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‘We can turn the tables on England. This series is 50-50’

Jan 12 (Island) Sri Lanka are raring to go ahead of facing an under-prepared England for a two-Test series, and the hosts see an opportunity for an upset. England head into the series without Jofra Archer and Ben Stokes and with less than two days of match practice, while Sri Lanka are keen to bounce-back after a series defeat to South Africa. Sportsmail’s Nasser Hussain caught up with SL legend & Mumbai Indians coach more..

Tennis National’s 2020: Wonara wins in thrilling three set battle

Jan 12 (CT) Savini Jayasuriya and Wonara de Alwis overcame Sajida Razick (6-2, 6-2) and Prabaddhi Perera (4-6, 6-4, 10-2) in the women’s singles category on the third day of the ongoing Tennis Nationals working off at the SLTA hard court. It was a treat to watch the game between Wonara de Alwis and Prabaddhi Perera, where Wonara came from behind to get the better of her opponent in a thrilling three setter. It was a heated first set with Wonara and Prabaddhi, both power hitters, more..

SLSCA to seek permission to commence U-19 cricket in March

Jan 12 (Island) Sri Lanka Schools Cricket Association has decided to seek permission from the Ministry of Education to conduct a limited overs tournament in March for the Under-19 age category as the premier school sports association prepares to end the long hiatus due to the Covid 19 pandemic. The tournament committee of the SLSCA met over the weekend to decide ways of bringing the sport back to life after it was interrupted in the midst of the peak season in March last year. more..

Task Force named to deploy COVID-19 vaccine in Sri Lanka

Jan 12 (FT) Prez Rajapaksa has named the eight-member Presidential Task Force for National Deployment and Vaccination Plan for COVID-19 vaccine which will be headed by Principal Advisor to the Prez Lalith Weeratunga. Its other members are Secretary, Health Ministry Secretary Major General Dr. Sanjeewa Munasinghe, State Ministry of Primary Health Care, Epidemics and COVID Disease Control Secretary more..

Iconic Developments completes Iconic Galaxy main structure

Jan 12 (TM) Infrastructure and property developer Iconic Developments announced the completion of the main structure of its latest high-end luxury living space Iconic Galaxy, situated in Rajagiriya. The completion of the main structure has been on schedule despite unexpected delays due to the pandemic. “We are delighted to announce this monumental milestone in the creation of Iconic Galaxy, as the building of this luxury site sets a new benchmark in the local construction industry. more..

ComBank ends centenary year with key achievements in economic contribution...

Jan 12 (FT) Commercial Bank of Ceylon provided new concessionary lending of nearly Rs. 30 billion in 2020, its centenary year, to help Sri Lankans weather the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and ended the year as the most generous lender among the country’s private banks. This high volume of concessionary loans was in addition to the relief the bank granted to customers in the form of debt, capital or interest moratoriums on a staggering 81,387 existing loans with a capital more..

Unauthorised constructions cannot be permitted within university premises: GL

Jan 12 (Island) Education Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris said that monuments of any kind couldn’t be built within uni premises under any circumstances without approval from the relevant authorities. He emphasised that the Jaffna Uni couldn’t be exempted from regulations pertaining to building of monuments. Minister dealt with primarily three issues, namely controversy over the removal of the LTTE memorial in the Jaffna Uni, more..

Lankan envoys meet industry professionals to boost biz, investments from South India

Jan 12 (FT) Making a great initiative to start the New Year 2021, Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission in Chennai organised a business interaction session with industry professionals who have been operating in legal, film and investment sectors in South India. The objective of the session was to make the professionals aware of business and investment opportunities available in Sri Lanka and promote Sri Lanka as a destination for shooting South Indian films. Welcoming the professionals, more..

ENT. tax waived on cinemas for 2 years

Jan 12 (FT) PM Mahinda Rajapaksa has given approval to waive off the entertainment tax on the local cinema industry for this year and the next to provide support to a sector hard-hit by COVID-19, his office said yesterday. The PM’s Office stated that Prime Minister Rajapaksa, who is also the Finance Minister, took the decision considering the requests made to him by industry representatives. Despite the Govt permitting cinemas to open from 1 January, crowds have been sparse. more..

Parliament cluster tipped to expand

Jan 12 (CT) With Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara testing positive for COVID-19 yesterday, a total of 31 ruling party and Opposition legislators have been recognised as primary contacts of the three MPs who have so far tested positive for COVID-19, Serjeant-at-Arms Narendra Fernando, yesterday said. Among them, 10 MPs have been identified as primary contacts of Minister Nanayakkara. more..

