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'Pipe-borne drinking water for all by 2025'

Jan 10 (SO) Govt aims to provide pipe-born drinking water for all people in the country by 2025, with 75% of the water supplied by National Water Supply and Drainage Board, another percentage by community-based water supply projects and dry zone water supply and sanitation projects and the remainder pumped by the people’s own wells, said Water Supply Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara. more..

Pilot projects and pilot errors

Jan 10 (ST) Govt got roasted this week in full public glare, and justifiably so, for a botched attempt at reviving the tourist industry which had fallen on hard times last year due to the pandemic. That it was brave — or foolish enough to do so while the pandemic was raging, especially in Europe and the West — was only one aspect to what was euphemistically called a pilot project. It seemed there was only one pilot involved in the project and he had entertained a sense of arrogant more..

Catch me if you can

Jan 10 (ST) My dear Udayanga, I thought I must write to you because you are the man of the moment: everyone is talking about you and about all those Ukrainian tourists that you have brought to the country, along with their COVID-19, of course. The powers that be say you are doing what is right, but most others are blaming you. Whatever people say about you, Udayanga, they can’t accuse you of being uninteresting. Here you are, claiming you are trying your best to resurrect our tourism more..

'Airports to open on January 21'

Jan 10 (SO) Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said the country’s airports will be opened for commercial passenger flights from January 21 in keeping with the new guidelines issued by the health authorities. Minister said at present over three million people who are dependent on tourism have faced severe hardships due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic situation. We should assist them to recommence their businesses more..

Ruwan tipped to fill UNP national list slot

Jan 10 (SO) Indian External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar who called on President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat on Wednesday, December 6, said India is ready to give priority to Sri Lanka when the vaccine, now being produced by India to treat the Covid-19 virus, is supplied to other countries. The President and the Indian External Affairs Minister agreed to further enhance Indo–Sri Lanka bilateral relations so as to maximise mutual benefits. more..

Udayanga, Covid and Tourism

Jan 10 (Island) Nobody in his right senses would object to reopening the country to tourism if, and that is a very big if, the necessary precautions are in place to prevent such a measure triggering a new Covid wave here. This is imperative in the context of the ongoing global pandemic and is something that does not need underlining. Given the fact that our economy is greatly dependent on tourism earnings, and the livelihoods of hundred of hundreds of thousands of Lankans depend on this more..


Indian FM tours Colombo as future of PCs hangs in the balance

Jan 10 (TM) Indian Minister of External Affairs Dr. S. Jaishankar on Wednesday urged the SL Govt to satisfy the expectations of the Tamil people and fulfil the Govt’s commitments on the 13th Amendment. “It is in SL’s own interest that the expectations of the Tamil people for equality, justice, peace, and dignity within a united Sri Lanka are fulfilled. That applies equally to the commitments made by the SL Govt on meaningful devolution, including the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. more..

There’s movement within and without (parties and nations)

Jan 10 (Island) Those who worship free markets would say, there is no such thing as a free lunch. Nothing comes free. Everything has a price which, they claim, is determined by the play of demand and supply in a market where everyone is endowed with the capacity to obtain all relevant information. Nice on paper. But let’s go along with the story. So, if there’s no such thing as a free lunch, what do these pundits have to say about the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s purported gift more..

Communication blunders put govt in jeopardy

Jan 10 (CT) External Affairs Minister of India Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, in his recent visit underlined four vital areas of concern and support for Sri Lanka, namely the maritime security and safety of countries in the Indian Ocean, the 13th Amendment to the Constitution for an inclusive political outlook, seeking Sri Lanka to have access to the COVID-19 vaccine from India and India’s fullest support for more..

First priority to develop referees: Dinka Peiris

Jan 10 (ST) A former cricketer turned rugby referee Dinka Peiris has been elected as president of the SL Society of Rugby Football Referees (SLSRFR) at their AGM held yesterday. Peiris who served under six presidents as general secretary of SLSRFR for more than a decade, vowed to focus on development of referees after taking over at the helm with a new-look committee. “My first priority is to build bridges with the Union (SL Rugby) and clubs because there have been many more..

