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Athuraliye Rathana Himi

US Congress paves way for Jan. 20 inauguration

Jan 14 (DM) Despite his pompous arrogance and vitriolic rhetoric since losing the November 3 election, US President Donald J. Trump, has had to finally accede to the sovereign will of the people -- a vital cog in a vibrant democratic system of governance. With the Electoral College votes having been formally counted on Jan 6, at a joint session of the US Congress comprising members of the House of Representatives and the Senate, amid the violence unleashed on Capitol Hill by more..

Amendment to Antiquities Ordinance: A boost to destruction of antiquities

Jan 14 (Island) It has been reported that the Ministry of Justice is moving to amend the Antiquities Ordinance, repealing the provisions therein preventing the courts from releasing persons charged with or accused of offences under the Antiquities Ordinance on bail. Under the proposed amendment, the Magistrate’s Court is to be given power to release such persons on bail. This proposal is made in the guise of a measure to reduce prison congestion. more..

Mullivaikkal memorial monument: A tale of Antigone?

Jan 14 (DM) Nevertheless, there are honours due to all dead,- Antigone. On Jan 8, the Mullivaikkal monument in the Jaffna Uni was demolished leading to students and residents protesting against the act. In SL, a polarization of opinions was seen in response to this demolition. While some condemned the demolition, some saw it as an act propelling the country towards peace and reconciliation. Many who condemned the demolition were more..

Sajin Vass’ money laundering case trial on March 1

Jan 14 (DN) The case filed against former UPFA MP Sajin de Vass Gunawardena over money laundering charges amounting to over Rs.300 million was yesterday fixed for further trial on March 1 by the Colombo High Court. The case was taken up before Colombo High Court Judge Damith Thotawatta. Sajin de Vass was indicted by the Attorney General (AG) on charges of money laundering amounting to over Rs.306.26 million, under Section 3 [1] [a] of Money Laundering Act No 05 of 2006 more..

Tea Board to sign MoU with Chinese firm to market Ceylon tea

Jan 14 (DM) Sri Lanka Tea Board (SLTB) has been granted Cabinet approval to sign a MoU with Fujian Star China Int'l Trade Company Ltd, a subsidiary of Bennie Tea Industry Company Limited, for the marketing of pure Ceylon tea via both online and offline channels in China, which includes developing a 5G online marketing platform. “The company has agreed under the said MoU to develop a 5G online marketing platform that caters to the network of storing and handing over in China more..

Mathews, Chandimal boost for struggling SL

Jan 14 (CI) Batsman Angelo Mathews and fast bowler Nuwan Pradeep are among five players who have joined the Sri Lanka bio-bubble since their return from South Africa. They, along with batsman Roshen Silva, spin-bowling allrounder Ramesh Mendis, and left-arm wristspinner Lakshan Sandakan have now officially been named in the squad to play England, in the Test series that starts Wednesday. more..

Why national cricketers break down often

Jan 14 (ST) Injuries have plagued the SL national cricket team over the past five years. No single individual can be blamed for this state of affairs. Rather, it is the failure of the system to ensure that the efforts of all stakeholders are synergised into one comprehensive plan that will result in the prevention of injuries and the maximisation of the performance of the team. While the poor scheduling and timing of the LPL could be one reason for the spate of injuries on the South African tour, more..

Hasali dominates Vonara to enter semis

Jan 14 (CT) Young tennis sensation Hasali Gajaba booked her slot in the semi-final of the ongoing Tennis Nationals, when she dominated Vonara de Alwis (6/0, 6/1) in two straight sets at SLTA hard courts yesterday. Pummeling her high-velocity groundstrokes deep into the corners, Hasali attacked from the word go and never let her opponent settle down by putting constant pressure on Vonara to clinch the match quite comfortably. Hasali’s sensational performance means more..

Dimuth ruled out from First Test

Jan 14 (CT) SL skipper Dimuth Karunarathne was ruled out from the first Test against England today in Galle since he is yet to recover from the thumb injury sustained during the second Test in South Africa. Ceylon Today reliably learns Dimuth was ruled out at the eleventh hour and Dinesh Chandimal is now likely to lead the team in Dimuth’s absence. Heading into the series, Sri Lanka is back in action after their recent more..

