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Digital profile for every student

Jan 7 (TM) Information on all school students in Sri Lanka is to be uploaded to a centralised digital database at the Ministry of Education, called the National Education Management Information System (NEMIS), through the creation of individual student profiles. All information of a student – including their examination results and other marks, progress evaluations, co-curricular activities, and any medical conditions – would be included in the profile, staring from their entry to school. more..

Rule of Law replaced by Rule by Law: Eran

Jan 7 (TM) MP Eran Wickremaratne charged yesterday that the Rule of Law had been replaced by the Rule by Law by the govt as it was arresting people on various charges at the whims and fancy of the Executive. “When a suspect is remanded, he or she is deprived of the basic human rights. Though the releasing of a person on bail is a judicial act, today we wonder whether the judiciary has the fullest authority under more..

'End dumping of polythene into ocean'

Jan 7 (DN) We all have a responsibility to dispel the accusation made by some international organizations that SL is the fifth country in the world to dump polythene and plastic into the ocean, says Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweera. He said we must all systematically reduce the dumping of polythene and plastic into the ocean. The design is made using plastic and polythene that is washed ashore from the ocean. Studies have shown that even the annual fish harvest in our country more..

Rishad’s replanting bill being calculated

Jan 7 (TM) Dept of Forests is currently preparing a cost estimate for the reforestation of the Kallaru Forest Reserve close to Wilpattu National Park, which is to be borne by MP Rishad Bathiudeen as per a Court of Appeal ruling. “An estimate for the reforestation of the destroyed area in Wilpattu would be finalised soon,” Additional Conservator General of Forests Thilak Premakantha said. Bathiudeen was ordered to reforest the clearing of the Kallaru Sanctuary at his own expense more..

Cremating COVID-19 remains will stay: No changes in experts’ decision: Health Minister

JJan 7 (DM) Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi today asserted that the decision taken by the experts' committee to cremate all COVID-19 related dead bodies will not be changed on any social, religious, political or personal grounds. She told Parliament that the decision of the expert committee is to cremate all COVID-19 related dead bodies and added that the govt will firmly implement that recommendation. more..

SLT denies Rs. 2 billion spent on Mobitel unification

Jan 7 (TM) Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) has rejected allegations made by Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa that Rs. 2 billion was spent on the unification of SLT and its subsidiary Mobitel. “SLT vehemently denies the statement made by the leader of the opposition in parliament on 5 January 2021, claiming that the company had spent Rs. 2 billion on a recent brand name change, as baseless and devoid of truth. SLT expresses its deep concerns over the MP’s irresponsible and more..

Johnston after calling Sajith crazy withdraws it, but adds what Ranil had said of him

Jan 7 (Island) Minister Johnston Fernando called Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa mad man (pissek) in Parliament and then withdrew the comment. The comment was made when Opposition Leader Premadasa questioned the govt on the distribution of school uniform material. Minister Fernando accused Opposition Leader Premadasa of wasting Parliament time by continuing to raise multiple questions on the matter even after the subject Minister had responded. more..

CID dont produce Hizbullah, say positive for Covid 19

JJan 7 (DM) The CID which were scheduled to produce detained Attorney at Law Hejaaz Hizbullah this afternoon before the Fort magistrate, did not produce him and informed court that he had been tested positive for Covid 19. Mr. Hizbullahs wife , attorneys and the Court were informed by officers of the CID that he would be produced today at 2 PM at the Fort Magistrates court. Officers of CID informed court staff more..

Public urged to ensure names are listed in electoral register

Jan 7 (AD) Election Commission has requested the members of the public to ensure if their names are listed in the electoral register for the year 2020. Electoral register can be accessed by contacting the Grama Niladhari in one’s respective area or via the official website of the election body: Any individual who do not have their names listed in the electoral register has been requested to inform the Grama Niladhari before the 19th of January. more..

Man arrested for misleading 119 police emergency unit

Jan 7 (DM) A 48-year-old man from Caldera Road in Dehiwala was arrested for providing false information to 119 emergency hotline to mislead the police. Police Spokesman DIG Ajith Rohana said the suspect dialled the 119 police emergency center on Tuesday and falsely alerted them about an incident in Kandy. However, after investigating, the police emergency patrol found that the information passed by the man was false and he had wilfully attempted to mislead the police, the spokesman said. more..

