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SL gears for heavy sports schedule in 2021

Jan 2 (SO) The Olympic Games in Tokyo and the T20 World Cup in India will be the two of the main events among a heavy schedule for Sri Lankan sportsmen and women in the year 2021. The Olympics will have 50 disciplines with 206 nations contesting the 32nd edition from July 23 to Aug 8. It will also mark the second time the Olympic Games is held in Japan after the country hosted its first in 1964 which marked the first time more..

Sri Lanka hope to sustain position in WTC

Jan 2 (DN) SL will look to consolidate their position in the ICC World Test Championship points table when they take on South Africa in the second Test at Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg, commencing on Sunday. SL is currently lying in fifth-place in the updated points table and they could still retain that position if they could emerge victorious and draw the series 1-1. SL of course, started the series with a tally of 91 points and with just a solitary point ahead of their rivals who were on 90 pointts. more..

H'tota Int'l Port marks 3 years in operation

Jan 2 (DM) Hambantota Int'l Port (HIP) marked its third year in operation with a donation of 100 tree saplings. The sapling varieties were specially chosen in consultation with the Hambantota Botanical Gardens and Kaha Mara, Buruta, Bulu, Muna mal and Kubuk were amongst the plants donated to the Hambantota Education Zonal Office. Ray Ren, CEO and Tissa Wickramasinghe COO of HIPG addressed the gathering at the anniversary celebrations, expressing their appreciation of more..

Govt to set up National Gas Company

Jan 2 (FT) The Govt has formulated a National Policy on Natural Gas (NPNG) which will see the establishment of a National Gas Company with necessary powers, resources, and operational independence to handle all Govt economic transactions relating to the natural gas industry in the country. It will be the Single Credible Creditworthy Entity (SCE) to handle all economic transactions pertaining to Natural Gas more..

Ensuring sustainability in the pharma industry: key focus for 2021 says SLCPI

Jan 2 (Island) The Sri Lanka Chamber of the Pharmaceutical Industry (SLCPI) reiterated their commitment towards ensuring the availability of efficacious, safe and good quality medicines to the general public, in the incoming year. When the COVID-19 pandemic forced the country into lockdown earlier this year, many industries, including pharmaceuticals, found themselves facing multiple challenges, which inevitably turned into valuable lessons for the year ahead. more..

SLASSCOM and PwC partner with Pandemic Punditry

Jan 2 (DM) Since the beginning of the pandemic when countries and individuals were pushed to seek virtual alternatives to doing business and life in general, the Marketing Forum of SL Association for Software Services Companies (SLASSCOM) was proactive in engaging its members and the marketing fraternity at large to promoting knowledge sharing. The forum partnered with Pandemic Punditry a popular live video podcast series focused on engaging with entrepreneurs, more..

Inflation increases to 4.2% in December

Jan 2 (TM) Headline inflation, as measured by the year-on-year (YoY) change in the Colombo Consumer Price Index (CCPI, 2013=100) increased marginally to 4.2% in Dec 2020, from 4.1% in Nov 2020. This was driven by the monthly increase of prices of items in both Food and Non-Food categories. Meanwhile, food inflation (YoY) decreased to 9.2% in December 2020, from 10.3% in Nov 2020. more..

Decision to walk premature: Bavuma

Jan 2 (CI) Temba Bavuma has acknowledged that walking after he played and missed on 71 in the Boxing Day Test wasn't the cleverest of things, and hopes to complete unfinished business, in the second Test against SL, which starts on Sunday. Bavuma, who has one Test hundred to his name, scored five years ago, was well set at SuperSport Park when he flashed at a wide Dasun Shanaka delivery, tucked his bat under his arm and left the field without being given out. more..

COVID-19 continues to hunt International events in 2021

Jan 2 (CT) Three major international events which were to be held in the first quarter of 2021 were postponed earlier this week, indicating the demons of COVID-19 will hamper the international event calendar this year too. This has also put into doubt several other International events scheduled for this year, especially in countries which are severely hit by the Pandemic, though the sports world is doing its best to adapt to the new normal by following strict medical guidelines. more..

