September 22, 2023

Australia’s system produces good captains, but you can’t say the same
Rafael Nadal withdrew from the Laver Cup for personal reasons
Messi on debut season at PSG: I had a ‘bad time,’ struggled to find myself
Jhulan Goswami’s fairytale Lord’s farewell takes unexpected twist
St. Joseph’s, Trinity joint champions after final ends in thrilling tie 
Salon owners contemplating pulling the plug, putting more than 300,000 jobs at risk
Sri Lanka eyes $2.9 billion IMF loan finalised in December 2022
SLIM launches SLIM DIGIS for 4th consecutive year wins Gold award for best e-commerce website
Raigam Wayamba Salterns Group turnover tops 1 bn
by Zanita Careem
WCIC “Prathibhabis-heka” national awards will be given to outstanding women entrepreneurs of Sri Lanka and the SAARC said Anoji de Silva, the chairperson of Women’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce WCIC at a press conference held at the Jetwing hotel Ward PlaceThis year the Women Entrepreneur Awards 2022 is powered by DFCS Aloka.This National Award which is recognised globally will help women to market their products to international buyers
“As a country we have faced many difficulties over the last few years. Now this is the time to reflect and ensure that local women can contribute and progress to be on par with international entrepreneurs She also noted that this award ceremony is a great opportunity for all since it’s an absolutely empowering platform. “You hear success stories of women from different walks of life and it’s very empowering and inspiring. I’m sure that the younger generation of women who will watch the ceremony wii be inspired to be sucessful entrepreneurs in the future S
“Our women entrepreneurs have the potential to help our economy to grow. They have made vast strides to build companies on a set of values and they have created diverse working environments.
The WCIC Prathibhabisheka Women Entrepreneur Awards will be held in January 22. To the question how financial records of small businesses headed by women could deter their ability to apply the chairperson said.
“We have a startup category which is under five years where they can submit documents for consideration. She responded “These women can apply but must submit proper records to back their applications or else they will be rejected wholeheartedly.The Women Entrepreneur Awards 2022

“Prathibha” depicts excellence in Sanskrit and WCIC will showcase the excellence of outstanding women entrepreneurs through WCIC Prathibhabisheka –
“The relaunched property is structured to assess the businesses in a holistic manner. We invite outstanding women entrepreneurs, especially the ones who have braved the challenges in the past years to share their story of resilience and achievements to compete for the coveted – WCIC Prathibhabisheka The Awards will honour women entrepreneurs for their tenacity to scale and grow, and for their contribution and impact on the economy. Whilst the competition is primarily for Sri Lankan Entrepreneurs, we have also included an opportunity for women in the SAARC region to compete in a special category” stated Anoji De Silva, the Chairperson of the WCIC.
The members of WCIC Ramani Ponnambalam and Tusitha Kumarakul-asingam, said”. We will be accepting applications under the categories – Start-up, Micro, Small, Medium and Large. Each category will have a specified revenue for the year under review – 2021/22. Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards will be presented for each category. With the view to identify and promote regional women entrepreneurs, we will encourage applications from all the provinces in the country and select the “Best of the Region” from each province.

The women will also be considered for the coveted special awards – Young Woman Entrepreneur, Outstanding Start- up, Most Positively Abled Woman Entrepreneur, The Most Outstanding Export Oriented Entrepreneur, The Best of the SAARC Region. The ceremony will culminate with the selection of the “Women Entrepreneur of the year -2022”.
“The entry kit can be downloaded from and completed and submitted to the WCIC along with all the material required to substantiate the applicant’s story. Entries close on the 31st of October.” stated Tusitha Kumarak-ulasingam.
WCIC Prathibabisheka – Woman Entrepreneur Awards 2022 is powered by– DFCC Aloka, as the Platinum Sponsor, with Gold Sponsors – Mclarens Group, LOLL Holdings Plc, Hayleys Leisure Pic, and AIA Insurance Lanka Ltd (Exclusive Insurance Partner), Silver – Finez Capital Ventures Print and Social Media Partners will be the Wijeya Group and Electronic Media Partner–ABC Network with Triad as our Creative Partner and Ernst & Young as Knowledge Partner.
Women’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce (WCIC) is the premier organization supporting entrepreneurs and professional business-women. The membership is open to women who believe they can contribute to society as well as benefit from the many facilities the organization creates. WCIC Prathibhasheka is relaunched this year as a flagship property, to recognize and reward outstanding women enterpreneurs who make a contribution to the SL economy.
For further information Contact- Janitha Stephens – 0766848080

Europe’s age of abundance may be ending
Marmalade sandwich in Queen’s handbag!