SLC virus situ puts England series in a hitch

Jan 10 (TM) Adding to the list of already two positive cases, the number of Covid-19 infections at Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) unfortunately increased to five as of the end of last week and, furthermore, the ongoing coronavirus situation at the national cricket headquarters is becoming more contentious by the day. It was on Sunday (3) – the very day the English team arrived here in Sri Lanka from the Hambantota airport – that it came to light that two officials attached to SLC had tested positive. more..

Atul Keshap adds voice to growing criticism over Capitol Hill attack

Jan 10 (ST) The mob attack on the Capitol Hill when the Senate and the House of Representatives were in session Wednesday to endorse the election of President elect Joe Biden turned the world spotlight on US, the beacon of democracy and champions of human rights. It is they who preached good governance, the right behaviour and sent troops to nations they perceived were rogues to change regimes, foist lackeys, and more..

Enter SLC election

Jan 10 (TM) SL’s cricket depends on Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC). SLC is always hot and, at the onset of this new year, is becoming hotter. Its election is to be held before the end of May. Two parties are currently preparing themselves for the acquisition of the SLC hot seat. Can the incumbent Shammi Silva retain his place for another time? During an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) held yesterday (7), SLC appointed members to its Election Committee in accordance with the current Sports Law of more..

Few positives in South Africa, more challenges ahead

Jan 10 (Island) Sri Lanka’s return to international cricket after the pandemic did not go to plan in South Africa as they lost both Test matches by heavy margins – the first by an innings and the next by ten wickets. Having overcome the Proteas in their own backyard last time around, there were a lot of people who were hopeful of a good show in South Africa this time around. The last time the Tests were played in coastal cities of Durban and Port Elizabeth. But this time the Sri Lankans more..

Ratwatte starts another shootout at W15 boutique hotel in Kandy

Jan 10 (CT) In a repeat of history, Prisons Minister Lohan Ratwatte has been involved in a shooting incident over the new year, that has been covered up by the govt. The Minister and SJB MP S.M. Marikkar were hosted at the W15 boutique hotel in Hanthana, Kandy by the hotel owner Hisham Hardy Jamaldeen, on 29th Dec 2020. Marikkar, his wife and two children were dining with Jamaldeen’s family at the hotel, more..

SLC busting millions in foreign coach syndrome

Jan 10 (SO) With yet another crushing defeat, this time at the hands of South Africa, Sri Lanka Cricket finds itself on the wrong side of everything including public opinion to justify the millions pumped into four foreign coaches to handle a team of 11 done and dusted professionals. In the backdrop of the defeats most Sri Lankans have begun to ask how aliens can shape what is a Sri Lankan mindset given the fact that all cricketers entering the National team have been groomed by their respective school more..

Depreciating Rupee perturbs importers

Jan 10 (SO) Importers who feel they have no hope of their businesses recovering to previous levels in the short and medium-term, urge the authorities not to depend only on foreign reserves but also to focus on long-term production, manufacture and value addition activities that could generate or save foreign currency which will help the Rupee retain its value. “The depreciating rupee is a bigger problem than the temporary suspension of imports. Depreciation impacts all, but restrictions are more..

Kusal Mendis not out, but not in

Jan 10 (ST) Out-of-form batsman Kusal Mendis, though included in the 22-man squad for the two-match Test series against England, is expected to sit on the bench with Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal who are returning to the side following hamstring and groin injuries. Mendis who will turn 26 next month, had a series to forget in South Africa scoring just 12 runs off four innings including three successive ducks. more..

Crystal meth seizure off Sri Lankan coast indicates shift in drug trafficking

Jan 10 (Hindu) The seizure of 100 kg of crystal methamphetamine or meth off the coast of Sri Lanka earlier this week indicates shift in the modus operandi of international drug trafficking syndicates in the region. Previous drug seizures had heroin as the main component. On Jan 4, the SL Navy conducted an operation in the seas in coordination with its intelligence services and Police Narcotics Bureau and arrested four persons in possession of 100 kg of meth and 80 kg of hashish. more..

Navy apprehends 2 suspects with over 124kg of Kerala cannabis in northern waters

Jan 10 (SLN) A special operation conducted by the Navy in northern waters resulted in the seizure of over 124kg of Kerala cannabis and apprehension of 02 suspects, on 6th Jan. SL Navy is watchful and continues its patrols to curb drug trafficking and other forms of illegal activities taking place via sea routes. During a similar operation conducted by Northern Naval Command in seas north of Mailaddi in Kankesanthurai, a suspicious dinghy speeding off towards Thondamanaru was spotted more..