PUCSL employees call for probe to find out who delayed construction of power plants

Jan 2 (Island) Employees Union of the Public Utilities Commission of SL (EUPUCSL) urged Prez Rajapaksa to appoint a PCoI to find out reasons for the delay in constructing power plants, which has led to costly emergency power purchases. Chairman of the EUPUCSL, Dr. Nilantha Sapumanage said that there was an attempt to mislead the public and policy makers into believing that the PUCSL was responsible for the delay at issue. more..

Business confidence continues to shrink

Jan 2 (FT) Continuing its downward trend, the LMD-Nielsen Business Confidence Index (BCI) fell by eight basis points from the previous month to 83 in December, leading business magazine LMD notes. “This marks the lowest point the index has reached in 2020,” it adds. “As the country continues to grapple with the COVID-19 crisis, and struggles to ensure that there’s continuity in business operations as well as the day-to-day lives of people, the hope of an end to the pandemic is beginning to more..

No breakthroughs in Mawanella

Jan 2 (Island) A number of police and CID teams had been deployed to investigate the disappearance of 15 kilos of explosives from a granite quarry in Molliyagoda, Mawanella, but they had not been able to make a breakthrough, a senior police officer said. CID has questioned all present and past employees of the granite quarry, he said. The person in charge of the explosives been interrogated by several teams. Police officer said: “The owner said that he did not suspect any of his employees.” more..

DEW issues warning over cremation of COVID-19 victims

Jan 2 (Island) Former Minister and Communist Party veteran D.E.W. Gunasekera has urged the SLPP govt to address the simmering crisis over its policy of cremating the Muslims who die of COVID-19. He cautioned that Western powers could exploit the issue to undermine the country as in the past. The former lawmaker issued the warning at party leaders’ meeting chaired by PM Rajapaksa at the Prez Secretariat recently. more..

SLASSCOM and PwC partner with Pandemic Punditry

Jan 2 (DM) Since the beginning of the pandemic when countries and individuals were pushed to seek virtual alternatives to doing business and life in general, Marketing Forum of SL Association for Software Services Companies (SLASSCOM) was proactive in engaging its members and the marketing fraternity at large to promoting knowledge sharing. The forum partnered with Pandemic Punditry a popular live video podcast series focused on engaging with entrepreneurs, more..

ComBank launches CBC Finance as successor to Serendib Finance

Jan 2 (Island) The Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC has announced the launch of CBC Finance Ltd., the Bank’s fully-owned Licenced Non-bank Finance Institution (NBFI), formerly known as Serendib Finance and Indra Finance. The formal re-naming of the entity acquired by the Bank in 2014 marks the completion of its transition into the Commercial Bank Group. The restructured company will operate under its new name and new corporate logo from 30th December 2020, the Bank said. more..

Sri Lanka and Russian health officials discuss COVID-19 vaccine

Jan 2 (FT) Sri Lankan and Russian health officials have held online discussions on the Russian COVID-19 vaccine, Sputnik V, to assess technology used during its development, safety and efficiency, a statement from the Foreign Ministry said. The SL Embassy in Moscow facilitated an online meeting between the Ministry of Health of SL, the health ministry of Russia, and the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and more..

SJB National Organiser predicts doom

Jan 2 (Island) The govt had no plan to face the coming economic crisis created by the downgrading of Sri Lanka by Fitch rating agency to Default Rating (DR) ‘CCC’ from ‘B’, SJB National Organizer, MP Tissa Attanayake said yesterday. This downgrading was indicative of the increasing difficulties the country would face in external-debt repayment in the medium term, he said. “Fitch rating agency says this is due to a sharp rise in the ‘sovereign debt to GDP ratio associated with the coronavirus shock more..