Rain threatens to play spoil sport at Galle

Jan 14 (DN) Sri Lanka’s hopes of producing an improved performance in the first Test against England are likely to be hampered by inclement weather with heavy rain predicted within the next five days in Galle. As a result, the Galle Cricket Stadium has been waterlogged. Heavy rain during the last few days, have prevented the visitors from having practice sessions while the home team cancelled their final preparations yesterday due to the soggy ground condition. more..

PM’s Thai Pongal message

Jan 14 (GDI) It is with immense pleasure that I wish all Tamil devotees in Sri lanka and all over the world a very happy Thai Pongal festival. In the Hindu-Tamil Calendar, the first month of the year is known as Thai, and Pongal infers a new dawn. The arrival of a new harvest is celebrated on the day of Thai Pongal. It venerates Mother Nature and the Sun God, as an expression of gratitude for a bountiful harvest. This celebration of the dawn of the new year is both culturally and religiously significant more..

CSE earnings to grow 39% in 2021

Jan 14 (CT) Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) earnings are expected to grow 39% in 2021 compared to a -8% earnings contraction in 2020, Colombo based equity research arm of CT CLSA Securities Ltd stated. “Consequently, CSE is expected to re-rate based on its 1-year forward earnings (PER) multiple of 8.7X. With the global trade also likely to recover in the near term, more..

Prez’s Thai Pongal message

Jan 14 (GDI) Thai Pongal, also known as the Festival of Harvest, is one of the foremost religious and cultural festivals celebrated by Tamils around the globe. It signifies paying gratitude to the Sun, on which farmers rely for a bountiful harvest and the traditional way of life tied to agriculture and Mother Nature. Tamils who live by the Hindu faith consider Thai Pongal to mark the dawn of a new year during which their expectations would be fulfilled. On this joyful occasion, more..

Viet Nam Sri Lanka cooperation focus on agriculture and fisheries sectors

Jan 14 (MFA) During a farewell call on Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena on 12 Jan, the Ambassador of Viet Nam in Colombo, Pham ThiBich Ngoc endorsed that SL and Viet Nam have immense potential for cooperation in the agriculture and fisheries sectors. Ambassador stated that Vietnam can share their best practices, knowledge and technology transfer, in particular. Minister emphasized areas such as the canning industry, especially fish canning, fish feed production more..

Despite promises Govt failed to charge Easter attack masterminds: Eran

Jan 14 (FT) SJB MP Eran Wickramaratne faulted the Govt for failing to charge suspects connected to the Easter Sunday bombings to date, despite coming to power promising justice for the victims and campaigning on promoting national security. He pointed out that the US Justice Dept had filed criminal charges against three suspects linked to the Easter Sunday bombings following a two-year-long investigation. more..

World Bank appoints Lankan as a Climate Ambassador

Jan 14 (Island) Global Youth Climate Network (GYCN), an initiative of the World Bank Group, has appointed Sri Lankan Talal Rafi as a Climate Ambassador for 2021. GYCN is part of the World Bank’s Y2Y Community, a network of young professionals dedicated to inspiring, engaging and empowering young people in global development. The initiative motivates young people to work together to develop and implement innovative programmes alleviating climate change and more..

Ranjan’s imprisonment saddens me: Johnston

Jan 14 (CT) Mentioning it was not something to be happy about someone being imprisoned, Minister Johnston Fernando said he was saddened over MP Ranjan Ramanayake being imprisoned. He expressed these views during an observation tour of Ornamental Fish Breeding and Training Centre in Rideegama on 12. “I do not want anyone to go to jail. During the previous regime, they had made false allegations, fabricated evidence, talked to judges, and committed various misconducts. more..

Ranil stays put as UNP leader

Jan 14 (Island) UNP Working Committee yesterday unanimously appointed former Galle District lawmaker Vajira Abeywardena the party Chairman. The WC met at Sirikotha under the leadership of UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe. The meeting lasted for about one hour. Abeywardena succeeded Kabir Hashim, who switched his allegiance to the then UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa in the run-up to more..

Suwa Seriya staff in vaccine priority list

Jan 14 (TM) State Minister Dr. Sudharshini Fernandopulle stated that the 1990 Suwa Seriya emergency ambulance staff, who have undertaken a massive responsibility in curtailing the spread of the Covid pandemic, would be included in the priority list of coronavirus vaccine recipients. State Minister made this statement while joining an observation visit to the 1990 Suwa Seriya Foundation Head Office. While observing the tasks and operations carried out by Suwa Seriya in the wake of more..

