes a boundary off Shadab Khan’s delivery. He plays a shot towards the deep mid-wicket and steals four runs. 

    SL 270/4 (38 overs)

  • 16:54 (IST)

    PAK vs SL, Cricket WC Live: 8 runs off the over

    Sadeera Samarawickrama is standing like a huge wall for Sri Lanka as he is regularly dealing in boundaries. In the previous over of Shadab Khan, he smashes two boundaries as the spinner leaks eight runs. 

    SL 255/4 (36 overs)

  • 16:41 (IST)

    PAK vs SL, Cricket WC Live: Sadeera hits 50

    Sadeera Samarawickrama takes a single off Shadab Khan’s delivery and brings up his half-century, It is his sixth half-century in the ODI cricket. Terrific batting from Sadeera. 

    SL 240/4 (33.1 overs)

  • 16:35 (IST)

    PAK vs SL, Cricket WC Live: Good over from Shadab

    Shadab Khan bowls an excellent over and controls the flow of runs. In his previous over, he leaks only two runs as Pakistan aim for another wicket. 

    SL 232/4 (32 overs)

  • 16:31 (IST)

    PAK vs SL Live: OUT

    OUT!!! Hasan Ali has taken his third wicket of the day and this time, Charith Asalanka becomes his prey. The ball hits the edge of the bat as wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan taken a good catch. Fourth wicket gone for Sri Lanka. 

    SL 229/4 (30.1 overs)

  • 16:22 (IST)

    PAK vs SL, Cricket WC Live: OUT

    OUT!!! Hasan Ali has taken his second wicket of the day and this time he removed Kusal Mendis for 122. After hitting two back-to-back sixes, Mendis tries to go for the third one but ends up giving a fantastic catch to Imam Ul Haq at the long-on. Third wicket gone for Sri Lanka. 

    SL 218/3 (28.5 overs)

  • 16:18 (IST)

    PAK vs SL, Cricket WC Live: SIX

    SIX!!! Kusal Mendis smashes two back-to-back sixes off Hasan Ali’s delivery. The first one comes after he places a shot towards the leg-side. While the other one comes after he hammers a shot towards the long-off. Mendis is on fire. 

    SL 218/3 (28.4 overs)

  • 16:15 (IST)

    PAK vs SL, Cricket WC Live: 5 runs off the over

    After leaking too many runs in the past few overs, Pakistan finally take a sigh of relief as Iftikhar Ahmed bowls an economical over. He concedes only five runs as Pakistan aim to break the partnership between Sadeera and Mendis. 

    SL 204/2 (28 overs)

  • 16:10 (IST)

    PAK vs SL, Cricket WC Live: Mendis hits ton

    Kusal Mendis smashes a huge six off Hasan Ali’s delivery and brings up his century in style. It is his third century in the ODI cricket and he brings it up in 65 balls. Terrific batting from Mendis. 

    SL 192/2 (26.1 overs)

  • 16:04 (IST)

    PAK vs SL, Cricket WC Live: Mendis nears ton

    Kusla Mendis is on fire!! In the previous over of Shaheen Afridi, he smashes three back-to-back boundaries as the pacer concedes 14 runs. With this, Mendis has gone past the 91-run mark and inching closer towards his ton. 

    SL 181/2 (25 overs)

  • 15:56 (IST)

    PAK vs SL, Cricket WC Live: FOUR

    FOUR!!! Kusal Mendis smashes a brilliant boundary off Mohammad Nawaz’s delivery. He smartly places a shot between backward point and short third man and steals four runs. 

    SL 166/2 (23 overs)

  • 15:44 (IST)

    PAK vs SL, Cricket WC Live: SIX

    SIX!!! Both Kusal Mendis and Sadeera Samarawickrama punish Haris Rauf with two huge sixes. The first one comes after Mendis smashes it hard towards the deep square leg. While the other one comes after Samarawickrama makes a good use of the short delivery and hammers a maximum. 

    SL 147/2 (21 overs)

  • 15:39 (IST)

    PAK vs SL, Cricket WC Live: 12 runs off the over

    In the previous over of Shadab Khan, Kusal Mendis and Sadeera Samarawickrama score 12 runs. the over includes one boundary from both the batters. 

    SL 127/2 (20 overs)

  • 15:28 (IST)

    PAK vs SL, Cricket WC Live: OUT

    OUT!!! Shadab Khan has provided Pakistan with a major breakthrough as he dismissed Pathum Nissanka for 51. Nissanka tries to steal a boundary but ends up giving a catch to Abdullah Shafique. Second wicket gone for Sri Lanka.

    SL 107/2 (17.2 overs)

  • 15:25 (IST)

    PAK vs SL, Cricket WC Live: Mendis hits 50

    Kusal Menids hit a boundary off Mohammad Nawaz’s delivery and brings up his half-century in style. He takes 40 balls to go past the 50-run mark. 

    SL 107/1 (17 overs)

  • 15:23 (IST)

    PAK vs SL, Cricket WC Live: Nissanka hits 50

    Pathum Nissanka takes a single off Mohammad Nawaz’s delivery and brings up his half-century. It is his 10th half-century in the ODI cricket and he brings it up in 58 balls. Terrific batting from Nissanka. 

    SL 101/1 (16.3 overs)

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Fresh conflict brews in post-war Sri Lanka | The slippery slope to the Kurunthurmalai hilltop

It takes barely 10 minutes to reach the Kurunthurmalai hilltop, but the climb requires some manoeuvring of the uneven, slippery slope. Clutching the thick, white rope tied to tree trunks along the path is a safer option to get to the solitary spot that has now turned into a site of fierce contestation in Sri Lanka’s northern Mullaitivu district.

Tamils from the surrounding Thannimurippu area, who have frequented the location for years to offer prayers to Aadi Aiyanar (their local Siva deity), have been contending with disruptions to their regular prayers by Sinhalese mobs led by Buddhist monks, and increased security and surveillance. The latest episode was in August, during a special pongal prayer ceremony.