China emerges as leading bilateral lender to Sri Lanka in 2020

Jan 12 (DM) China has emerged as the leading bilateral lender to SL in the first eight months of 2020 overtaking Japan as the former helped SL to prop up its fiscal front when COVID-19 hit the nation in mid-March. Out of the US$ 914.4 million bilateral foreign loans granted to SL during the eight months in 2020, China led the pack with US$ 679.4 million pushing Japan into the distant second place with US$ 115.2 million in loans. China overtook Japan when China Development Bank released more..

Difficult to win in Sri Lanka says England head coach Silverwood

Jan 12 (DN) England Head Coach, Chris Silverwood believes that SL would come hard on them in an attempt to avenge their previous defeat when the two teams clash in a two-Test series at the Galle Stadium commencing on Thursday. The 45-year-old former England fast bowler said that his team would need to really focus on the game and play some smart cricket to maintain their position in ICC World Test C'ship. “It is difficult to win here and SL will want to get revenge for their defeat last time. more..

Triple COVID-19 clusters exceed 45,000

Jan 12 (FT) The triple COVID-19 clusters that emerged from Divulapitiya, Peliyagoda and Prisons, yesterday exceeded 45,000 patients, with the detection of 569 persons who tested positive for the virus. 564 associates of the Peliyagoda cluster and four persons linked to the prisons cluster were among the patients detected yesterday. The triple clusters have thus expanded to 45,186 COVID-19 patients. more..

Eight COVID-19 deaths bring total to 240

Jan 12 (FT) SL’s COVID-19 death toll yesterday rose to 240 with the confirmation of eight COVID-19 deaths. A 57-year-old individual from Kattankudy passed away yesterday while receiving treatment at the Welikanda Base Hospital. He was transferred to Welikanda after he tested positive for COVID-19 at the Batticaloa Teaching Hospital. The cause of death is COVID-pneumonia with blood poisoning. Three deaths occurred the day before, including one from Colombo. A 51-year-old resident of Col 14 more..

Health regulation violators beware New police programme to nab them

Jan 12 (Island) 34 more persons were arrested by the Police on Sunday for violating quarantine laws. They had been arrested for not wearing face masks, not maintaining physical distancing, etc, DIG Ajith Rohana said. 2,415 people had been arrested for violating quarantine laws since Oct 30, 2020, and legal action had been taken against 2,250. Rohana also said that they were planning to implement a special programme to nab those who violated quarantine laws, from yesterday, in the WP. more..

VC received classified instructions to demolish monument

Jan 12 (CT) Jaffna Uni Vice Chancellor, Prof. S. Srisatkunarajah said, the war memorial, which was demolished, would be rebuilt and laid two foundation stones in this regard. The foundation stones were laid yesterday. With the laying of the foundation stones, undergraduates who staged a hunger strike against the demolition called it off. Early yesterday morning, VC visited the protesting undergraduates at the uni premises more..

The new reality of Sri Lanka Tourism

Jan 12 (FT) Let’s accept it, SL was essentially a closed market for the last nine months. Restrictions on imports and an embargo on tourism, for that matter total arrivals, required State approval. The movement of people was carefully monitored in essence, almost like North Korea. I am sharing this analysis in a good sense, not in a negative manner. Let’s also accept that this is the new normal in many countries around the world. When Prez Trump refused to declare a lockdown many of us more..

Ukraine tourists and the U-turn

Jan 12 (FT) The COVID-19 pandemic has forced an extraordinary time on human civilisation and people have been confronted with a critical juncture demanding a novel path. As a result they are searching for creative and innovative solutions. Unusual circumstances require collaboration and corporation between all states, institutions, and multilateral agencies in order to take steps to control the pandemic and related global challenges with an open mind, so as to chalk out a new way more..

මේ නාමල් දුවව බැන්ද නිසා ලැබුණු දේවල් ද?

Foreign Minister thanks outgoing Seychelles HC

Jan 12 (Island) Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena complemented outgoing High Commissioner of Seychelles in Colombo, Conrad Vincent Mederic, for his outstanding and significant contributions towards enhancing Sri Lanka- Seychelles relations during his tenure, including the Presidential visits in 2017 and 2018, as the first High Commissioner of Seychelles to SL. While acknowledging the staunch support extended by Seychelles to Sri Lanka in the realm of more..

Large-scale vehicle theft unearthed: Two arrested with 17 vehicles

Jan 12 (DM) Mulleriyawa Police unearthed a large scale racket and recovered 16 cars and a van that were hired from car rental operators, using forged documents by a gang. Police Spokesman DIG Ajith Rohana said two suspects, who were residents of Yakkala and Mirigama in the gang that was arrested and the vehicles recovered after interrogating the suspects. It was revealed that the group had hired vehicles from car rental centres, submitting forged documents with fake addresses. more..