Foreign waste issue remains unsolved

Jan 7 (Island) SL is still struggling to complete the re-exportation of 263 containers of hazardous waste, including body parts from mortuaries clandestinely imported during the previous administration from the UK. Amidst ongoing efforts to complete the process, SL recently received a consignment of agricultural waste from Ukraine. Foreign Ministry Spokesperson said that the govt was in the process of tackling both issues. more..

Govt to acquire all plantation hospitals

Jan 7 (NR) Minister of Health Pavithra Wanniarachchi today informed Parliament that measures will be taken to acquire all plantation hospitals under the purview of the govt. Meanwhile a special discussion has been held pertaining to ensuring the Ratnapura Teaching Hospital is a COVID-19 free zone. Attention has been directed towards protecting medical staff, controlling the spread of the virus and continuing health services and developing the hospital. more..

Mass Media Minister promises to probe ITN losses since 2016

Jan 7 (Island) Minister Keheliya Rambukwella told Parliament yesterday that the ITN had been a loss-making institute since 2016. Responding to a question raised by SJB MP Hesha Withanage, he said that there had been reports on various malpractices at the ITN and allegations would be investigated and legal action taken against those responsible for turning the institute into a loss-making enterprise. The Minister said that the ITN made profits of Rs 495.32 million in 2010, more..

Video: AG will file indictments once PCoI final report on Easter attacks is out: Sabry

Jan 7 (AD) The Attorney General will file indictments against after receiving the final report of the PCoI probing the 2019 Easter Sunday attacks, says Minister of Justice Ali Sabry. He mentioned this responding to a question posed by SJB MP Hesha Withanage at the parliament today. Sabry said, “The Commission works independently. We cannot interfere with the activities of the Commission. more..

Indian Minister meets Sajith and invites him to India

Jan 7 (EN) The visiting External Affairs Minister of India Dr Subrahmaniyam Jaishankar met Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa yesterday and extended an invitation to him to visit India. The two sides discussed bilateral relations and exchanged views on the long-standing historical ties between the two countries, the statement added. Premadasa thanked India for its recent support in building houses in Sri Lanka and recalled that a village had been named after Indian PM Narendra Modi. more..

Customs seize largest haul of Ecstasy in history

Jan 7 (DM) SL Customs Narcotic Control Unit today seized, what turned out be the largest haul of Ecstasy pills in the country’s history so far, believed to be worth over Rs.140 million from a personal package sent from Belgium. Customs Narcotic Control Unit officials are presently engaged in counting the number of tablets, which is believed to be over 20,000 and weighed over 9 kg. The contraband was sent as imported cat food and kept among a package of personal effects more..

Sri Lanka moves up 34 positions in Global Human Development Report

Jan 7 (FT) Sri Lanka has moved up 34 positions in the latest Global Human Development Report launched yesterday but remains vulnerable to risks from climate change in its effort to improve human development, a statement from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) said. The report tracks progress of 169 countries and territories in the world. In the Human Development Index (HDI), more..

It is fair to pardon Duminda too: Wimal

Jan 7 (CT) Leader of the NFF Minister Wimal Weerawansa said, former MP Duminda Silva, who is on death row, could also be pardoned if Venerable Uvathanne Sumana Thera, who was sentenced to life imprisonment for the possession of a large quantity of weapons, could be released on a presidential pardon. Ven. Sumana Thera was sentenced to life imprisonment on charges of possession of a large quantity of weapons, he said, adding that in such a background, more..

COVID jab could have come in without loan support: Rajitha

Jan 7 (CT) Govt could have imported the COVID- 19 Vaccine instead of expecting other countries to help bring it in, if taxes imposed on sugar and coconut oil were not reduced to support their cronies, SJB MP Rajitha Senaratne said. “Govt has requested a loan of USD 10 billion from several countries to import the COVID- 19 vaccine. By reducing the tax on sugar alone, the Govt has lost USD 10 billion. If that did not happen, the country would not have had to ask for any loan from other countries, more..

Healthcare workers will be vaccinated first says Health Minister

Jan 7 (EN) Around 155,000 front line healthcare workers are to receive the COVID-19 vaccine first, Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi told Parliament. She said that SL had already held diplomatic level discussions with India, China and Russia in order to get the COVID-19 vaccine to the country while not relying only on the COVAX facility provided by the WHO. Further, she said that through the COVAX facility only COVID-19 vaccines more..