Bhaskaran Susilathevi, 57, a resident of Thannimurippu, is appalled by the turn of events. “A Buddhist vihara has been built there. The Sinhalese want to come and worship at Kurunthurmalai, but we are not allowed to go to our temple. We have a majoritarian government that is not afraid to violate a court order,” she says, her voice reflecting both rage and resignation. Her terse summary echoed the prevalent sentiment among Tamils who have returned to their homes after being displaced by the war.

A stupa has come up in Kurunthurmalai just a few yards away from the Tamils’ place of worship.
| Photo Credit:
Meera Srinivasan

For many like Susilathevi, intimately familiar with the terrain around the Siva temple, the rapid structural changes on the premises are disorienting. An imposing, unfinished brick-stone stupa stands a few yards from the Hindu place of worship. A plaque on dull-grey granite is installed beside it, with a note on the “Kurundi stupa’s glorious history” and its lotus-shaped design. The inscription credits the Bauddhaloka Foundation, the chief incumbent of the local Buddhist temple; the Department of Archaeology; and the “effortless contributions” of the Sri Lanka Army and Civil Security Force for the “excavation and conservation”. It mirrors the state apparatus as Sri Lanka’s minorities know it, neatly framing government authorities, the Buddhist clergy, and the military together in stone.

Escalating tensions

For the Sri Lankan state and Sinhalese at large, the end of the civil war between the armed forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in 2009 marked the beginning of peace. For the Tamils living in the island’s north and east, the 14 years after the battle ended — its final phase unfolded in Mullaitivu with tens of thousands of civilians being killed — have been a relentless daily struggle for truth, justice, land, and livelihoods. From their viewpoint, the ethnic conflict that triggered the war remains unresolved. Archaeological excavation is its latest manifestation.

Kurunthurmalai and 78 acres around it have been part of an archaeological reserve since 1933, when the British colonial government gazetted it as a protected area. All the same, Tamils in the area continued visiting the hilltop temple and worshipped a trident, a symbol of Aadi Aiyanar or Siva, as their ancestors had done.

Trouble began in 2018, when a group of Sinhalese, led by Buddhist monks, tried to install a Buddha statue at the location. Stiff resistance from locals prompted the police to intervene. However, amid recurring claims that the site contains ruins of an ancient Buddhist shrine, authorities in the former Gotabaya Rajapaksa government ordered fresh excavations. The new “research” was ceremonially launched in January 2021 by then State Minister, Vidura Wickramanayaka, who is now the Minister of Buddhasasana, Religious and Cultural Affairs. In a blatant violation of an earlier court order, a Buddha statue was placed at the contested site. Visuals of the minister, accompanied by uniformed soldiers, offering prayers went viral at the time.

Recalling the incident in Parliament in April 2023, Jaffna legislator M.A. Sumanthiran said soldiers “broke the trident” worshipped by the Hindu Tamils and “threw it into the shrubs”. He pointed to the Archaeology Department’s logo and told the House: “What does it have? It has a dagoba [a dome-shaped shrine common in Buddhist temple architecture] and a Dharmachakra [symbol used to represent the Buddha’s dharma]. It is like the Ministry of Buddhasasana. Why does the Department of Archaeology have a logo of one religion? That shows what this department is protecting, and what it is determined to destroy.” Sumanthiran also referred to similar tensions in Vedukkunarimalai in the neighbouring district of Vavuniya.

Sri Lanka’s Department of Archaeology functions under the Ministry of Buddhasasana, Religious and Cultural Affairs. The Minister, Wickramanayaka, was not reachable for a response. When contacted, Secretary to the Ministry Somaratne Vidanapathirana said, “It is unethical to comment on this when cases [on Kurunthurmalai] are pending in our courts.”

Politics of history

Where an ethnic conflict lingers, the politics of interpreting history and heritage must be carefully scrutinised, experts point out. According to Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri, Professor of History at the University of Colombo, history is often used as an ideological and cultural tool by dominant communities at the expense of others. “In the case of the contested site at Kurunthurmalai, it is highly problematic that some link the site to a particular ethnic identity. While [archaeological] evidence may suggest that the site was linked to certain Buddhist practices, we don’t know the ethnic identity of the people who engaged in those practices,” he notes.

Indicating that history, in this instance, is more about the present than the past, Dewasiri says: “Claims that the community that lived in these sites was Sinhala-Buddhist are mainly driven by contemporary political compulsions; they are not evidence-based.”

That is perhaps why Tamils have lost faith in the Archaeology Department. “We are not opposed to archaeological research that is carried out scientifically and professionally. But when the department furthers a political project by building new Buddhist shrines in our area in the name of restoration, we cannot accept that,” says Thurairajah Raviharan, a political activist based in Mullaitivu.

He believes that Tamils would have had more administrative powers over land if the provincial councils had been functional. The 13th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution, introduced following the Indo-Lanka Accord of 1987, led to the creation of nine provincial councils. It assured a power-sharing arrangement to enable all of them to self-govern to an extent. But with subsequent governments postponing elections to the provincial councils, their terms stand expired for about five years now. Raviharan is a former Tamil National Alliance member of the now-defunct Northern Provincial Council.

“We do not think that the 13th Amendment is our final political solution to the Tamil national question, but its full implementation would have given us some power to deal with land conflicts,” he says. The contentious power devolution that Raviharan refers to is long pending, despite the Tamil leadership’s relentless demand for it. In his latest pledge on the 35-year-old legislation, President Ranil Wickremesinghe offered to implement it without the police powers that it guarantees to the provincial councils. The Tamil parties were quick to reject the proposal.

“The Archaeology Department not only functions in a centralised manner, but its activities are also highly militarised,” says Mahendran Thiruvarangan, an academic at the University of Jaffna. Thiruvarangan, who is also a member of the People’s Land Commission, constituted by organisations and individuals working against land grabs across Sri Lanka, says, “These panels looking into archaeology rarely have minorities. We must ask whose histories are foregrounded, whose cultural and religious identities are prioritised in these efforts. What we see in the north and east is that the recent archaeological initiatives not only lack credibility, but are polarising our communities.”