Pillayan’s 2-point political agenda after release

Jan 12 (DE) Attorney General’s Dept on Monday informed the Batticaloa High Court that it will not be pursuing the criminal case against S. Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan, a MP and former Chief Minister of the Eastern Province. The case pertains to the assassination of TNA MP Joseph Pararajasingham at St .Mary’s Cathedral in Batticaloa on Dec 25, 2005. With the Attorney General’s decision Pillayan is expected more..

SLTB to purchase 200 low-floor buses

Jan 12 (DN) Cabinet of Ministers approved a proposal made by Transport Minister Gamini Lokuge to purchase 200 new low floor buses for the Sri Lanka Transport Board. The State Ministry of vehicle regulation, bus transport services and train compartment and motor car industry plans to launch a public transport service with modern facilities in Colombo and suburbs with parking facilities as a solution for the heavy traffic congestion and higher demand for parking space within more..

Former ETI directors further remanded

Jan 12 (AD) The four former Directors of Edirisinghe Trust Investments (ETI) Finance Limited have been further remanded until Jan 15. Four former directors of ETI Finance – Nalaka Edirisinghe, Jeewaka Edirisinghe, Anjalee Edirisinghe, and Asanka Edirisinghe – were remanded on the charges of criminal misappropriation, cheating, money laundering, and other offenses. When the case was taken up before Aluthkade Chief Magistrate today, they were further remanded. more..

Mahapola Trust Fund incurred loss of Rs. 673 million from online lottery: COPE

Jan 12 (AD) It has been revealed at the COPE that the Mahapola Higher Education Scholarship Trust Fund had not received Rs. 673 million from the sale of an online lottery of the Mahapola Trust Fund which was sold through another intermediary. COPE Chairman Prof. Charitha Herath directed Secretary to the Ministry of Trade Bhadrani Jayawardena to inform the AG and refer the matter to the CID for a formal inquiry as this was more..

China’s Great Wall Corporation pledges assistance to Lankan companies to...

Jan 12 (Island) SL expects greater investments from Chinese companies to assist develop its IT industry, particularly in advanced IT education and IT based agriculture, SL Ambassador to China Dr. Palitha Kohona said. This was stated during his visit to the China Great Wall Industry Corporation. China Great Wall Industry Corporation President Guo Zhaoping affirmed his fullest cooperation and agreed to assist through his companies for SL export agricultural products to access lucrative Chinese market. more..

Govt gives 30-day ultimatum

Jan 12 (CT) The Govt has decided to inform all Ministry Secretaries to conduct a study on unserviceable vehicles at State Institutions, Departments and Statutory Boards, and a report should be prepared within 30 days. Sources said, henceforth Ministry Secretaries should be aware of the number of vehicles that are unserviceable at their Ministries, the reason and the repairs that were needed. They added that some 273 SLTB buses that were removed from service had been more..

Moeen Ali faces extended quarantine, set to miss second Sri Lanka Test

Jan 12 (CI) Moeen Ali looks set to be ruled out of both of England's Tests in SL after his period in quarantine was extended. Moeen, who tested positive for Covid-19 shortly after arrival in the country, has been in isolation since England arrived in the country on January 3. While he had hoped to be released on Wednesay, after ten days, authorities in SL have insisted - with the full support and understanding of the England more..

Sampayo and six others enlarged on bail

Jan 12 (CT) Negombo Provincial HC Judge Nishantha Hapuarachchi yesterday ordered former Director of the Negombo Prison, Anuruddha Sampayo, jailors and officers numbering seven to be enlarged on strict bail conditions. Sampayo and the six suspects had been indicted before the Negombo HC on 90 counts on charges of corruption and big time vice being committed. The Judge ordered the seven suspects to be released on two sureties of Rs. 500,000 each and a surety of Rs. 7 mil more..

Cabinet nod to import frozen coconut kernels

Jan 12 (AD) As a result of local coconut production supply being insufficient for industries related to coconut kernel, Cabinet had approved the import of coconut kernel in 2017. Accordingly, 2,542 metric tons of coconut kernels were imported to SL during a period of 08 months. Meanwhile, it has been estimated a shortage of 250 million coconuts for the year 2021. Therefore, the Cabinet of Ministers has granted consent to take necessary measures for importing coconut kernel for more..

