He also said that unlike when the former Government was in power, the current Government has the freedom to discuss and even oppose any proposal. The Government today played down a reported clash between Ministers Dayasiri Jayasekera and Lakshman Kiriella during the cabinet meeting held yesterday.Cabinet co-spokesman Gayantha Karunatillake said that there was no clash as reported by the media but only an exchange of opinion. It was reported that the weekly cabinet meeting held yesterday heated up after two ministers opposed the proposed Central Highway. A Cabinet paper presented by Highways Minister Lakshman Kiriella had reportedly led to an argument between three key Ministers.Kiriella presented to the cabinet a proposal related to the Central Highway but two Ministers including Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera had raised concerns on the project. (Colombo Gazette) read more


first_imgBritish success at Wimbledon has made it a record year for bookies, with bets on the tournament up by 50 per cent on 2016.With Johanna Konta becoming the first British woman to make it through to the semi finals since Virginia Wade in 1978 and Andy Murray looking to defend his title, the total number of wagers on the tournament is expected to reach £1.4bn, according to analysis.British interest has massively increased in the last few days as British number one Konta defied expectations.This year, 25 per cent more bets were placed on Konta to win compared to last year, when there was less than five per cent, making a record the sum for this tournament.Alex Kostin, a betting expert at bet-bonuscode.co.uk, said: “We expect to see £1.4billion of bets placed which is a record amount.”While one reason is the absence of a football tournament this summer, the other, he said, is the “Konta effect”.  Despite being the bookies’ second favourite to win after Spaniard Garbine Muguruza, Konta has attracted the largest number of bets, with 52 per cent of bets on the three favourites placed on her to win.  The figures – which analysed betting trends across Ladbrokes, Coral, William Hill and Bet 365 – found the number of bets on Konta has increased by 25 per cent on 2016, when she was knocked out in the second round.Bookmakers have ranked Konta as second most likely to win, with Muguruza first and Venus Williams third.Meanwhile in the men’s final, Federer is the bookies favourite, followed by Djokovic and Murray in third place.”Bookies lost last year on Wimbledon because no one predicted Murray winning,” said Kostin.But bets have increased this year with pundits split on who is likely to win.“Wimbledon is wide open tournament this year – normally there’s one sure favourite,” according to Kostin. “This year Federer, Murray and Djokovic all have a chance.”  “The trend is clear and it has been like this for the three previous days – Konta is winning in bets placed, primarily from the London area,” said analyst Kostin. However, for the first time since 2011, neither Murray nor Djokovic are the favourites among pundits to win, with 38 per cent of bets placed on Federer winning in the men’s final. Kostin said: “We think a really important factor in [the increase in bets] is because there’s no football tournament is.”He added: “Konta generates a lot of attention. The main factor is Konta – she’s a new star. “She’s doing great but we know that it’s difficult to predict. As we see neither book makers nor punters bet on Williams to win it and psychologically knowing she’s the favourite can play a role. center_img “But I hope her coaches and trainers protect her from the information so she doesn’t feel the pressure – I hope bookmakers and punters don’t spoil it for Konta.”   Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more