Batti tops Dengue list for 2021

Jan 14 (CT) The highest number of dengue patients recorded this year was reported from the Batticaloa District. As recorded, 67% of total dengue patients in Sri Lanka were reported from the Batticaloa District. 554 dengue patients have been reported from several Districts in the country from 1 Jan to 12 Jan. Thus, the highest number of 372 patients has been reported from the Batticaloa District while the second highest number of 56 patients has been reported from the Colombo District. more..

Govt two-faced on debt: Harsha

Jan 14 (FT) SJB MP Dr. Harsha de Silva accused the Govt of following a two-faced policy on debt management by reassuring the public of a healthy economy while publishing advertisements calling for investors to purchase $ 200 million worth of bonds this month. He charged that the Govt frequently defends its economic policy in and out of the Parliament, claiming that investor confidence was growing and more..

Seven airlines announce plans to operate scheduled flights when airport reopens

Jan 14 (FT) A total of seven airlines have so far announced plans to operate scheduled flights once the airport reopens on 21 Jan. The int'l airlines are Emirates, Qatar Airways, Etihad, Turkish Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Kuwait Airlines and Oman Airlines. However, the CAA official said these airlines were yet to file their schedule of flights but were likely to do so by next week. Industry sources said the given the COVID-19 pandemic the frequency of flights would be kept at a minimum more..

Covid-19: Hotels used for quarantine targeted by extortionists: Army Chief

Jan 14 (Island) There had been several attempts to extort money from hotels authorised to quarantine persons arriving from overseas, Army Commander General Shavendra Silva said on Tuesday (12). Army Chief, assured hotel owners/hoteliers/ hotel executives that they would be protected. Gen. Silva said that they had been able to thwart several such attempts after the second Covid-19 outbreak in Oct last year. The Army Chief emphasized that hotels shouldn’t pay anyone to secure business. more..

Total COVID-19 patient count exceeds 50,000

Jan 14 (FT) The detection of 692 COVID-19 patients yesterday brought the total number of persons to test positive for COVID-19 in the island to 50,229, close to a year since the first COVID-19 patient was detected in the island on 27 Jan 2020. The patients detected yesterday include 685 associates of the Peliyagoda COVID-19 cluster and two persons linked to the Prisons COVID-19 cluster. more..

Covid-19 death toll climbs to 247

Jan 14 (AD) Sri Lanka has registered 3 more coronavirus-related deaths. Following the new development, total deaths reported in the country has climbed to 247. One of the deceased is a 66-year-old male from the Battaramulla area. He had been transferred to the Homagama Base Hospital from the Colombo National Hospital after being diagnosed with COVID-19. He had passed away yesterday (12) from a heart condition due to COVID-19 infection. more..

New COVID-19 variant: Person infected is a visiting overseas cricketer: DHDG

Jan 14 (DM) The person who was found to have been infected with new COVID-19 variant was a visiting overseas cricketer who had come from UK on January (3), Deputy Director General of Public Health Services, Dr. Hemantha Herath said. He said all precautionary measures have been taken in order to prevent the new virus spreading from him, since the day he was diagnosed with the virus. “Hence, there was no necessity for people to panic but follow strict Health guidelines as usual,” he said. more..

SJB MPs submit letter to Speaker claiming threat to silence them

Jan 14 (Island) Fifteen SJB MPs yesterday handed over a letter to Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena asking him to ensure the MPs’ right of speech in Parliament. The letter signed by 16 MPs was handed over to the Speaker at his office in the parliamentary complex yesterday. The letter states that each MP has a right to express his or her opinions in the House as representatives of the people and Parliament is the place for more..

Kandy District road development to be expedited

Jan 14 (DN) State Minister Nimal Lanza said that the proposed road development activities, road widening and construction of tunnels will be expedited to reduce traffic congestion in Kandy. He was speaking at a meeting of the Rural Infrastructure Development Committee in the Kandy District on Tuesday at the District Secretariat regarding the scope of the Ministry. “Arrangements have been made to implement rural road development activities, urban access roads, access roads connecting more..