‘Deliberate project’

Although the threat to land has heightened across the Northern Province’s five districts, it is most acutely felt in Mullaitivu. With large expanses of cultivable land and an efficient irrigation system, the coastal district is among the most resource-rich in the region.

“It is clear that they are after our land. What is significant is that land grabs have official sanction now, either through the Forest Department or the Archaeology Department. That makes it harder for us to assert our rights,” says Arumugam Shanmugalingam, 64, who lives in Kokkuthoduvai village in Mullaitivu. For long-time residents like him, “conservation” is simply a euphemism for “Sinhala Buddhist colonisation”.

The village has recently been in the news after workers laying water pipelines stumbled upon a mass grave, in another reminder of the atrocities yet to be unearthed in the former war zone. After being displaced multiple times since 1984, Shanmugalingam returned to his village only in 2011, to find that large plots of agricultural land held by his family for generations were occupied by migrant Sinhalese families. “I only get to see my land from the fence, like an outsider. They have all been settled here by authorities,” he says. The next big conflict, he predicts, will be over water.

While the recent conflicts may seem centred on the district’s natural resources, the motivation behind them is more sinister, in his assessment. “Bringing in Sinhalese into this district is a conscious effort to change the demography of this district. You may wonder why Mullaitivu. Remember this is the district that connects the north and east. Changing its composition can forever prevent the merger of these two provinces,” he says, referring to yet another demand of the Tamils that figures in the Indo-Lanka Accord.

This accusation adds up with the concern raised by Tamils and Tamil-speaking Muslims living in the Eastern Province, in Kuchchaveli and Pulmoddai towns that border the Northern Province. The drive to construct Buddhist shrines intensified under former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who set up a task force for Archaeological Heritage Management in the Eastern Province in 2020. The all-Sinhalese task force, led by Buddhist monks and top military officials, was tasked with the management of archaeological heritage in the province, “by conserving and restoring such identified sites and antiquities”.

Three years since the panel was set up, and more than a year after Rajapaksa was ousted by a people’s uprising following the island’s economic collapse, at least 23 new Buddhist shrines are coming up in Kuchchaveli in Trincomalee district, in villages where Sinhalese constitute roughly 1% of the population, as per official sources. Recently, Eastern Province Governor Senthil Thondaman directed authorities to prevent any illegal construction of Buddhist shrines in these areas. Enraged Buddhist monks protested against him, storming a meeting he was chairing in Trincomalee and threatening him. “Such constructions are provocative and could cause communal disharmony. We cannot allow that to happen. I told them just that,” he says.

Members of the Buddhist clergy have been agitating to assert their claims over “heritage sites” in the north and east and have taken up the matter at the highest level. In June, responding to a monk’s letter voicing concern over transferring land ownership to the public in sites where “scattered ruins” of monasteries are said to be present, the President’s office said Kurundi Viharaya (the term used by authorities and Sinhalese to refer to the Kurunthurmalai area) “holds significant archaeological value” for Sri Lankans. The office reassured him that no decision had been taken to transfer government lands associated with the temple to any other party.

On the other hand, Tamil legislators too have been raising the matter within Parliament and in meetings with the President. However, despite Wickremesinghe’s promise to address the issue, locals see little change on the ground and worry that tensions might aggravate if left unchecked. Referring to the ongoing land conflicts in the island’s north and east, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights noted in a 2022 report that the disputes “further jeopardised reconciliation and created new conflicts.”

Far from being conciliatory, the recent responses of some southern politicians only validate growing fears of possible escalation in communal discord, hate politics, and physical violence. In August, hardline Sinhala-Buddhist legislator Udaya Gammanpila led a protest outside the outspoken Tamil MP Gajen Ponnambalam’s Colombo residence, calling him a “terrorist”. In what critics called a glaring abuse of parliamentary privilege, ruling party MP and former Minister Sarath Weerasekara referred to the Mullaitivu magistrate hearing the case as a “mentally ill person”, drawing strong condemnation from lawyers. Another controversial former minister, Mervyn Silva, vowed to behead those who obstruct Buddhist monks engaged in building [Buddhist] temples in the north and east.

In a strong judgment on August 31, the Mullaitivu Magistrate Court held that the Archaeology Department had violated three court orders from 2022, by altering the site. The department, tasked with protecting ancient sites, “can’t do as it pleases,” the judge said. Other cases related to the Kurunthurmalai conflict are pending in the Magistrate Court and the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, locals wait anxiously to see if they can visit their favourite hilltop temple and offer a prayer in peace. “When we went up there those days, it felt really calm and secure. That is all we ask for,” says Susilathevi.

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Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka Live Score, Asia Cup 2023: Taskin Ahmed, Shoriful Islam Strike To Keep Bangladesh Alive vs Sri Lanka | Cricket News

BAN vs SL Live Updates Asia Cup 2023: Sri Lanka are chasing 165 runs against Bangladesh© Facebook

Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka, Asia Cup 2023 Live Updates: Taskin Ahmed dismissed Dimuth Karunaratne while Shoriful Islam removed Pathum Nissanka to provide early wickets to Bangladesh. Sri Lanka are two down in chase of 165 runs in Pallekele. Earlier, the hosts bundled out Bangladesh for 164 runs, thanks to Matheesha Pathirana’s four-wicket haul (4 for 32). The visitors posted a poor total despite Najmul Hossain Shanto’s 89 runs off 122 balls. Maheesh Theekshana struck twice while Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka and Dunith Wellalage took a wicket each after Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan won the toss and opted to bat first. (LIVE SCORECARD)

Here are the LIVE updates of the Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka, Asia Cup 2023 clash:

  • 19:39 (IST)

    Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka Live: Short stoppage in play!

    Kusal Mendis has pulled up his muscle while going for a dive. The physio is currently checking him and everthing seems well. Game is set to resume soon.