TNA requests India to facilitate return of Lankan Tamil refugees

Jan 12 (DE) The TNA has requested India to facilitate the return of an estimated 150, 000 SL Tamil refugees now in India, most of who live in govt-run camps in Tamil Nadu. A TNA delegation led by R.Sampanthan had made the request when it met the visiting Indian Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar in Colombo on Thursday (7). It was the first time the TNA (or any other SL Tamil party for that matter) had made such more..

Lankan paediatricians also place their bets on vaccine

Jan 12 (Island) SL College of Paediatricians (SLCP) yesterday said that a vaccine would be the most effective long-term strategy in the battle against COVID-19 in Sri Lanka and urged the health authorities and the government to take all possible measures, promptly and decisively, to accelerate the process of obtaining COVID-19 vaccines Professor Vasantha Devasiri, President SLCP in a statement said that COVID-19, the most significant pandemic during the lifetime of all of us is never over more..

Three prison officials interdicted for illegally releasing an inmate

Jan 12 (AD) 3 prison officers have been interdicted for unlawfully releasing an inmate incarcerated at the Welikada Prison. The inmate, who was serving a sentence for forging documents, had left the prison on the 25th of Dec with the aid of the 3 prison officers. CID subsequently launched a probe on the matter while a separate investigation was carried out by the Dept of Prisons. According to the information uncovered, two jailers and one prison regulator had been involved in the incident, more..

Risk of new COVID strain entering country very high: Epidemiology chief

Jan 12 (DM) There is a possible risk of the new coronavirus strains found in Britain and South Africa could enter the country, as the borders are opened for foreigners, Chief Epidemiologist Dr. Sudath Samaraweera said. “The research is underway to explore whether the new virus strain contains in the PCR samples taken from people who are coming into the country from overseas,” he said. Though all flights from Britain are suspended, more..

Bogawantalawa Tea Estates signs MoU with Environment Ministry

Jan 12 (TM) Bogawantalawa Tea Estates PLC recently signed a MOU with the Ministry of Environment, towards protecting the biodiversity of the central hills in SL. MOU was signed between Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweera, and Bogawantalawa Tea Estates Chairman Dinesh Ambani. This initiative was inaugurated during a recent visit by the Minister to the company’s plantations. Minister Amaraweera said: “We understand the urgency to take action to more..

Customs busts vehicle import racket under diplomatic cover

Jan 12 (EN) SL Customs said it had busted a racket where accident-damaged cars are packed in containers and imported to the country falsely consigned to an embassy in Colombo. There were two Toyota Hi-Ace vans, three Toyota Vitz cars, one Nissan mini-van, three Hijet mini-vans and three Hustler wagons with accident damage. The vehicles were valued at 55 million rupees, Sri Lanka Customs said, but damaged vehicles can be brought for next to nothing from yards, industry officials said. more..

Waste-fired power plants draw fire for turning one form of pollution into others

Jan 12 (Island) Asolid waste-fired thermal power station is currently under construction at Muthurajawela by the UDA. It is expected to use about 630 MT of waste from Colombo and Gampaha suburbs to generate 10MW a day. Another such plant is under construction in Karadiyana, which will receive 500MT of municipal solid waste a day from the Western Province Waste Management Authority (WPWMA). more..

Swarnamahal Financial Services permitted to resume business for limited purpose

Jan 12 (AD) The Monetary Board of the CB has made an order permitting Swarnamahal Financial Services PLC to resume business notionally for a limited purpose and limited time under the supervision of the Panel of Management appointed by the Monetary Board (Panel of Management), subject to several strict conditions. The permission has been granted in the public interest and in the interests of the depositors of the Company, for a limited period of three (3) months from more..

Cabinet nod to amend Protection of Victims of Crime and Witnesses Act

Jan 12 (DM) Cabinet of Minister today approved the proposal presented by Minister of Justice to amend the Protection of Victims of Crime and Witnesses Act No.04 of 2015. The Protection of Victims of Crime and Witnesses Act No.04 of 2015 provides a number of benefits to victims and witnesses. However, in accordance with the provisions of Section 10 of that Act, a request should be made to the Court of Appeal for bail. Due to this the suspects and the accused have to face inconvenience. more..

Sri Lanka to repay US$ 6,865mn foreign debt in 2021: Minister

Jan 12 (EN) Sri Lanka is making arrangements to repay or roll-over 6,865 million dollars of foreign debt in 2021 Minister Udaya Gammanpila said. He said principle repayments were 5,351 million dollars and interest was 1,514 million dollars, according to information provided by PM and Finance Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa to the cabinet. He said a similar 6.8 billion dollar volume was also owed in 2020 and had been repaid. more..