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By Gwynne Dyer
Two months ago, John Bolton wrote an article in ‘The Hill’, the leading politics website in Washington, warning against a Russian ‘October Surprise’. He suggested that Russian President, Vladimir Putin, might suddenly cease military operations and declare a ceasefire – which would utterly snooker the Ukrainians.As one of the hawks who talked George W. Bush into invading Iraq, he proved himself to be a bad and dangerous adviser: he invariably defaulted to the toughest military option.
Neither did he cover himself in glory in 2018-19 as the third of Donald Trump’s four high-turnover National Security Advisers. He was the one who egged Trump on to break the treaty, limiting Iran’s nuclear activities and reimpose sanctions. If the treaty is not revived and Iran gets nuclear weapons, he’s why.John Bolton is, however, very useful in predicting what other tricky and ruthless people might do. The way things looked back in July, a surprise Russian ceasefire in October was indeed a potential nightmare for Ukraine, and it still remained a plausible threat down to only about one week ago.

By mid-July, the Russian offensive was stumbling to a halt on all fronts, but by then Moscow controlled about 20% of Ukraine’s territory (counting Crimea and the parts of eastern Ukraine that it had already seized in 2014). Moreover, Russia controlled almost all of Ukraine’s coast, leaving it only Odesa and a few satellite ports in the far west.On the other hand, Russia’s Army was exhausted and demoralised, and there was little hope that it would be able to make further new conquests in Ukraine. Whether these realities were clear to Russian President Vladimir Putin is unknown, but his old mates in the FSB (formerly KGB) would probably have been keeping him informed.
So, John Bolton calculated, Putin’s best option would be to engineer a ceasefire that freezes the battle lines where they are now. It would deprive the Ukrainians of an opportunity to launch their long-promised counter-offensive, leave a very big chunk of their country in Russian hands, and give Moscow time to rebuild its Army.
Putin could easily pass this off as a victory, as it would give Russia lots more land and greatly weaken Ukraine. He could even claim credit for having acted to save many lives. And since he would never let the ceasefire turn into a formal peace settlement, he could easily restart the war once his armed forces were ready.
As for the Ukrainians, they would be left insisting that the war must continue because they haven’t recovered their territory yet, to which the rest of the world (including most of their current supporters) could and would have replied that there was no evidence that they could ever do that. It’s time to be ‘realistic’ and save what you can from the wreckage.
It would also be quietly pointed out to Kyiv, by European governments, that all their voters are facing a long, hard winter with energy shortages and roaring inflation – but most of those difficulties would vanish if the shooting stopped and the sanctions on Russia were ended. Please don’t be ‘unreasonable’.
They wouldn’t say outright that the flow of arms and money will slow, or stop, if the Ukrainians won’t see reason, but you never have to say those things out loud. And in the end, Ukraine would have to give in.That was John Bolton’s nightmare, and it was entirely credible in July. The only thing holding Putin back was the fond hope that he could still win more territory by keeping the fighting going. Once he had been disabused of that delusion, he was obviously going to go with Option B.
But now, suddenly, that option has been taken from Putin’s hands. The very rapid advances of Ukrainian forces, in the past few days, in the north-east, with Russian troops fleeing before them, may not be a decisive turning point in the war, but Putin could only declare a ceasefire when he still seemed to have the upper hand in the fighting.
Where does this leave the Ukrainians? Far better off than before, because an imposed ceasefire-in-place was the biggest threat they faced. The temptation to push on and try to finish the war now will be strong, but they should think three times before giving in to it. The flow of weapons from the West will Army will be far readier to launch a sustained and decisive offensive in the spring than it is now. The Russian Army might fall apart, with just as few more hard knocks, during the winter, but it might not – and a serious Ukrainian military setback would revive the threat of an imposed ceasefire.
By Dr Upul Wijayawardhana
The slow descent of the lead-lined oak coffin, draped in the Royal Standard, to the Royal Vault in St George’s Chapel, in Windsor, brought a tear to many an eye and gave a feeling of emptiness to the millions who adored Queen Elizabeth II. Shortly before, the Imperial State Crown, as well as the Orb and the Sceptre, The Instruments of State, which she received at the Coronation, in 1953, that rested on the coffin, were removed by the Crown Jeweller and placed at the high alter by the Dean of the Chapel, following which the Lord Chamberlain “broke” his wand of office and placed it on the coffin, signalling the end of his service to the sovereign as her most senior official in the Royal Household. A lament played by the Sovereign’s piper floated in the air, masking the sighs of the personal congregation of 800 assembled to witness the end of the Elizabethan Era; one of the greatest in British history.