  • 19:34 (IST)

    Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka Live: FOUR!

    5.5 – A half-volley outside off stump from Shoriful Islam and Sadeera Samarawickrama hit a beautiful cover drive on it for a four. He is looking in great touch. The right-handed batter has hit three fours so far in his 10-ball innings.

    SL 31/2 (6)

  • 19:25 (IST)

    Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka Live: Consecutive FOURS!

    That’s a superb start for Sadeera Samarawickrama. He first played a beautiful cover drive for a four before playing a glance shot towards fine leg fence for another four. Both were poor balls from Taskin Ahmed.

    SL 24/2 (4.2)

  • 19:21 (IST)

    Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka Live: OUT!!!

    Another wicket for Bangladesh and they are back in the game. That’s poor batting from Pathum Nissanka and he will have to pay the price for it. It was a length ball from Shoriful Islam going well away from Nissanka yet the batter threw his bat to it to get an edge. Mushfiqur Rahim comfortably took the catch behind the stumps.  

    SL 15/2 (3.3)

  • 19:13 (IST)

    Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka Live: WICKET!

    An early wicket for Bangladesh. This is what Bangladesh exactly needed in the defence of a paltry total. Coming back to the delivery, it was bowled fuller from Taskin to Dimuth Karunaratne. The ball swung into the batter and rattled the stumps. Karunaratne fell for 1 runs off 3 balls.

    SL 13/1 (2.1)

  • 19:09 (IST)

    Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka Live: FOUR!

    First boundary of the Sri Lankan innings! It was a short ball from Shoriful Islam and Pathum Nissanka pulled it to square leg for a four.

    SL 11/0 (1.5)

  • 19:02 (IST)

    Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka Live: Run chase begins!

    Pathum Nissanka and Dimuth Karunaratne opens the batting for Sri Lanka as they chase a modest target of 165. Bangladesh will need early wickets to fight back in this game and Taskin Ahmed will begin proceedings. 

  • 18:32 (IST)

    Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka Live: OUT! Bangladesh all out for 164!

    Matheesha Pathirana has caught Mustafizur plumb in front of the stumps and that will see him end the Bangladesh innings with a four-fer. 

    BAN 164 (42.4)

  • 18:28 (IST)

    Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka Live: WICKET!

    Matheesha Pathirana has got the wicket of Taskin Ahmed. It was a slower ball smartly bowled from Pathirana and Taskin was not at all expecting it.

  • 18:24 (IST)

    Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka Live: Shanto is gone!!!

    Shanto is out at the score of 89 off 122 balls! It was a carrom ball from Maheesh Theekshana that got better of Shanto. The Bangladesh batter wanted to flick the ball on the leg side but played the wrong line. As a result, the ball went through the gate and creasehed onto the stumps.

    BAN 162/8 (41.2)

  • 18:17 (IST)

    Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka Live: WICKET!

    Mahedi Hasan has been given out! He seems plumb prima facie and so did was the thinking of umpire, who raised his finger without wasting time. Bangladesh have taken a review but that could not save Mahedi as the ball was found to be clipping the leg stump.

    BAN 162/7 (40.5)

  • 18:12 (IST)

    Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka Live: Chance missed!

    Sri Lanka could have sent Bangladesh seven down but Kusal Mendis has failed to effect a stumping. Maheesh Theekshana outplayed Mahedi Hasan with a ‘doosra’ but Mendis failed to collect the ball properly before taking the bails off. This game Mahedi enough time to put his back leg inside the crease.

    BAN 157/6 (39.1)

  • 17:54 (IST)

    Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka Live: OUT!!!

    Mehidy Hasan Miraz is run out! The batter nudged the ball down the leg side in front of mid-wicket fielder and ran a steps forward before denying a single to Shanto. The latter, however, ran to the next end with Miraz being outside the crease when the bails at the non-striker’s end were taken off. Mehidy falls for 5 runs off 11 balls.

    BAN 141/6 (36.3)

  • 17:50 (IST)

    Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka Live: FOUR!

    A boundary comes after a long time for Bangladesh. A short ball from Dhananjaya de Silva and this is a good footwork from Shanto that helps him get a four. He hit the ball from the left of mid-on fielder for the boundary.

    BAN 139/5 (35.4)

  • 17:39 (IST)

    Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka Live: WICKET!

    Superb planning from Sri Lanka and they have deservedly got the wicket of Mushfiqur Rahim. It was a bouncer delivery outside off stump from Matheesha Pathirana and the Bangladesh batter hit it right into the hands of Dimuth Karunaratne at third man. He departs for 13 off 22 balls.

    BAN 127/5 (32.4)

  • 17:27 (IST)

    Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka Live: Lucky there, Shanto!

    A short ball from Matheesha Pathirana and with the mid-on well inside the circle Najmul Hossain Shanto decided to go for a lofted shot. He failed to time his pull well but he was lucky that the ball fell just behind the mid-wicket fielder.

    BAN 125/4 (31)

  • 17:10 (IST)

    Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka Live: FOUR!

    Was there a catching opportunity? Najmul Hossain Shanto hit the ball towards the leg side but the ball fell a bit away from the diving deep mid-wicket fielder. 12 runs came off the Dunith Wellalage over. 

    BAN 114/4 (27)

  • 17:05 (IST)

    Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka Live: 100 up for Bangladesh!

    Najmul Hossain Shanto and Mushfiqur Rahim are in rescue act for Bangladesh. The side has crossed the 100-run mark with 24 overs of play left in their innings.

    BAN 102/4 (26)

  • 16:58 (IST)

    Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka Live: Review lost!

    Sri Lanka have lost a review. Dunith Wellalage’s delivery hit the front pad of Najmul Hossain Shanto but umpire was unconvinced with the appeal for an LBW. Sri Lanka opted to go upstairs and that saw them losing one as the ball was found to be missing the leg stump.

    BAN 95/4 (24.1)

  • 16:55 (IST)

    Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka Live: OUT!