Multinational, local firms get forest land for agri-projects

Jan 10 (ST) Multinationals and local companies are to be given state lands for mega agriculture projects with tax concessions thrown in under a controversial deal involving forest lands, which unlike forest reserves, are not protected. The govt is planning to hand over thousands of acres of forest lands to five multinational companies after abolishing the circular no. 5/2001 limiting arbitrary allocation of other (unreserved) forest lands, more..

NSSF Skeet Open on January 23, 24

Jan 10 (ST) National Shooting Sports Federation of SL (NSSF) has set January 23 and 24 as dates for the NSSF Skeet Open Championship, which will be held at the National Shotgun Range in Payagala, Kalutara. Under the leadership of Shirantha Peiris and purview of experts Mohan Gilbert as Match Director and Dinesh Lionel as Range Master, the Skeet Open 2021 is expected to herald NSSF’s intended events calendar, which consists of 11 local meets. "We are thrilled to have events back more..

New tax laws delayed; huge revenue loss

Jan 10 (ST) The collection of Goods and Services Taxes by the Inland Revenue Department has been stopped until the introduction of the tax system proposed in the 2021 Budget and this has resulted in further revenue losses. Under the budget proposals, Govt was to introduce an efficient tax collection system through an online-managed single Special Goods and Services Tax. This was to replace various taxes imposed under multiple laws & institutions on alcohol, cigarettes, telecom, more..

Video: I can perform role of either President or former Defence Secretary: Prez

Jan 10 (AD) The WHO, India, and China will provide Sri Lanka with the COVID-19 vaccine, says Prez Rajapaksa. Prez said that he has personally written to the Indian PM and the Chinese President to procure the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it is available. While the WHO, India, and China will provide a certain amount of COVID-19 vaccines free of charge, the remainder Sri Lanka will buy on her own, Prez added. more..

Eran questions tax concessions extended to CICT, CIFC

Jan 10 (CT) Opposition MP Eran Wickramaratna in Parliament questioned the double standards adopted by the Govt of SL (GoSL) vis-à-vis the Chinese operated Colombo International Container Terminals (CICT) and John Keells Holdings plc (JKH) operated South Asia Gateways Terminals (Pvt) Ltd (SAGT). He said that the GoSL in a Gazette issued on 16 Nov 2020; has exonerated CICT from paying taxes since the beginning of its operations in 2013. more..

Jos Buttler keen for Sri Lanka challenge as England wicketkeeping saga rolls on

Jan 10 (CI) In sport, as in life, we often talk about the sliding doors moment, as if such interventions create completely new timelines for the protagonists to inhabit. But outside of a movie script, the threads are often a lot more tangled. "What if Jonny Bairstow hadn't hurt his ankle playing football in SL, allowing Ben Foakes to win Man of the Match on debut and keep the gloves for the rest of his career all of five Tests before Bairstow returned, only to be dropped at the end of the summer for Jos Buttler…?" more..

Final decision on ECT: Pending cabinet committees’ reports

Jan 10 (TM) A final decision on the controversial Memorandum of Co-operation (MoC) signed between India, Japan, and Sri Lanka to jointly develop the East Container Terminal (ECT) at the Colombo Port is to be taken, following the recommendations by the two committees appointed by the Cabinet of Ministers. Accordingly, the project committee is currently evaluating the MoC, and once the recommendations are given, more..

LOLC – Colombo Uni Alumni Partnership

Jan 10 (Island) LOLC Group recently signed an MoU with the Alumni Association of the Uni of Colombo (UoC), extending its engagement with the UoC Partnership Program for another year up to Oct 2021. LOLC has been an Alumni Partner of the Alumni Association since 2017, a news release from the Alumni Association said. “The UoC Partnership Program is an initiative of the Alumni Association of the Uni of Colombo, which represents the entire Alumni population of the Uni of Colombo to more..

ETI probe, a warning to stay clear: Cabraal

Jan 10 (SO) The recent development on ETI Finance, and Swarnamahal Jewellers where its directors were taken to task, sent a clear message to all finance companies of the need to manage and operate its businesses in a transparent and ethical manner, said State Minister Ajith Nivard Cabraal in response to steps taken to strengthen ailing finance entities. “I have submitted proposals to govt to revive all ailing financial companies and those facing major liquidity issues and awaiting its response,” more..