A few hours later, at 7.30, the same evening, at a private family service, the Queen was buried, together with her late husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, at the King George VI Memorial Chapel, located inside St George’s Chapel. British Royals are actually not buried but their coffins are placed in the Royal Vault, or in a Chapel. Queen Elizabeth financed the construction of the Chapel that bears her father’s name, which is small due to constraints of the architecture of St George’s Chapel. The coffin of King George VI, which was in the Royal Vault, was moved to this Chapel, on its completion in 1969. When the Queen Mother died, in 2002, her coffin was placed next to the King’s and shortly after that the ashes of Princess Margaret, who died seven weeks before her mother, that were in the Royal Vault was moved to be with her parents. As previously planned, the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh was kept in the Royal Vault till the death of the Queen. Some say that Princess Margaret was cremated as King George VI Memorial Chapel can accommodate only four coffins but others say that it was her wish.
September 19th is a momentous day in British history as it is the day that the nation bid the final farewell to a much-loved quee, with a ceremony marked by splendour and pageantry. The Queen’s Lying-in-State, which started on the evening of 14th September, ended at 8.32 am, when the last of thousands and thousands who queued, sometime up to 24 hours, walked past the catafalque, on which her coffin lay. At 10.44 am, her coffin was lifted and bought out by the ‘bearer party’ of eight soldiers and placed on the State Gun Carriage, drawn by 142 Navy ratings. With their white-capped heads in rhythmic motion, the 90 ratings, in front, pulled, and when the procession reached Westminster Abbey, for the service at 11 am, those sailors behind had to pull backwards, to act as the braking party.By the way, the hallmark of a State Funeral, the State Gun Carriage drawn by naval ratings, is the result of an unfortunate incident that happened during Queen Victoria’s funeral, in the extreme cold of February, 1901. It is reported, in the website of ‘Memorials and Monuments in Portsmouth’, where the State Gun Carriage is kept, as follows:
“The timing for the funeral procession in London went awry and when the coffin and cortege finally arrived at Windsor the troops had been in position without moving, for more than 90 minutes. When the order to move off was given the gunners had trouble with their horses and some started to rear. It looked as if the coffin would fall from the gun-carriage. Immediately behind were King Edward VII, the Kaiser, the King of Greece and Prince Louis Battenburg. The panic among the horses spread to the leaders and the situation became very serious. Prince Louis whispered something to the King who nodded and Lt. Noble was ordered to stand by to pull the gun carriage with the seamen guard. Noble passed the message to Lt Boyle. The horses were led off and the sailors grounded arms and formed fours at the head of the cortege. Improvised drag ropes were brought in and so the great Queen went to her rest.”
Westminster Abbey, hosting the funeral service, deviating from tradition, is the historic church where Britain’s kings and queens are crowned, including the Queen’s own Coronation, in 1953. It was also where, in 1947, the then Princess Elizabeth married Prince Philip. There has not been a monarch’s funeral service, in the Abbey, since the 18th Century, although the funeral of the Queen Mother was held in 2002.
The doors of the Abbey opened at 8 am for the 2000 invited guests to arrive. Among them were 500 foreign dignitaries, including 100 heads of state. If all the heads of state arrived separately, it would have taken more than four hours, in addition to being a security nightmare. Therefore, a decision had been made to bring them by buses in groups, some agreeing, reluctantly. However, one exception was made; for President Biden. As George Orwell stated in Animal Farm “Some are more equal than others”! Unfortunately for him, his armoured limousine ‘Beast’ and the large motorcade got stuck in London traffic making President Biden a late arrival and having to contend with a seat not in the front of the Heads of State section!
After the service in Westminster Abbey, when the coffin was brought out, golden sunshine illuminated the surroundings, though it was cloudy till then. Nearly two-mile route, from the Abbey to Wellington Arch in Hyde Park Corner, was teeming with people. Fortunately for them there was no rain and no scorching sun either. King Charles, Princess Anne and other male senior royals walked behind the coffin. The procession, which was about a mile long, was led by Royal Canadian Mounted Police and was made up of seven groups, each with its own band. Members of the armed services from the UK and the Commonwealth, the police and representatives from the NHS followed. As the coffin and the Royal mourners following them passed, in some place the crowd burst into applause; many observed silences whilst some shed tears.
At Wellington Arch, the coffin was transferred to the Royal Hearse, made by Jaguar, with input from the Queen, for the start of the 30 miles journey to Windsor. Throughout the route, crowds gathered and were throwing flowers in spite of requests not to do so. The approach to Windsor Castle, the long walk, was again teaming with people, some having camped overnight. Inside the gates, the approach road to the castle was lined on either side with flowers laid at various sites previously, giving the appearance of massive flowerbeds.
In London and Windsor and along the route, in all, around a million mourners had lined to pay respects to Her Majesty and around 28 million has watched on Television. In fact, The Daily Telegraph reported that in the UK the National Grid noted a two gigawatt drop in power, equal to switching off 200 million light bulbs, as people across the country paused to concentrate on their TV screens. Global audience, it is estimated, was four billion. According to The Sun it was the most watched television event in the world ever.