    The 59-run partnership for the fourth wicket has been broken by Dasun Shanaka. The Sri Lanka skipper trapped Towhid Hridoy in front of the stumps and then followed it up with a brilliant review as the umpire was unconvinced with the appeal. Pressure is back on Bangladesh.

    BAN 95/4 (24)

  • 16:52 (IST)

    Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka Live: Fifty for Shanto!

    Najmul Hossain Shanto races to his half-century in 66 balls. This has been a solid knock from the southpaw so far. He slams his fourth fifty in the ODI format and he gets there with a four.

  • 16:50 (IST)

    Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka Live: Shanto solid!

    Najmul Hossain Shanto is really close to his fourth ODI half-century. He has held the Bangladesh team really well. He came after the wicket of Tanzid Hasan on the second over and dug in his heels really well.

  • 16:32 (IST)

    Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka Live: Bangladesh seek acceleration!

    Only seven runs have come off the last three overs for Bangladesh. Their scoring rate is 3.83. They need to do better than this to stand a chance against Sri Lanka.

    BAN 69/3 (18)

  • 16:25 (IST)

    Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka Live: Short stoppage in play!

    A bit of rain stopped the game for a while but the covers are being taken off now and the players are back on the field for resumption.

    BAN 65/3 (16.1)

  • 16:18 (IST)

    Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka Live: Drinks break!

    Najmul Hossain Shanto is batting at the score of 33 off 50 balls. He is solid at one end but he needs support from the other end too, something that he has been missing so far. Shanto and Towhid Hridoy have added 28 runs off 32 balls for the fourth wicket so far.

    BAN 64/3 (16)

  • 16:12 (IST)

    Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka Live: FOUR!

    A short ball from Matheesha Pathirana on the body of Najmul Hossain Shanto and the batter has comfortably pulled it away for a four. The ball ran to the right of deep fine leg fielder. 

    BAN 61/3 (14.4)

  • 16:10 (IST)

    Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka Live: Sri Lanka in command!

    Sri Lanka are in command in this game. They have already got the Bangladesh top-order batters with only 55 runs on the board for the opposing side.

    BAN 55/3 (14)

  • 15:57 (IST)

    Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka Live: Shakib is out!!!

    This is a really big wicket for Sri Lanka and Matheesha Pathirana, who is bowling his very first over in the game. It was bowled across and Shakib edged it to wicketkeeper Kusal Mendis. It was a good catch from Mendis and that sends Shakib off. No need to mention that Bangladesh are in serious trouble. 

    BAN 36/3 (10.4)

  • 15:47 (IST)

    Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka Live: FOUR!

    8.5 – Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan gets off the mark with a beautiful four on the off side. His side badly needs him today. In case you don’t know, Shakib is the number 1 all-rounder in ODI rankings for men.

    BAN 31/2 (9)

  • 15:41 (IST)

    Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka Live: WICKET!

    Another one goes down and Bangladesh are in some real trouble now. Mohammad Naim has played the ball into the hands of Pathum Nissanka at point. Two early wickets for Sri Lanka has put them on top now.

    BAN 25/2 (7.4)

  • 15:31 (IST)

    Live Score: Good start for Sri Lanka!

    Six runs came off Maheesh Theekshana’s third over. Najmul Hossain Shanto hit a four on the fourth ball before giving the strike to Mohammad Naim, who took a single off the last ball to make it a six-run over.

    BAN 18/1 (6)

  • 15:26 (IST)

    BAN vs SL Live: Dropped!

    Floored! Shanto looks to break the shackles. Misjudged the pace, only for Shanaka to grass his effort.

    BAN: 11/1 (4.1)

  • 15:21 (IST)

    Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka Live: Over!

    And Naim manages to sneak a boundary! Slower ball full on middle, and he taps it gently past the non-striker. That will release some pressure

    BAN: 8/0 (2.5)

  • 15:17 (IST)

    BAN vs SL Live Score: 0,W,0,0,0,0!

    A wicket maiden from Theekshana! Excellent over from the CSK man. Bangladesh are rattled. Only negative Sri Lanka, they lose a review for that shocking DRS on the final ball.

  • 15:10 (IST)

    BAN vs SL Live: Interesting!

    Well, Theekshana is rolling his arms. Shanaka decides to try a spinner from the other end. SL are on the attack and Theekshana strikes with his second ball. What a delivery. Tanzid makes the smart choice by not taking the DRS. That looked plumb

    Tanzid Hasan lbw b Theekshana 0 (2)

    BAN: 4/1 (1.2)

  • 15:09 (IST)

    BAN vs SL Live Score: Boundary!

    Naim is up and running! Full ball outside off and he drives through covers. Gets the boundary

    BAN: 4/0 (0.4)

  • 15:04 (IST)

    Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka Live: About time!

    Right, the national anthems are done! We are moments away from live action in Kandy. Kasun Rajitha has the new ball in his hands.

  • 14:47 (IST)

    Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka Live: SL Playing XI!

    Sri Lanka (Playing XI): Pathum Nissanka, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Mendis(w), Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka(c), Dunith Wellalage, Maheesh Theekshana, Kasun Rajitha, Matheesha Pathirana

  • 14:45 (IST)

    Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka Live: “Good toss to lose”

    “We would have liked to bat first but it is a good toss to lose with rain around. The wicket should also assist us under lights. Even though we have four key players injured, the bases are well covered. Generally, I expect some turn here because there’s a bit of tear in these wickets. Very much excited. We have six batters, two all-rounders and three genuine bowlers. Matheesha Pathirana and Dunith Wellalage are playing,” SL captain Dasun Shanaka says.

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40 years since ‘Black July’, little space in Sri Lanka to remember the dead

When a handful of individuals convened near the Borella Cemetery in Colombo on July 23, to mark the 40th anniversary of Sri Lanka’s anti-Tamil pogrom in 1983, a few angry young men disrupted the proceedings despite heavy police presence.