Jaffna University war memorial demolished; hartal in NE tomorrow

Jan 10 (ST) Tamil civil society groups, political parties and Jaffna Uni student unions have called for a hartal to be observed tomorrow across the N&E provinces to condemn the demolition of a memorial to remember those killed in the northern conflict. A tense situation erupted outside the gates of the Jaffna Uni on Friday evening as the war memorial erected inside the uni premises was demolished by uni authorities more..

Situation in Western province improves with dip in positive cases

Jan 10 (Island) Covid-19 pandemic in the Western province is now under control with small but manageable clusters emerging from time to time which is inevitable in a situation where society is open with people getting about their day-to-day chores, a senior health official said. The number of positive Coronavirus cases have dipped to a daily average of around 500 with the Western province contributing only about 20% to 30% to the overall figure, says Dr. Hemantha Herath, more..

4 Covid linked deaths & 525 cases recorded

Jan 10 (DM) Four COVID19 linked deaths have been recorded today, increasing the country’s death toll from the virus to 229. Another 238 COVID-19 cases were detected in Sri Lanka today (9), bringing the total number of cases recorded in the island to 47,840. A total of 525 coronavirus positive cases have been detected thus far today, accordingly raising the number of active cases undergoing medical treatment for the virus accordingly rises to 6,780. more..

Strong note of caution from India

Jan 10 (ST) India cautioned this week that it is in Sri Lanka’s own interest to fulfil commitments made to New Delhi on meaningful devolution, including the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. This, in essence, is the most important message Indian Foreign Minister, Dr Subramaniam Jaishankar, delivered to govt leaders during a two-day visit to Colombo. A former distinguished career diplomat, who also served in SL, reminded more..

Why quarantine returnees at high priced fancy hotels?

Jan 11 (ST) Before COVID’s second coming in October, the health protocol had dictated that all persons who come into direct contact with a COVID patient must be first given a PCR test and, if negative, be isolated for a period of 14 days at a govt quarantine centre. For anyone coming to Lanka from abroad, the procedure was the same. With the COVID threat gradually diminishing, anyone returning from abroad was offered a choice: be the guest of the Govt and have a two-week stay more..

Workplace sexual harassment: A growing concern

Jan 11 (DM) In today’s world, women play a vital role equal to men in the private and public sectors—ranging from physical labour to space exploration. In Sri Lanka, private-sector female workers; employed mostly in shops, malls, garments and small industries, don’t work continuously in one place due to various reasons. As a result, organised-sector Trade Unions (TUs) are unable to mobilize them. Although the Shop and Office Act of SL guarantees the rights of pvt-sector workers, more..

PM Khan’s Colombo visit being planned: Pakistan HC

Jan 11 (CT) Q: Pakistan is among the few countries that do not interfere in the internal matters of SL, or even voice for or against on any matters when you have equally contributed to our progress, be it during the war or cricket, is there any reason for this? A: Pakistan, like any responsible nation in the world, respects SL’s sovereignty. We respect international law and do not believe in interfering in the internal matters of any State, more..

Sri Lanka’s dilemmas of the dead and our punching bags of politicians

Jan 11 (ST) If ever 2021 had a ghastly leitmotif, it would be the dead. From Muslims not being allowed to cremate their dead disregarding the recommendations of experts, the Tamils not being allowed to remember their dead with even memorials being bulldozed by night, we have the highly avoidable covid-19 dead including hundreds of migrant workers abandoned by a Govt which once seduced them for their vote. On top of all that, we also have the politically dead as it were, more..

America’s day of shame

Jan 11 (DM) On Wednesday, people the world over were amazed as a crowd of Trump supporters pushed down barricades around US Capitol (the seat of the US legislature) and stormed the building. In shocking scenes, the mob attempted to halt the delegate count, which was to declare the winner of the US presidential election in Nov 2020. Under the US system, though one or the other candidate may receive the required number of votes to win the election, a body known as more..

We are prepared: Dr. Sudharshini F.

Jan 11 (TM) With news of vaccinations for Covid-19 being made available for most countries in the world, SL has decided to consider all options to bring down the vaccinations including applying for the COVAX Facility that is recommended by the WHO. Amid the hype of early vaccination becoming accessible across the globe, people are also eager to commence their air travel. SL therefore piloted the project since more..