Among the other papers, The Daily Mail described the state funeral as the “greatest valediction in British if not world history”. It was a massive undertaking to honour the “People’s Queen” which was executed to perfection. As The Times stated it was “a day of history marked with tears” which was “flawless” and the “perfect farewell”.
The deeply religious Queen Elizabeth, it is said, believed in the afterlife and was confident that she would meet again her parents, sister and husband. Whether it happens or not, at least they rest together in the same Chapel.
For and on behalf of the President, the Council and the Membership of the Catholic Doctors’ Guild, this tribute was formulated and presented by Dr B. J. C. Perera, at the Memorial Service for Reverend Father Crispin Leo, at Aquinas University College, this 14th day of September 2022.
This literary effort of a eulogy on our part is a supreme tribute, and a heartfelt gesture of gratitude to Reverend Father Gerald Chrispin Leo, the former Chaplain/Spiritual Director of the Catholic Doctors’ Guild of Saint Luke and Saints Cosmas and Damian, who left us forever and went to his creator in the evening of Monday the 12th of September 2022.
Reverend Father Gerald Chrispin Leo, who rendered yeoman service to the Catholic Doctors’ Guild and all of us, for 35 years, retired from that position in early 2022. From the year 1987, when the Catholic Doctors’ Guild rose from the ashes like the proverbial Phoenix, following a self-imposed period of voluntary suspension from 1974, Father Gerald Chrispin Leo has been with us throughout a seminal journey of activities undertaken in the spirit of bringing Glory to God through an innumerable collection of Guild activities of spiritual splendour. He was responsible for the revival of the guild 35 years ago and from that time, when he was appointed by the hierarchy of the church as our Chaplain/Spiritual Director, he has not looked back in a singular commitment of a Man of God to the Catholic Doctors’ Guild. He has led us in collective prayer and his beautiful melodious voice has always taken the lead whenever we were called upon to sing hymns of praise to the Good Lord above, to the glory of his truly begotten son Jesus Christ, the gorgeous Mother Mary and all the much-venerated saints of the Kingdom of God in heaven.
Over a three-and-a-half-decade-long ramble with us, Father Crispin Leo has worked with 15 Presidents/Masters of the Guild and has been a deeply valued advisor for a myriad of activities of our guild. These include countless Seminars, loads of Symposia, Dr M. P. M. Cooray Memorial Orations, Lenten Pilgrimages, Maundy Thursday Holy Hours, Christmas Projects of Mercy for the Poor, Christmas Carol Services, Academic Scholarship Schemes for the Underprivileged Students etc; just to name a few of the events carried out by the Catholic Doctors’ Guild.
Reverend Father Chrispin Leo was profoundly respected and practically venerated by all of us while being most affectionately referred to by many of us as ‘Our Father’. From 1987 onwards, over many a decade, the pivotal contributions made by Reverend Father Gerald Chrispin Leo to the welfare of the Catholic Doctors’ Guild, as well as garnering general support for the Guild and the advocacy provided by him for its progression, were absolutely superb and priceless; c’est magnifique, to say the least.
The Good Lord above has now deemed it fit to summon this much-loved son of his, Reverend Father Gerald Chrispin Leo, to the eternal glory of a place in the kingdom of heaven. We have no doubt whatsoever that God the Father himself, accompanied by Saint Peter and all the Saints in his divine habitat would have been there at the pearly gates to receive Reverend Father Crispin Leo in person, into his perpetual heavenly abode. What else could we possibly envision for such a wonderful man whose sojourn on planet earth was just one of utmost dedication to the religion of Roman Catholicism that he believed in, and his undoubted commitment to the services he provided for the glory of the kingdom of God the Almighty.
As for us, we do celebrate the life of this dazzling personality that was Reverent Father Crispin Leo. He was indeed God’s humble messenger to all of us. The memories that we cherish are quite a legion, together with the visual projections of a person who thoroughly enjoyed all social gatherings to the hilt. We do admire him for his simplicity and for being a bridge-builder in all our activities. More than anything, he was a deeply admired friend to all of us; a man who lived a full, beautiful and holy life, and one who enjoyed his journey on planet earth with the fantastic grace of an angel.
We would most dearly miss his prudent, wise, sensible and gentle counsel. Yet for all that, we remain content in our firm belief, that our very dear Reverend Father Crispin Leo has now received the bliss of eternal happiness. It certainly is a just reward indeed, for such a marvellous and delightful man of God.
May this Prince of our holy faith rest in perpetual peace, very safe in the bosom of God the Father Almighty, in the company of Our Lord Jesus Christ, blessed by the Holy Spirit, and in devoted veneration of Holy Mother Mary, as well as all the saints of the kingdom of heaven.Farewell, our much-adored Reverend Father Crispin Leo. We certainly would most sincerely, earnestly and eternally be craving for your illustrious company from now on. Of course, that would be, just only until we meet again in a different celestial world in the future.

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