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Bring them back now!

Jan 11 (CT) The COVID-19 pandemic revealed the utter desperation of humanity as it emptied streets, crashed economies and took the lives of the most vulnerable among us. In 2020, a stampede killed several people as they clambered for some money offered by a philanthropist and there is the ongoing funeral rite debacle causing friction between communities. However, the most terrible circumstances befell thousands of SL migrant workers trapped abroad, mostly in ME. more..

Please Minister Sabry

Jan 11 (CT) Discourse between MP Ven.Rathana Thera and Justice Minister Ali Sabry last week in Parliament is worth a closer scrutiny. The venerable Thera noted that according to the Islam law, a child who attains age may be married off, which would be recognised by the Muslim Courts. This is the reason for the country to have one law, Thera underscored. Minister in turn informed Parliament that steps to make 18 years the legal age for marriage were already underway. more..

රතු ඉර කාලීන දේශපාලන සංවාදය

Importing of liquefied natural gas – Past efforts and future prospects

Jan 11 (Island) The Island of 29.12.2020 carried a write up by Eng. Parakrama Jayasinghe in which he queried about the “very severe uncertainty of the source and the means of supplying the LNG necessary to operate the 300 MW LNG plant and the necessity for pursuing options for more LNG plants with India and Japan and now with the USA”? Though the term LNG appears here, it is something new to people in the country. Hence this write-up is published to apprise the readers what LNG is more..

Franchise: Intentions, operation & results

Jan 11 (Island) The franchise (suffrage) is an entrenched right in our Constitution. SL was the first country, in Asia, to grant Universal Adult Suffrage (or franchise). Many countries imposed restrictions, in particular excluding females. This led to the Suffragettes movement in Europe, demanding that women, too, should have the Vote. Historically, the concept of representation must have originated and evolved through centuries, in line with the complexities of governance more..

Case of falling from the frying pan to the fire

Jan 11 (CT) Many involved in the tourism industry are now facing serious socio-economic problems due to the collapse of the industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many travel agencies, hotels, and other workplaces have already lain off large numbers of employees and some have reduced salaries on a large scale. Recently, President of the Inter Company Employees’ Union, former MP Wasantha Samarasinghe said more..

Entries open for Badminton National Championships 2020

Jan 11 (Island) Sri Lanka Badminton (SLB) has called for entries to conduct the Badminton Nationals in February. SLB announced the decision to the conduct the 2020 event in a press release, stating that entries will open on Jan 11. The 2020 Nationals will be played from February 10 to 14 at the SLB and Mercantile Badminton Association courts. Citing the success of the recently held Lanka Shuttle Challenge 2020, SLB announced its ability to conduct the event without any trouble. more..

SLC spent Rs. 40m for Lanka Premier League: Opposition

Jan 11 (DM) Over Rs. 40 million has been spend by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) for accommodation and food for its officials, drivers and for teams for the recently completed Lanka Premier League (LPL) T20 Cricket Tournament, it was revealed in Parliament. This was revealed by SJB MP, Thushara Indunil Amarasena who questioned as to how SLC spent this amount despite the assurance that the organisation of the tournament was handed over to a private company. more..

Bourse bullish on BIL

Jan 11 (FT) Colombo Bourse is seeing a bull run on what some are claiming as the blue eyed Browns Investments PLC (BIL) catapulting the loss making diversified entity to fifth most valuable listed company last week, up from ninth in December and 19th in November. Last week which was the first trading session for 2021, BIL saw heightened interest. Around 2.15 billion shares (nearly 15% stake) changed hands via more..

Sports has enriched my life: Thiyumi

Jan 11 (DM) It is ironic that the demure beauty who prefers to shy away from the limelight has inadvertently taken centre stage in her illustrious sojourn from a budding child tennis star to a professional sports personality. Thiyumi Abeysinghe is one of the youngest Women’s National Tennis Champions in Sri Lanka winning both Singles and Doubles titles, having represented the country at many international events. Since her formative years, the only child in her family, more..

RMV’s profits down 17% to Rs 7.01 B

Jan 11 (CT) Dept of Motor Traffic (DMT), profits fell by 17.28% (Rs 1,465,443,350) year on year (YoY) in 2019, i.e. 2019 over 2018, to Rs 7,013,597,398 (Rs 7.013 billion), DMT’s 2019 Performance Report presented to Parliament showed. In tandem with these developments, the number of newly registered vehicles, 2019 over 2018, fell by 23.61%, i.e. from 480,799 to 367,301; data showed. However, the total number of registered vehicles as at 2019 increased to 8,095,224; more..