Six test positive through 504 RATs on those leaving WP

Jan 14 (DM) Six persons tested positive with COVID-19 through 504 random Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) conducted yesterday on those leaving the Western Province. DIG Ajith Rohana said that steps have been taken to resume Rapid Antigen Tests at 11 exit points in the Western Province from yesterday. Meanwhile, spokesman said that random RATs will also be conducted on passengers or the drivers and conductors of long distance buses operating from Colombo, especially to N&E provinces more..

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When the Devil rules…

Jan 14 (FT) Pei aracandal pinam thinnum caththirankal (when the devil rules scholarship eats cadaver), wrote the famous Tamil poet Bharathi, in his memorable Panchali Cabatham. He was referring to the silence of the learned at Dhuriyothana’s court, when the ruler’s brother Dhuchchathana dragged Pandavas’ wife Dhrawpatha by her hair to be stripped in front of everyone. It was Lord Krishna who protected her, which eventually became casus belli for more..

The new camp of SL’s progressive politics

Jan 14 (FT) It was a double bonus to see Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka’s response to me on 1 Jan when I picked up Daily FT in the morning. First, he had responded to me in a matter of two days, and that is a favour I could not return, regrettably. Second, and more importantly, the title of his reply Saving SL’s democracy: A strategic perspective, signified that I could expect to read some actionable and positive recommendations useful to the progressive camp in defence & strengthening of democracy in SL. more..

War is in the air?

Jan 14 (FT) A beleaguered president stages a phony war to rescue his political future. So goes the plot of Larry Beinart’s 1992 novel, American Hero and the 1997 movie it inspired, Wag the Dog. Wag the dog is an Americanism; Merriam Webster traces it to 1858 play, Our American Cousin. The phenomenon it encapsulates though is universal and timeless – political leaders, from monarchs to more..

MP Sritharan sets poser for UGC

Jan 14 (Island) TNA MP S. Sritharan says that if the UGC considers the Mullivaikkal Memorial being re-erected in the Jaffna University premises an illegal construction then it should take action to remove various other memorials in other universities too. MP Sritharan speaking to the media, on Tuesday, in Kilinochchi said that there were many memorials in other universities and there was nothing different between them and the one to be erected in the Jaffna University. more..

British Council to harness power of creativity with Creative Economy for Sustainable...

Jan 14 (FT) Sri Lanka’s creative industries’ significant economic footprint and employment potential became evident last year when a nationwide research commissioned by the British Council uncovered that Sri Lanka’s creative economy has shown steady growth of 95%, rising its GDP contribution from $ 433.62 million to $ 845.41 million within four years. The study was conducted by the Institute of Policy Studies in Sri Lanka, and commissioned by the British Council. more..

Sri Lanka revives port deal with India, Japan

Jan 14 (AFP) Prez Rajapaksa on Wednesday announced the revival of an Indian and Japanese investment project to develop a deep-sea terminal in Colombo harbour, next to a controversial $500-million Chinese-run container jetty. A tripartite deal by SL's previous govt had been on hold amid trade union resistance, but Rajapaksa said the East Container Terminal (ECT) would proceed. Approval came after reviewing regional geo-political more..

PHIs unable to trace Dr. Padeniya to place him under quarantine

Jan 14 (DM) Public Health Inspectors have been unable to contact GMOA Head Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya as of this evening to place him under quarantine after one of the doctors who had attended a party hosted by Dr. Padeniya at his residence in Kelaniya contracted Covid-19. The area PHI said that they had visited his residence twice but could not find him. Subsequently, they had brought this to the notice of the Kelaniya MOH. Dr. Padeniya had organised a party at his residence more..

Japan suspends business visit program for 11 economies including Sri Lanka

Jan 14 (AD) Japan has suspended a program that allowed business visits by people from certain economies as it tightened border restrictions over renewed coronavirus fears. Japanese PM Yoshihide Suga on Wednesday announced the clampdown on entry by businesspeople from Vietnam, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Singapore, SL, and Malaysia. It means no foreigner would be allowed to enter except for special reasons like attending a relative’s more..

Sri Lanka: A return to threats, fear

Jan 14 (HRW) SL’s human rights situation has seriously deteriorated under the administration of Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2021. Govt security forces have increased intimidation and surveillance of human rights activists, victims of past abuses, lawyers, and journalists. Minority Muslim and Tamil communities have faced discrimination and threats. more..