Members of an extremist Sinhala nationalist outfit — known for its visceral hate for the island’s ethnic minorities — the men barged into the gathering with familiar aggression and hurled abuse at the participants at the peaceful remembrance, branding them as “Tiger” (to connote the LTTE) and “terrorist”. It was an exact replay of the scenes witnessed at the same venue on May 18, at a rare Colombo commemoration of the end of the civil war. On both occasions, the huge contingent of riot police asked the activists, not disruptors, to disperse immediately.

‘Can’t remember, Can’t forget’

For families of Tamil victims killed in the many cycles of violence in Sri Lanka, remembering the dead has not been easy. Forgetting those traumatic times is even harder.

Cheryl Arnold recalls the events that unfolded over the last week of July 1983 like they happened yesterday. She was 13 and studying at a famous girls’ school in Colombo, with children from different ethnic backgrounds. “Until that time, I was not conscious of my ethnic identity. We were all in the same class, we were friends. But that week changed everything for our family.”

The tension was palpable and everyone around was talking about it. “I couldn’t follow everything at the time, but I understood that the Tamils were in danger.” And very soon, the danger came close to her home located at the heart of Colombo, when the family saw a mob set fire to the house on top of their lane, where an elderly couple lived. “My brothers tried to douse the fire there and had apparently been noticed by the mob… days later, the mob came to our home and threatened us. One of them put a knife to my brother’s neck,” she said, of her older sibling’s narrow escape.

Ms. Arnold comes from a mixed ethnic family, her mother is Sinhalese and her father is Tamil. “My mother somehow spoke to them… while my father and I stayed at a neighbour’s home.” As violence began escalating on July 24, some friends drove her, along with her parents, to an uncle’s home. “It must have been barely two hours since we left, we heard that our house was ablaze.” Her three brothers each had their own “equally traumatic escape story” before the family converged at a church days later. It had turned into a refugee shelter for many like them who were “fortunate to be alive”.

Her parents subsequently left the country and sought asylum abroad. Deeply affected by the violence and loss of their home built with his hard-earned life savings, her father took ill. It was when Ms. Arnold tried to visit her ailing father that the reality of being Tamil in Sri Lanka hit her hard. In her case, even being half a Tamil was enough to face high risk and discrimination from fellow citizens and foreigners. “The embassy treated me like some sort of suspect… as someone who was trying to migrate to never return. They rejected my visa…by the time I reapplied and got it, it was too late,” she said, fighting tears. Her father had passed on. The family was scattered across countries and could never live together as they did before.

Although the Tamils living on the island, including the Malaiyaha (hill country) Tamils, faced periodic bouts of mob violence right from the 1950s, the pogrom of 1983 that claimed thousands of lives and rendered several thousands homeless, proved a watershed in Sri Lankan history. ‘Black July’, as the period is often described, propelled a festering ethnic conflict into a full-blown civil war lasting decades.

It changed every Tamil individual’s life in significant ways. Many families, including professionals from various walks of life, fled the country. Tamil women dreaded wearing the pottu (bindi) for years, fearing it would give their ethnic identity away. “1983 brought about a drastic shift in our lives changing the course of our history… somewhat like BC and AD,” said Jaffna legislator M.A. Sumanthiran, recalling his family’s unsettling journey by sea from Colombo to Jaffna.

Challenging the dominant narrative

The death and destruction during the time have been documented in detail.

The Civil Rights Movement (CRM) of Sri Lanka, one of the oldest human rights organisations in the country, termed the series of incidents a “holocaust”. “The shock and horror of recent events when many Sri Lankans were hunted out, assaulted, killed, their homes and possessions destroyed, and places of business burnt for no other reason than that they belonged to the Tamil community permeate our lives today and will continue to do so for a long time to come,” the CRM said in its report.

It especially drew attention to the massacre of 53 Tamil prisoners at the high-security Welikada prison in Colombo during the week of gruesome violence.

Further, ‘Sri Lanka: The Holocaust and After’, authored by L. Piyadasa — a pseudonym of scholar-activist C.R. Hensman — offers crucial information based on eyewitness accounts on the role of the police and army during the violence.

However, the dominant narrative about the 1983 violence reduces it to a spontaneous southern retaliation to the killing of 13 soldiers in Jaffna in an LTTE ambush. As per this version, “riots” erupted on the evening of July 24, when the bodies of the slain soldiers were brought from Jaffna, and that the Government “lost control” of the situation.

The well-known activist group University Teachers for Human Rights-Jaffna (UTHR-J) called this retaliation claim “pedestrian”. Similar, targeted attacks on Tamils in the central hill country and the eastern Trincomalee districts in the preceding months, suggested there was little spontaneity in the July 1983 manifestation of what appeared a gradual but definite buildup of violence against the Tamils, only aggravated by the killing of the soldiers.

Angry mobs identified Tamil homes based on electoral lists, smashed up their property and set their homes on fire, knowing well there were people inside. “The fact that there was no investigation into the violence of July 1983, made it easy for Sinhalese in general to opt for versions that distanced their government and hence themselves from the holocaust,” the UTHR-J observed in its characteristically in-depth, meticulously corroborated report on July 1983.

President J.R. Jayewardene swiftly proscribed the LTTE, as well as the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), the Nava Sama Samaja Pakshaya (NSSP) and the Communist Party from the southern left that he saw as a threat. Neither Mr. Jayewardene’s government in power then, nor any of the successive governments, has condemned the mass atrocity. Nor has a single perpetrator been brought to book in these 40 years.

Awaiting justice

Those reeling under the impact of 1983 are acutely aware of the absence of justice. “Bringing a perpetrator to justice is not a reality in this country,” Ms. Arnold said matter-of-factly. “Not only in the case of 1983, but this is true in every other instance of injustice in our history.”

“You can’t diminish the experience, the struggle or the impact this [1983 pogrom] has had on individuals or communities, but we also must recognise that we are not the only ones who have had this experience,” she said referring to Sinhalese youth killed during the JVP-led armed insurrections, or Muslims who came under attack more recently. “It is one of the many injustices that we see.”