Total COVID-19 patient count exceeds 48,000

Jan 11 (FT) Total number of COVID-19 patients detected in the island surpassed 48,000 over the weekend, with over 1,000 persons testing positive. 540 persons tested positive yesterday. Patients include 536 associates of the Peliyagoda COVID-19 cluster. On Saturday, 535 patients tested positive for the virus, of which 148 were from Colombo, 111 were from Kandy, 64 were from Kegalle, and 59 were from Gampaha. more..

SLC should look into players’ fitness before picking team

Jan 11 (DN) It is high time that Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) makes an impartial investigation and take adequate action with regard to the decline of players fitness levels as they had a disastrous tour of South Africa recently suffering a series whitewash at the hands of the Proteas with a humiliating 2-0 defeat. When contacted the Chief Selector and Manager of the SL team, Asantha de Mel, he was of the view that the players’ fitness levels were below expectations before the Proteas tour said, more..

Briefing today on new health protocols to all tourism stakeholders

Jan 11 (FT) With two weeks more for the re-opening of the borders for international leisure visitors, Sri Lanka Tourism will today undertake a massive awareness session on new COVID-19 health and safety protocols to all industry stakeholders. The initiative is as part of a series of meetings for the key tourism industry stakeholders to create awareness about the health protocols and guidelines that need to be followed when reopening SL for foreign tourists and the way forward of SL Tourism. more..

Import restrictions make it to 2021

Jan 11 (TM) The import restrictions on nonessential items that were expected to be lifted or see some relaxation in 2021, still remain the same, according to Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) Import Section Chairman Delano Dias. Dias expressed his dismay on the ongoing import restrictions that were introduced during the first lockdown in March 2020, which followed the initial outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. more..

SL rope in Grant Luden to coaching staff

Jan 11 (Island) SLC has roped in Grant Luden to their coaching staff ahead of the two Test series against England. South African Luden has worked with several international teams and will function as SLC’s trainer. SLC sources said that Luden was set to join in November last year, but his recruitment was delayed due to the pandemic. Luden entered the SL team’s bubble in South Africa and arrived in the island in the chartered flight that carried SL team and he is at present in Galle with the team. more..

SL bleeds over Rs. 965 m in 2021’s first week

Jan 11 (TM) By the end of the first week of the new year, the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) had recorded a net foreign outflow (NFO) of Rs. 964.65 million, with Rs. 1.52 billion worth foreign sales being reported from the CSE against foreign purchases reported as Rs. 563.62 million during this period. However, domestic purchases exceeded domestic sales during the week, as domestic sales and purchases were recorded as Rs. 32.09 billion and Rs. 33.06 billion, respectively. more..

Video: Rauff Hakeem tests COVID-19 positive

Jan 11 (AD) SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem has contracted the coronavirus. Hakeem has said via Twitter that he entered a treatment facility. Hakeem has also urged those who came into contact with him during the past 10 days to take the necessary health and safety precautions. Earlier State Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera tested positive for Covid-19. Serjeant-at-Arms of Parliament Narendra Fernando said that more..

Southeast Asia’s largest tyre facility opens on Jan 14

Jan 11 (DN) Prez will open Southeast Asia’s largest tyre manufacturing facility - Forentino Tyre (Pvt) Limited in Wagawatte Export Processing Zone on Jan 14. According to Company Chairman Nandana Lokuwithana, the project estimated at US 250 million will help bolster the economy by revitalizing exports while creating thousands of employment opportunities. The construction of the second phase of the facility is going on and is slated to be commissioned in March this year. more..

SLPP-backed group fails to take control of Akuressa MPCS

Jan 11 (FT) A group backed by the SLPP was unable to oust the sitting board of the Akuressa Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society (MPCS) chaired by W.T.K. Rajapaksa at its election held on Saturday. Of the 58 cooperative societies which make up the Akuressa MPCS, Rajapaksa and his allies, backed by the JVP-led Committee to Safeguard the Cooperative Movement, gained control of 38. Of the 100 representatives elected to the MPCS, 70 are from the Rajapaksa camp. more..