'Tourists exempt from health guidelines'

Jan 7 (CT) Former JVP MP, Sunil Handunnetti charged, while Sri Lankans stranded abroad face difficulties in returning to the country, tourists who have arrived in the country are exempt from adhering to laws and health guidelines. He added, locals working abroad who remit foreign income to the country have to follow a mandatory 14-day quarantine, while tourists arriving in the country are free to go on tours without being quarantined, showing the double standards. more..

Dayan appointed to SJB Foreign Policy team

Jan 7 (CT) SJB Leader Sajith Premadasa has appointed senior diplomat Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka, former permanent representative to the UN, Geneva and ex ambassador of Sri Lanka to the Russian Federation, as the senior International Relations Advisor on Tuesday to expedite a foreign policy framework for the Party. On the appointment of Dr. Jayatilleka, SJB General Secretary Ranjith Maddumabandara said that there is a need to have an expert team on int'l affairs and more..

Public Security Minister lays out accusations against detained lawyer Hisbullah

Jan 7 (EN) Lawyer Hijaz Hisbullah had spoken with the Easter Sunday attackers on three occasions by phone, Minister of Public Security Rear Admiral (Ret) Sarath Weerasekara alleged in Parliament. Replying to a question raised by Chief Opposition Whip Lakshman Kiriella about the lawyer who has been detained since April 2020, minister charged that the investigations have revealed that Hisbullah’s wife who is an Egyptian national more..

President appoints 18-member De-Regulation Commission to simplify existing laws

Jan 7 (PMD) Prez Rajapaksa has appointed 18-member De-Regulation Commission for the Simplification of the Existing Laws and Regulations in the interest of the people. Commission is co-chaired by former Secretary to the Prez and Principal Advisor to the Prez Lalith Weeratunga and Chairman of John Keells Group Krishan Balendra. Other members of the Commission are the following: S.D.A.B. Boralessa – Secretary, State Ministry of Land Management,t more..

Video: Plans afoot to bring tourists to SL with no mingling with locals: Army Chief

Jan 7 (DM) An effective mechanism is to be introduced to ensure the transmission of COVID-19 virus from the visiting tourists to the locals, Army Commander General Shavendra Silva said. Speaking to journalists, he said the recent decision to bring foreigners to Sri Lanka since last December 26, was an experimental move and a pilot project. “We hope this move would show some positive signs to bring more tourists to Sri Lanka as it vastly facilitates the tourism industry in Sri Lanka,” more..

Money goes to foreign farmers will be diverted to our farmers, says President

Jan 7 (PMD) By cultivating what can be grown in the country, the money going to the farmers abroad will be diverted to the hands of our farmers, Prez Rajapaksa said. In order to uplift the agricultural sector, Govt has given priority to provide water, technical knowledge and solving land issues of the farming community. A large sum of money has been allocated from 2021 budget for this purpose. More than 800 projects planned utilizing more..

SJBers panic over Champika’s 43rd brigade

Jan 8 (DM) The launch of a new political movement by MP Champika Ranawaka seems to have triggered rumblings within the fold of the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB). Mr. Ranawaka contested the elections on the SJB ticket representing the Colombo district at the general election on August 5. At that time, he was also spearheading the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU). Recently, he closed ranks with the JHU and formed a new political movement titled 43rd movement. more..

Taste of tea soured by worker issues

Jan 8 (DM) Sri Lanka is making aggressive and sometimes scary attempts to promote this island as a tourist destination. Among these plans we must surely have our tea products in mind. A steaming cup of tea to break journey is welcomed by both local and foreign tourists. But whether we’d enjoy the cup of tea if we came to know of the plight of the tea workers is a question we need to pose to the authorities. It’s over a year since Gotabaya Rajapaksa pledged support to estate workers more..

Packaging industry: Facing many challenges

Jan 8 (TM) Covid-19 has had a tremendous impact on all industries, including trade. Packaging, highly incorporated in trade and business, faced direct complications due to the pandemic. Issues in the supply of raw materials by international importers, restrictions on the local manufacturing process, the difficulty of maintaining supply with growing e-commerce activities, and fluctuations in pricing were among most significant more..

