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Asian Banker recognises HNB as Best Managed Bank during COVID-19 in Sri Lanka

Jan 11 (Island) Hatton National Bank (HNB) was recently recognized as the Best Managed Bank During COVID19 in SL by the prestigious Asian Banker Magazine, while the Bankís Managing Director and CEO Jonathan Alles, was awarded the Leadership Achievement Award for having delivered the Best CEO response to the COVID-19 pandemic in SL. ďI am indebted to my staff for their sacrifices and tremendous dedication in ensuring smooth continuity of business at such a critical more..

If tourists can be allowed into the country knowing risks, why arenít burials permitted?

Jan 11 (Island) The SL medical authorities had permitted planeloads of Ukranian tourists to land in Sri Lanka and visit multiple places in the country, knowing very well that the risk of spreading Covid-19 is very high, and, therefore, there is no acceptable reason to deny Sri Lankans the choice of a personís right to a dignified burial for their loved ones, who die due to Covid 19, former PA National List MP M.M. Zuhair said in a statement. more..

PHIs commend Jayasekara and Hakeem

Jan 11 (CT) Public Health Inspectors, yesterday, commended Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara and SLMC Leader Rauff Hakeem, for making it public that they contracted COVID-19 and requesting those who might have come into contact with them to be cautious. Public Health Inspectorsí Association Secretary, Mahendra Balasuriya, said his association commended State Minister Jayasekara and MP Hakeem, as peopleís representatives making it known on Facebook and Twitter. more..

Govt to amend Industrial Dispute Act

Jan 11 (FT) Govt is working to revamp the Industrial Dispute Act to allow future EPF non-payment cases to be heard by Labour Tribunals, which authorities hope will reduce the burden of over 15,000 outstanding cases worth an estimated Rs. 12 billion. Under the current legal provisions any non-payment of EPF dues by an employer needs to be taken up before a Magistrate Court. However, due to the massive backlog of cases around the country the Labour Ministry is looking to change the Act more..

JVP flays govt for bringing Ukrainian tourists without repatriating Lankan migrant workers

Jan 11 (Island) SL migrant workers knew that Prez Rajapaksa had two characters and he had a peaceful side and a dark side since he treated the migrant workers and Ukrainian tourists in two different ways, member of the JVP-led NPP member of Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia Municipal Council Samanmalee Gunasinghe said. Gunasinghe said that the tourism industry contributed only around four billion rupees to the national economy more..

Wildlife Dept crows about lowering of fatalities in continuing human-elephant...

Jan 11 (Island) Dept of Wildlife Conservation claimed timely initiatives and awareness campaigns had brought down the number of elephant deaths especially due to human activities. The deptís statistics indicate 318 elephants died last year as a result of the human-elephant conflict, compared to 407 killed in 2019. In 2020, 112 human deaths were reported due to elephant attacks as against 122 in 2019. Compared to 2019, there was a clear decline in the number of elephants killed due to more..

England mull third spin option with Moeen Ali ruled out of first Test

Jan 11 (CI) England will consider adding one of their three reserve spinners to their main squad ahead of the first Test against Sri Lanka on January 14, after head coach Chris Silverwood ruled Moeen Ali out of contention. Ali has been self-isolating after returning a positive Covid-19 test on arrival in Sri Lanka, with his quarantine period ending on January 13, the day before the first Test. As a result, England may look to one of the three spin bowlers who travelled with the squad as reserves more..

Central Bank forex interventions turn negative in November

Jan 11 (EN) Interventions in SLís foreign exchange market by the central bank to maintain a soft-pegged exchange rate regime turns slightly negative in December after months of net purchases when private credit was negative, official data shows. CB net purchases of foreign exchange spiked to US$ 162.5 million in July 2020 amid steep contraction in private credit. Since then net purchases have fallen as pvt credit picked up. more..

'Travel is not dead; but, itíll never be the same again'

Jan 11 (FT) Fresh in the light of myriad complexities in navigating around the reopening of the islandís borders to int'l travel, itís evident that channelling some fresh and well-focused energy towards creative ideas and strategies in shaping the local tourism industry for a new future will go a long way. It is in this critical setting that SLDF 2021 hosts Designed Experiential Tourism and Sustainability Conference which it believes can deliver a key breakthrough to future strategy of industry. more..