Jaffna University monument: Demolition raises concerns in the South

Jan 11 (TM) Members of the university student community, university teacher community, and JVP, and civil society activists have expressed their concerns over the demolition of the Uni of Jaffna monument that memorialised those killed in Vellamullivaikkal during the final stages of the war. FUTA President Prof. Shyama Banneheka, IUSF Convener Rathkarawwe Jinarathana Thera, JVP former MP Dr. Nalinda Jayathissa, and more..

Thailand to focus on investment opportunities in plantation & agricultural...

Jan 11 (MFA) Ambassador of Thailand in SL Chulamanee Chartsuwan paid a Farewell Call on Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena on 8 Jan. During the meeting, the Foreign Minister noted that Thailand has potential to invest in Sri Lanka especially in the plantation and agricultural sector. Both sides endorsed the importance of finalizing the Free Trade Agreement to spearhead the bilateral economic and trade relations. In regard to trade relations, the Minister noted that more..

COVID-19 death toll rises to 225

Jan 11 (AD) Director-General of Health Services has confirmed three more COVID-19 related fatalities in the country. The new development has brought the death toll from the virus to 232. One of the victims was identified as a 62-year-old inmate who was incarcerated at the Negombo Prison. He was admitted to the Negombo Base Hospital and had passed away on Friday after being transferred to the Mulleriyawa Base Hospital. The cause of death was cited as Covid-19 pneumonia. more..

I am ready for anything: President

Jan 11 (CT) I am a person who is ready for anything. Some of our Buddhist Monks say they want Gotabaya Rajapaksa who was the Defence Secretary and not the Gotabaya who is President. They tell me I have to be stern. I can do that as well,” Prez Rajapaksa said. He was speaking at the Discussion with the Village programme in Lathugala, Uhana in the Ampara District on Saturday. This marks the fifth in the series of more..

Video: Mahara Prison riot: Inmates were shot only by officials, expert committee finds

Jan 11 (AD) Only prison officials had taken shot at the inmates who had been shot dead during the recent riot incident at the Mahara Prison, says President’s Counsel U. R. de Silva, a member of the expert committee appointed to inquire into the incident. Addressing a press conference on the report of the committee, he further said that the overcrowding in the prison was a major factor in the unrest. Prez’s Counsel said, “Prison overcrowding has been the major reason behind this. more..

Video: 32 schools on Eastern Province to remain closed

Jan 11 (AD) All schools in the Eastern Province except 32 schools in isolated areas will reopen for the first term of the year 2021 tomorrow (11), Eastern Province Governor Anuradha Yahampath confirmed. Accordingly, 25 schools in the Kattankudy area, 5 schools in Kalmunai, one school in the Thirukkovil area, and one school in the Ampara area will remain closed. The decision has been taken following a special discussion with the Governor, Provincial Director of Education, more..

President’s Uhana speech: Harin claims his life in danger

Jan 11 (Island) SJB MP Harin Fernando has drawn IGP C.D. Wickramaratne’s attention to what he claims is a threat to him. Referring to a speech Prez Rajapaksa made at Uhana, Ampara on Saturday, the former UNP MP has, in a letter to the IGP, asserted that it is for the first time he ever received a death threat. The MP has alleged that Prez Rajapaksa issued a veiled threat. Fernando said he would copy his letter to more..

PM’s Political Affairs Coordinating Secretary contracts COVID-19

Jan 11 (AD) PM’s Coordinating Secretary for Political Affairs, Kumarasiri Hettige has tested positive for COVID-19. He has reportedly visited the parliament on Friday (8) and several staff members of the Leader of the House have been identified as close contacts of Mr Hettige. Sergeant-at-Arms of Parliament Narendra Fernando said his close contacts and relevant heads of departments were informed on the matter. Earlier today (10), it was revealed that SLMC Leader more..

Amb. Ravinatha tests positive for Covid-19

Jan 11 (DM) SL Embassy in Washington DC which remained closed from 4-10 Jan 2021, due to five staff members including the Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha contracting COVID 19, will resume normal functions on Monday (11), the embassy announced. It said that the rest of the staff, all who have tested negative following PCR, will be at work, while those affected who will complete their quarantine period through next week, will work remotely next week. Embassy premises were disinfected and more..

10 MPs identified as Hakeem’s contacts

Jan 11 (AD) Ten MPs have been identified to have come in close contact with MP Rauff Hakeem at the parliament. Tweeting this morning (10), SLMC Leader MP Rauff Hakeem stated that he had contracted COVID-19 and that he will be entered into a quarantine facility. He also asked his contacts from the past 10 days to take necessary health and safety precautions. As the MP had attended the parliamentary session on more..