Virus-hit messenger

Jan 8 (DM) The COVID-19 outbreak in a country without media would have been unimaginable for any expert. It would have been hellish. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions would have been died in Sri Lanka alone. It was the media that enlightened Sri Lanka in January last year about the spread of an unprecedented infectious disease in several other countries, helped authorities educate the masses through their daily briefings as to how to minimize the spread of new disease in SL, more..

A submission on the making of a new constitution

Jan 8 (GV) This submission is made on the assumption that the attempt to make a new constitution is an act done in good faith, motivated solely by the attempt to address what has gone wrong with the system of governance in SL and with a view to provide for the basic legal structure for sustainable form of governance that will serve the best interest of everyone in the nation. If that were not the case, if the attempt to make a constitution would merely be a means of entrenching more..

Unbowed and unafraid, Lasantha spoke truth to power

Jan 8 (FT) Twelve years ago on 8 January 2009, Lasantha Manilal Wickrematunge, the Editor of The Sunday Leader in Colombo, was killed by unknown assassins. He was my colleague, Editor, friend and above all a kindred soul. How I miss him! There is a huge vacuum in the media scene after his departure. It is yet to be filled adequately. I doubt that it will ever be filled. A dozen years have passed since more..

Chinese Checkers

Jan 8 (CT) When Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy was Central Bank Governor, i.e. before his resignation after the Govt change in Nov 2019, he imputed to the Media that the then Foreign Ministry, serving the best interests of the country, knew to play Chinese Checkers with the rest of the world in the geopolitical chess game. The current thinking by the rest of the world led by the USA and, including India, Japan and the likes, is that China is coercing developing countries such as SL into a debt trap by more..

Banks, Fitch Ratings, NPLs & Impairments!

Jan 8 (CT) Global economy is in a decline mummifying all activities, virtually halting the growth prospects, due to the Covid-19 Pandemic spreading at alarming speed, signaling signs of a worst economic shock the world is destined to experience as the deepest recession after several decades. Attention of the financial circles throughout the world remain heavily focused on the performance of the banking sector and their asset quality associated with this conundrum. more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

National soccer pool resumes training at Beddagana

Jan 8 (DN) TSL National soccer team resumed its training in preparation for the forthcoming FIFA World Cup (Qatar 2022) and AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers (China 2023). The Preliminary Joint Qualification Round-2 matches begin from March this year. The pool consists of 21 local players and a foreign player who is eligible to don the National jersey resumed training under the watchful eyes of National coach, Amir Alagic. They processed the initial PCR test yesterday to make sure that more..

New mutant strain of coronavirus

Jan 8 (Island) The entire world is in despair following the detection of the new mutant strain of SARS-CoV-2 organism that causes COVID-19. In an inescapable scenario, which has already frightened the daylight out of everybody from the beginning of 2020, this new development is like someone falling from the frying pan right into the fire. As if we did not have enough trouble with the original organism, this added problem is likely to have some further ramifications on the state of play of this blight. more..

Bungling of PCR tests dampens tour

Jan 8 (CT) The Ukrainian tourists who are currently in SL will surely not take back good memories of their travel to SL as the planning of getting them to SL by the three tour operators had been badly coordinated with the SL Tourism Development Authority and the Ministry of Tourism. The entire excursions for those travellers have been on temporary halt and they are right now confined to their rooms contradicting what was projected more..

School cricket to go digital

Jan 8 (ST) SL School Cricket Association (SLSCA) is on the verge of making arrangements to create a digital web portal which will include data and statistics of its registered players. The project, which will kick-start this month, has been initiated by SLSCA with the assistance of a private firm specialised in creating software and digital contents, according to sources. Creating the backend to upload players’ data has reached its final stage according to SLSCA sources and more..

Editorial: When democracy screams

Jan 8 (Island) The hurly-burly’s done, and the battle’s lost and won, in the US. The Congress has certified Joe Biden as the next US President. America has got a decent leader. What we witnessed on Wednesday was a Dickensian paradox. It was a sad day for the US; the American democracy came under attack in an unprecedented manner. It was also a happy day for the US, for its democracy demonstrated its resilience. Mobocracy. Insurrection. Terrorism. more..