'Sri Lanka can topple England without Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer'

Jan 11 (ES) SL wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella believes his team can avenge Englandís 2018 sweep when the two-Test series begins on Thursday, because the tourists are missing big name players like Ben Stokes. England were able to train today in Galle after some rain, with Chris Woakes taking a full part for the first time after a weekís self-isolation, though Moeen Ali remains in quarantine having tested positive for Covid-19. As well as Alliís absence, England have rested Stokes and more..

AG to drop murder case against Pillayan

Jan 11 (AD) The Attorney Generalís Dept today informed the Batticaloa High Court that it will not continue with the case against MP Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan regarding the murder of former TNA MP Joseph Pararajasingham. Senior State Counsel Madhawa Tennakoon informed the Batticaloa High Court of this decision today. Six defendants including Pillayan have been charged over the murder while more..

Gayantha tests negative for COVID-19

Jan 11 (TM) SJB MP Gayantha Karunathilake has tested negative for COVID-19 today, stated Sergeant-at-Arms Narendra Fernando. MP Karunatilake and his family members have been referred for PCR tests. The MP was identified as a close associate of MP Rauff Hakeem who visited Parliament on January 5. Accordingly, MP Karunathilake has voluntarily resorted to a PCR test. It has been confirmed that neither the MP nor any member of his family has been infected with more..

Central Bankís Financial Intelligence Unit imposes penalties on 3 finance companies

Jan 11 (AD) The Central Bank's Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) had fined three finance companies mainly for violating Financial Institutions (Customer Due Diligence) Rules, No. 1 of 2016 in relation to sanctions screening. By virtue of the powers vested under Section 19 (1) read together with section 19 (2) of the Financial Transactions Reporting Act, No. 06 of 2006 (FTRA), financial penalties are imposed on Institutions for non-compliances with the provisions of the FTRA. more..

Lawyers to be recruited to Police Dept as Chief Inspectors

Jan 11 (AD) It has been decided to recruit 150 lawyers into the Department of Police as Chief Inspectors, states the Ministry of Justice. This decision has been taken on the request of Justice Minister Ali Sabry to Prez Rajapaksa, in order to further streamline the legal services offered by the Sri Lanka Police to the public. A special discussion on the matter was held today with the participation of the Justice Minister Sabry, DIG Ajith Rohana, more..

No university permission obtained to build war monument in Jaffna University: GL

Jan 11 (DM) No permission was obtained from the Jaffna University to build the war monument in the university premises, Minister G.L. Peiris said. He said any monument or statue cannot be build or exhibit without prior approval from the university and it is the law that exists in the university system. Therefore, the Jaffna University authority decided to remove the monument from the university premises, he said. "It is not relevant to have debates or arguments regarding the value or more..

55% overall student attendance recorded as schools reopen

Jan 11 (AD) Ministry of Education says that an overall student attendance of 55% was recorded at schools which were reopened for the first term today. Secretary to the Ministry of Education Professor Kapila Perera stated revealed that the overall attendance of teachers today was recorded at 88%. Meanwhile Education Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris said that over 95% of the countryís schools were reopened today and that only a few schools could not be reopened due to health reasons. more..

Sri Lanka to rebuild Tamil war memorial after protests

Jan 11 (AFP) SL's govt said Monday it would rebuild a memorial to Tamil civilians killed in the country's civil war that was demolished at the weekend. The destruction of the monument at Jaffna University -- depicting arms sticking out of a mound -- prompted protests and threats of a general strike in areas where Tamils are a majority. The govt had earlier condemned the structure as a memorial to terrorists, saying it glorified Tamil Tiger more..

Discrimination against minorities what is the endgame?

Jan 11 (EN) MP Harin Fernandoís now-famous speech delivered last week was, in many ways, a reflection of the deep anguish religious and ethnic minorities are dealing with the overtly discriminatory attitudes of the authorities. In his role as the enfant terrible of the SJB, Fernando spoke primarily of the fallacy of the govtís slogan of one country one law and drew the ire of Prez Rajapaksa himself. But Fernando also went on to make a more important point that the religious and ethnic minorities more..

Cinnamon Life lights up with hope for 2021

Jan 11 (FT) Cinnamon Life, Colomboís most iconic upcoming mixed development project, marked the dawn of the New Year with a message of optimism, lighting up its residential tower (The Suites at Cinnamon Life) with Hope 2021. This is the first development in SL to light up a building in a unique way to dawn the New Year, and it was visible from most parts of the city. The construction has progressed at a steady pace despite numerous obstacles over the past yr due to pandemic. more..