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For Sri Lanka’s forex-earning garment workers, it’s a daily battle for survival

“I came to Colombo with a dream. Now I have lost it,” the young garment factory worker said, sounding dejected.

She left her hometown in Jaffna, in northern Sri Lanka, six years ago to take up a job at the Free Trade Zone in Katunayake, about 35km north of capital Colombo. “The current cost of living is so high that I barely manage to survive, let alone save a penny,” she said, requesting anonymity. For many like her in the island nation, the economic crisis of last year has hardly let up, although shortages have eased and queues have vanished.

At the end of June, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka pointed to a “sharp decline” in headline inflation, to 12%, and a decrease in food inflation to 4.1%. Except, the figures are in relation to last year’s dramatic rise in prices, as headline inflation surged past 70%, and food inflation hit almost 95%. While cold data may show a reduction in the rate of inflation, consumers do not feel any relief yet. Especially since wages and incomes, across most sectors, have remained stagnant.

Sri Lanka’s apparel industry, which took off on a big scale after the country liberalised its economy in 1977, has proved crucial to both its economy and labour force. It is the island’s largest foreign exchange earner — $5.6 billion in 2022 — and employs nearly a million people, mostly women, directly and indirectly across some 400 factories. Garments made in Sri Lanka are exported largely to the U.S. and the EU, to big brands, including, C&A, GAP, H&M, Marks and Spencer, PVH and Victoria’s Secret. The growth and global reach of the industry would make for a great “success story”, if only workers did not have their own story to share.

“Even if we work really hard and make some 30,000 rupees a month (roughly ₹9,340) with all the incentives, it is worth much less today. We are unable to afford the very basic life we lived before the crisis,” said another worker, explaining how her salary has drastically shrunk in real value. “A small bun at the tea shop round the corner used to cost 50 [Lankan] rupees (roughly ₹13). Now it’s 150!” She, too, requested not to be named, fearing punishment for speaking to the media. “Even if this job is hard and pays much less than I need, I can’t afford to lose it. I must somehow support my children,” the mother of two said.

The apprehension of workers is not baseless. Far from isolated personal experiences, their accounts reflect the predicament of scores of workers employed in Sri Lanka’s apparel industry, according to unions and labour rights organisations.

“The financial pressure on workers, especially manpower [contractual] workers, is very high. Despite their best efforts braving exacting working conditions, their wages are just not enough to cope in our country’s current situation,” contended Ashila Dandeniya, Executive Director of Stand Up Movement. “Desperate to supplement their incomes so they can support their families, many young women are taking up commercial sex work in the area. And there are many challenges that come with that,” she said. Instead of spending on “so-called” CSR activities, manufacturers need to pay workers a fair living wage, in her view.

Manufacturers are yet to heed to the demand. For Sri Lanka’s garments sector, the first big blow came well before the economic meltdown, in the form of COVID-19. As factories were forced to shut, workers were left in the lurch. When operations resumed, many found themselves jobless. Worker unions have estimated about 50,000 job losses in the industry through the pandemic and economic crisis in Sri Lanka. Those who remained had their share of difficulties waiting.

In a study on the impact of the pandemic on Sri Lanka’s apparent sector, Shyamain Wickramasingha, research fellow at the University of Sussex, U.K., found that workers’ take-home pay has decreased by LKR 15,000 to 20,000 due to the lack of overtime and other incentives, while targets increased by 50% or more. “Many workers said they were skipping meals, water, and even washroom breaks in order to meet these targets,” Ms. Wickramasingha said, while presenting her findings at Colombo’s Social Scientists’ Association recently. If the plight of permanent workers is difficult, that of manpower or contractual workers is only more precarious, according to Rashmini De Silva, an independent researcher studying gender and labour. “Many of them stand by the entrance to the EPZ [export processing zone] by 4.30 a.m. for a shift that starts at 7 a.m. to make sure that they make it to the quota of workers chosen for work that particular day. The manpower agencies negotiate a daily wage per worker with the factories, and often keep 25-30% of the pay meant for the worker to themselves,” she said, based on her recent research. Further, she found that trade union leaders were under heavy scrutiny by the employers, and abrupt, illegal dismissal of workers engaging in trade union activity was not uncommon.

Despite evidence from multiple research studies, garment manufacturers have repeatedly refuted allegations of rights violations or exploitation. On the other hand, they point to challenges facing the industry owing to the global economic slowdown. “Recent data shows apparel exports declining by 14.95% year-on-year to $1.18 billion in the first quarter of this year… which is the lowest since the first quarter of 2013. The industry projects it could be five to six more months before it sees a recovery in global demand,” observed Yohan Lawrence, secretary general of the Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF), in an interview to the State-run Sunday Observer last month.

The Forum, made up of Sri Lanka’s top garment manufacturers, has also been making a fervent case for the EU to renew Sri Lanka’s ongoing Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) plus status — a trade incentive offered to vulnerable developing countries — to help the industry recover from the crisis.

Workers and their unions, however, do not see the GSP+ status in isolation, even if it might help secure jobs in the sector. “We want the GSP+ status, but we also want human rights and labour rights to be respected and protected in Sri Lanka. We want our environment to be safeguarded,” Ms. Dandeniya said. The EU regularly monitors if GSP+ beneficiary countries implement the international conventions, including on human rights, labour rights and climate protection, and Sri Lanka is due for review end of this year.

Unions are already voicing concern over likely labour law reforms that authorities are mulling. Last week, the Ranil Wickremesinghe government’s decision to recast pension funds, including EPF, brought more bad news for workers, including in the apparel industry. In a letter to the Central Bank Governor last week, Anton Marcus, joint secretary of the Free Trade Zones and General Services Employees Union, slammed the government for taking a decision that would impact millions of workers, without any consultation.

Meanwhile, the average worker is hardly preoccupied with Sri Lanka securing trade benefits in the EU, or her own rights when everyday survival has become a battle. “I don’t know what to say about my future. I am struggling to find my dream again, because I must first find my next meal,” the worker from Jaffna said.