Strong institutional setup saved USA (and democracy too)

Jan 11 (FT) Aseni and her Grandpa, Sarath Mahatthaya, are trying to figure out what happened in US Legislature, known as Capitol Hill, on 6 January and diagnose how and why an alleged coup by a sitting President to remain in power was thwarted. Aseni: Grandpa, global news networks are full of news on the disastrous mob attack on the Capitol Hill while legislators from both houses, the Senate, and the Congress, were counting votes from states for the Prez who is to take office on more..

International seaports: A network of international partners

Jan 11 (FT) I have always discussed that shipping and ports business is truly a global business networked with multiple parties. No country who wants to be in the global stage can compete alone without int'l partnerships in modern shipping. It is irrelevant whether a nation is developed or developing or has cargo and technology. They all need partnerships to capture global trade in a network of ports and shipping services to take advantage of the economic opportunities more..

එන්නත් 20% ක් රටට ප්‍රමාණවත් නෑ

No threat on PM after coordinating secretary tests Covid-19 positive

Jan 11 (DM) PM Mahinda Rajapaksa had not come in contact with his Political Affairs Coordinating Secretary, Kumarasiri Hettige who tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday, PM's Chief of Staff, Yoshitha Rajapaksa said. Yoshitha said Hettige had last met the PM around 10 days ago but 3 senior staff members from the PM's office who had come in contact with him have been told to self isolate. None of these three members who are under isolation had come in close contact with PM in recent days, more..

Kiriella complains about Hizbullah catching coronavirus in custody;

Jan 11 (Island) Attorney-at-Law Hejaaz Hizbullah, had been denied justice for nine months and he had tested positive for COVID-19, Chief Opposition Whip Kandy District MP Lakshman Kiriella told Parliament. “If the govt has any evidence then it should charge any person including Hizbullah. If he had been involved in anything at all they could have charged him with that. He is being detained without charges,” Hizbullah has been in the custody of the CID following his arrest in April, 2020. more..

Video: Vasudeva Nanayakkara tests COVID-19 positive

Jan 11 (AD) Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara has tested positive for the COVID-19 infection. Accordingly, 3 MPs have tested positive for the coronavirus. State Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara who was the first to be diagnosed with the virus infection is currently receiving treatment at a treatment center in Hikkaduwa. It was confirmed yesterday that SLMC Leader MP Rauff Hakeem too had contracted the virus. more..

Govt to import low quality vaccines: SJB

Jan 11 (NR) The SJB has charged the govt of attempting to import low quality and cheap coronavirus vaccines from China and India, ignoring a WHO approved vaccine. MP Tissa Attanayake said the govt is late in placing orders for COVID-19 vaccines in comparison to other countries. The MP said the public’s safety and wellbeing have been disregarded by the govt. He rued that the govt has failed to identify the urgency in placing orders for vaccines, claiming that even if orders more..

Warning issued for possible minor floods

Jan 11 (AD) The Department of Irrigation warns that minor floods may occur in low-lying areas of Kala Oya valley at Karuwalagaswewa and Wanathawilluwa areas within the next 06 hours as the sluice gates of the Rajanganaya tank have been opened. A considerable level of rainfall has been received in the Kala Oya upper catchment area and the sluice gates of the Rajanganaya reservoir have been opened. It is expected to release 12,000 cubic feet per second by 12.30 pm to the Kala Oya. more..

‘Are we being compelled to fully implement 13A, in return for Covid-19 vaccine?’

Jan 11 (Island) SL’s Ambassador to Myanmar Prof. Nalin de Silva has flayed India for its interference in SL’s domestic affairs. In an open letter in Sinhala, also sent to The Island, Prof. de Silva questioned what he called Indian interference with post-war SL and a bid to exploit the Covid-19 pandemic. He asked whether India offered SL Covid-19 vaccine in return for the full implementation of the 13th Amendment more..

Reopening of schools: No one can run away from responsibility: Health Ministry

Jan 11 (DM) While saying that it was unfair to say that health authorities alone should take the responsibility for any possible spike of Covid cases with reopening of schools, Deputy Director-General of Public Health Services, Dr. Hemantha Herath today said it was a responsibility of all citizens. He said the decision to reopen schools had been taken by the education ministry in order to ensure that the education of students was carried out without a hindrance. more..