Video: 31 MPs asked to self-quarantine in SL

Jan 11 (AD) A total of 31 MPs have been asked to self-quarantine in SL thus far, after 3 MPs were identified as Covid-19 positive recently. This includes 10 MPs who were identified as close associates of Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara, who had tested positive for the virus earlier today. Sergeant-at-Arms stated that the MPs identified as the ministerís first contacts as well as relevant authorities have been notified. more..

COVID-19: Tests are to identify patients or punish people?

Jan 12 (DM) The COVID-19 pandemic is taking a heavy toll on every important sector in Sri Lanka, as it does in many other countries. The countryís economy is in bad shape with the major revenue earners such as the apparel industry, foreign employment and tourism have been hit hard. The tourism industry which had seen a steep rise after the end of the separatist war with the overseas tourist arrivals surging from 400,000 in 2009 to around 2 million in 2019 has collapsed totally. more..

Constitution making, global warming & incorporating e-governance

Jan 12 (CT) Several authors have recently discussed constitution making and governance. A constitutional committee is working hard. While the unpopular Yahapalanaya government delayed elections as far as possible, others seem to rush for provincial elections. Dr. Nirmala Chandrahasan, and the veteran constitutionalist Neville Ladduwahetty in their Island articles discussed the unit of devolution Ė Province versus the district. Prof G. H. Peiris had also discussed these questions recently. more..

Fall armyworm: Military solution questioned

Jan 12 (TM) Last week, the SL Army announced the establishment of the Agriculture and Livestock Corps and also hosted the Rwanda Defence Force officials who visited the country on the request of Prez Rajapaksa to share insight on how to tackle the Fall armyworm (FAW) menace, raising questions as to why the military has been tasked to solve a pest issue. Dept of Agriculture seems to have been left in the dark, as the Govt had decided to more..

Nandasena Sri Lankaís Jekyll and Hyde

Jan 12 (CT) The recent outburst by Prez Nandasena Gotabaya Rajapaksa came as no surprise to many including the International community. It was only a matter of time before he was going back to his hitherto concealed inner voice and persona. Nandasena Gotabaya is out of his depth in high office. He does not have what it takes to hold such a position bestowed upon him with humility, dignity, and benevolence. Political office is a trust placed upon a person for a brief period of time. more..

Which is the best option for Sri Lanka? More testing vs vaccine

Jan 12 (DM) As the world awaits the distribution of vaccines to speed up immunity against COVID-19, newer viral strains and mutations have left people in doubt. However, medical experts are yet to conclude on the severity of new viral strains and whether they have the ability to escape vaccine immunity. But for Sri Lanka, an increase in testing and effective control policies seem to be the most viable option given the economic backdrop. Affordability of the vaccine, availability of cold storage facilities, more..

Experts report on Mahara Riots: Hunger not conspiracy led to unrest

Jan 12 (CT) ďThere was no food left for those who were at the end of the lunch queue. It was approximately 3.30 p.m. and the ones who were at the end of the queue were served with only gravy and no solid food, Sabitha Dilantha Kumara, an inmate of the M2 ward in the Mahara Prison and one involved in the prison riot, described the food that was served in the afternoon of the day the incident took place. more..

Indian Foreign Ministerís call for caution

Jan 12 (DM) Indian External Affairs Minister, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar who was in Sri Lanka last week on a three-day official visit delivered a nuanced, but unequivocal message to the leaders in Colombo. Though coated in diplomatic niceties, his was a decisive note of caution. He put to rest any doubt about the Indian commitment to the Provincial Councils and the 13th Amendment which New Delhi brokered under the infamous Indian intervention in 1987. The latter itself was a sad outcome of more..

Is it wise to reopen borders?

Jan 12 (CT) The Govt, in another 11 daysí time, i.e. on 23 January, plans to reopen the countryís borders for tourists other than for those from UK. SLís peak tourism season comprises just four months, i.e. from December to March of the following year. Tourism is also SLís third largest foreign exchange earner. Itís to take advantage of this period, namely December to March, that the Govt is in a haste to reopen its borders which has been closed for tourists for 10 months, i.e. since the middle of last March more..

Face the Nation

Lessons from the wild: Sarath Perera on his globally acclaimed book

Jan 12 (TM) Management from The Wild Ė 101 Lessons Learnt, authored by Wilfred Sarath Eranga Perera, was launched on 9 January at the One Galle Face mall, amongst renowned personalities. Sarath Perera is currently a global marketer and lecturer, with a passion for wildlife. He began travelling and researching wildlife back in 2016, when he embarked on an adventure to Kenya, and visited Maasai Mara, Lake Nakuru, Aberdare National Park, and many more famous tourist locations. more..