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Mano Ganesan moots Tamil caucus in Sri Lankan Parliament

In a bid to ensure Sri Lanka’s main political parties do not “take numerical minorities for granted” anymore, Opposition MP Mano Ganesan has recently mooted setting up a “Tamil caucus” in Parliament.

The “caucus”, he said, would allow Tamil legislators to express the “collective desire” of the island’s Tamil speaking peoples. Although Sri Lanka’s Tamils in the north and east, the Malaiyaha Tamils living across Central, Uva, Southern and Western Provinces, and the Tamil-speaking Muslims, may have different aspirations and political aims, their shared desire to live “within an undivided Sri Lanka, sharing wealth and power as combined stake holders of national sovereignty” must be collectively articulated, the leader of the Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA) said.

“It [the caucus] will help us commence a collective dialogue with all the national political parties, and beyond politicians, reach out to the Sinhala community leaders and organisations; as well as the international community and development partners, and urge them to use their good offices to ensure Sri Lanka stands by its international commitments,” Mr. Ganesan told The Hindu at his Colombo residence. So far, some parties have responded positively, he said.

Also read | Sri Lanka MP Mano Ganesan seeks assistance from T.N. CM for Indian-origin Tamils in Sri Lanka

Currently part of the main Opposition alliance led by Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB or United People’s Force), the TPA, representing Malaiyaha Tamils, was among the few political groups to retain all of its six parliamentary seats in the last general election. Mr. Ganesan’s recent outreach comes amid speculation over national elections next year. Sri Lanka’s twice-postponed — owing to “lack of funds” — local government elections may not be held anytime soon, despite Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court restraining authorities from withholding funds, but all signs point to a presidential poll early next year, according to the legislator.

Presidential poll

“I met President Ranil Wickremesinghe one-on-one recently. He told me that he would run [for President],” said Mr. Ganesan, who was a Cabinet minister in the former Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration.

Six-time Prime Minister Mr. Wickremesinghe was elected President through an urgent parliamentary vote in in July 2022, after Gotabaya Rajapaksa was unceremoniously ousted by a people’s uprising at the height of Sri Lanka’s crisis. The country’s constitution bars a President elected by Parliament when the office falls vacant as it did last year, from calling for early elections. Such a move would require a constitutional amendment, and possibly a referendum.

Mr. Ganesan said his efforts in uniting Mr. Wickremesinghe’s United National Party, diminished to a single parliamentary seat in the last election, and the breakaway SJB proved futile. Predicting a three-cornered contest in the next presidential election, Mr. Ganesan said Leader of Opposition Sajith Premadasa, and the Leader of the leftist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), were the other likely contenders to the country’s top office.

“It appears that Mr. Wickremesinghe hopes to be the common candidate in an entity that brings young members of both, the SLPP [Rajapaksas’ ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna or People’s Front], and the SJB, along with the minority parties together,” the MP said, adding that the TPA would engage with all parties and decide closer to the elections. “We will fit in with any government,” he said, if it is receptive to the Malaiyaha Tamils’ demands.

In Mr. Ganesan’s view, it is “too early” to comment on the President’s efforts towards economic recovery, but the increase in tourist arrivals and worker remittances are “positive” signs, although much remains to be done. “The Sri Lankan economy crashed due to three main reasons — corruption, mismanagement & wastage. I have not seen any serious efforts from the government other than the notice of the anti-corruption bill. Pity, President Wickremesinghe is living with the wolves.”

Making a case for closer trade ties with Sri Lanka’s international partners, the TPA Leader said greater access to the Indian market, with preferential trade terms, will help small and medium enterprises in Sri Lanka. “India is booming as the world’s 5th largest economy. Look at booming Tamil Nadu, the closest Indian state [to us]…We must grab this opportunity and grow with India.”

Recalling Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first meeting with the TPA delegation in Colombo years ago, Mr. Ganesan said: “He [Mr. Modi] told us ‘Tamils should be united’, but immediately qualified his statement saying that ‘Tamil unity should strengthen Sri Lankan Unity’. Whether it is the BJP or the Congress, Indian national policy is unity in diversity. They preach to us what they practice at home,” he said, adding that India was Sri Lanka’s “greatest security shield” against any internal or external challenges. “Sri Lanka should understand this basis and come over semi-hostile phobia.”

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka must stop playing India and China against each other, he contended. “Mainstream Sinhalese politicians thought they were being clever in using India-China rivalries. But this foolishness has brought this country to this level,” he said, adding: “India is our greatest security shield against any internal or external challenges. Sri Lanka should understand this.”

200th year

Sri Lanka is marking the 200th year since the British brought down indentured labourers from south India to work in the island’s plantations. The British government has a “moral responsibility” towards the community who developed the profitable tea export industry, the island’s motor and railroad network, and the Colombo port in then Ceylon, he stressed. “I have started a dialogue with the British establishment on this recently.”

The responsibility of Indian state “is equal or even more”. “Our people were subjected to arbitrary and involuntary repatriation to India, notably by the Sirimavo-Shastri pact (1964)…We were not consulted, but treated like cattle,” he said. “Indians thought keeping Colombo happy served its national interests. This greatly diminished the political status and socio-economic wellbeing of our community. If not for this repatriation pact, the current strength of our MPs in Parliament of Sri Lanka, which is nine today, would have reached not less than 25.”

The Indian government and policy makers have been briefed “many times,” Mr. Ganesan said, expressing disappointment over the execution on ongoing projects. “India is helping build [14,000] houses for the families living in the plantations, but it is going on at a frighteningly sluggish pace. At this rate, it may take another 50 years to complete the project. Generous socio-cultural- economic development projects of India in Sri Lanka seldom reach our community,” he said. “Even in Tamil Nadu, most think that Sri Lanka’s Tamils live just in the north and east. Their awareness of the plight of Malaiyaha Tamils is very low,” he said.

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