Selling the Family Silver and India-Sri Lanka bilateral relations

Jan 12 (Island) A remark attributed to the US Congress that Sri Lanka is a valuable piece of real estate had made the news here hinting at the strategic value of our island location while some had connected the remark to the MCC, an economic project integral to the US pivot to the Indo Pacific. This sudden interest in SLís land assets made the headlines after Harvard economists in 2016 advised on the incorporation of a land project under the MCC to address constraints to national growth more..

PayPal setting up in Sri Lanka: An unreachable fruit?

Jan 12 (TM) Regardless of over six years of discussions, the SL Govt has not made any real progress in getting PayPal set up inward remittances in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka began negotiations with US-based PayPal to become its domestic partner bank for inward remittances in 2014, when current State Minister Ajith Nivard Cabraal was the Governor of the CB. When asked about the current status of the Govtís discussions with PayPal, more..

Neighbourly understanding

Jan 12 (CT) The Colombo talks last week during Indiaís Minister of External Affairs Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankarís two day visit underlined the deep relationship, perfect understanding and desire to further strengthen the bilateral cooperation between India and Sri Lanka. Considering Sri Lankaís urgent requirement for vaccines to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Indiaís assurance of the supply of Oxford/Astrazeneca vaccine jointly produced by the Oxford Uni more..

Editorial: Cop killings, terror and duplicity

Jan 12 (Island) The US is mourning the death of Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick. He died after assault during the 06 Jan. riot. Four pro-Trump troublemakers also perished in clashes with the police. The White House has come under heavy fire for taking four days to lower the Stars and Stripes to half-staff in honour of the fallen police officer. Democratsí consternation knows no bounds; they have gone into overdrive to impeach Prez Donald Trump, who is leaving office on 20 Jan, more..

Niroshan Dickwella happy to play situation for SL as wait for Test hundred goes on

Jan 12 (CI) Seventy Test innings in, Niroshan Dickwella is still hunting for that big one. Way back in 2014, when he had barely graduated from the U-19 team, Dickwella began his Test career with a sparkling 72 off 116 balls, against a South Africa attack featuring Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander. But there have been only 15 half-centuries so far - reflected in an overall average of 30.65, and third place on the list of more..

SLT-Mobitel launches upgraded eSports platform and gaming bundles

Jan 12 (DN) National Information and Communications Technology (ICT) solutions leader, and global gaming and eSports technology company Swarmio Media, recently announced the launch of their upgraded SLT Gaming & eSports Platform Ė - the first and only gaming and esports platform owned by a telco in SL. The eSports Gamer Platform is a web-based, user-intuitive portal that provides cyber athletes with exclusive access to competitive tournaments, more..

Player threatens to hold up Tennis Nationals

Jan 12 (TM) As the yearís most significant domestic tennis tournament, the SL Tennis Nationals 2020, which was postponed from last year due to the pandemic, continued on its second day on Sunday (10) at the SL Tennis Association (SLTA) hard courts in Colombo, there was an alleged attempt by one of its participants to take an injunction order from courts to hold up the event. A player who took part in the menís open category has been suspended by Tournament Referee on disciplinary grounds more..

Sangakkara bats against racism in sports

Jan 12 (GT) Former Sri Lanka legend and Team Abu Dhabi mentor Kumar Sangakkara condemned the racial abuse in sports and urged stern action against the offenders. Sangakkara is regarded as one of the greatest wicket-keeper batsmen to have graced the game with more than 12,000 runs in Tests and 10,000 in ODIs under his belt. Sanga was addressing the media through a Zoom conference on Monday. more..

Dialog completes H One acquisition

Jan 12 (TM) Dialog Broadband Networks (Pvt) Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Dialog Axiata, last week completed the acquisition of H One (Pvt) Ltd, by entering into a share sales and purchase agreement. ďThe acquisition of H One by Dialog would supplement Dialogís expansive suite of enterprise solutions and would facilitate acceleration of the digital transformation of SLís enterprise sector. The combination of Dialogís expertise in advanced digital technologies and the leading-edge more..

Park & Ride City Bus Service from Friday

Jan 12 (DM) The Park & Ride City Bus Service system, will come to effect from Friday (15) from the Makumbura Multi-modal Transport Centre (MTC), State Minister of Transport Dilum Amunugama said. He said the launching ceremony of the system will be held under the patronage of Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The Park & Ride system is a method introduced for the people to engage in their day-to-day activities, without entering the city of Colombo driving their vehicles,Ē he said. more..