SLBFE starts facility for online complaints

Jan 2 (FT) The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) said the organisation has provided the facility for migrant workers and their families to make online complaints. The SLBFE, issuing a statement, said the new option was available via web portal and once a complaint is made, a dedicated number would be directed to the mobile phone of the complainant. Further updates will be provided once the complaint is directed to the relevant department. more..

Triple clusters exceed 40,000 patients

Jan 2 (FT) Divulapitiya, Peliyagoda and Prisons COVID-19 clusters exceeded 40,000 patients after close to 3 months since the emergence of the Divulapitiya COVID-19 cluster, with the detection of 557 patients yesterday. 555 associates of the Peliyagoda COVID-19 cluster yesterday tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of patients linked to the triple clusters to 40,126. 43,856 have tested positive more..

SL to receive COVID-19 vaccine during 1H

Jan 2 (FT) SL has received a guarantee that 20% of the population will receive the COVID-19 vaccine during the first half of the year, health authorities yesterday stated. According to Chief Epidemiologist Dr. Sudath Samaraweera, the country will benefit from COVAX, which aims for global equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. The initiative is led by the WHO, Gavi & Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). Under the program, SL is to receive sufficient doses for 20% of more..

As Sri Lanka reviews handing over ECT to India, China watches closely

Jan 2 (CT) China's monopoly of loaning big bucks to small nations and eventually buying their loyalty is an open secret and Sri Lanka is also in the deep pockets of China beginning from 2013 when the Hambantota Port was offered to a China State-controlled company. SL ultimately ended up giving it for a 99-year lease to the China Merchants with 80% stake when the GoSL could not repay the initial debt they claimed for developing the port. Since then, Beijing has spread its wings over SL, more..

Change at ICTA helm in the wake of shocking COPE revelations

Jan 2 (Island) Close on the heels of the recent revelation of massive waste, corruption and irregularities at the country’s apex ICT institution, Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA), there has been a change at the helm of the institution. The Parliamentary watchdog – COPE on Dec 08, 2020 exposed staggering losses amounting to over Rs 2.6 bn due to negligence, shortcomings and failure on the part of the ICTA. more..

Another 562 persons recover from COVID-19

Jan 2 (NR) 562 persons who contracted the novel coronavirus have recovered and have been discharged from hospitals, raising the number of recoveries to 36,717. 78 persons were discharged from the Punani Treatment centre, 53 from the Polgolla Treatment centre, 49 from the Hambantota District General hospital and 38 persons from the Bingiriya Treatment centre during the past 24 hours. Accordingly, 6,931 persons including three foreign nationals are currently receiving treatment more..

The dilemma of education

Jan 2 (FT) Real GDP growth in SL was exhibited a declining trend over past five years and it was recorded as 2.3% in the last year. In such environment, one of main macroeconomic targets that was set up in Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour is to achieve a GDP per capita exceeding $ 6,500. However, the goal is partly unrealistic alone with the present governance system and economic disparities triggered by the coronavirus. This article is to spell out one of the major contributing more..

ජ්‍යෙෂ්ඨ මහාචාර්ය සම්පත් අමරතුංග

When a public service is no longer focused on the public

Jan 2 (FT) When a Govt enjoys a sweeping mandate through a landslide victory at the polls, it is not long before they begin to take steps to shape all aspects of public life. In SL, with the political environment reflecting the whims and fancies of the Govt, attention has turned to the public services of the country. According to a circular issued by the Ministry of Public Services, Provincial Councils and Local Govts, when State employees resume work on 1 Jan 2021 they will be required to take more..

IOC makes another donation to combat coronavirus

Jan 2 (Island) Lanka IOC recently handed over a large quantity of hand sanitisers to Sri Lanka Police to assist the latter in their fight against COVID-19. The consignment was handed over by Lanka IOC Managing Director Manoj Gupta to DIG Ajith Rohana. These are to be used primarily for Field Force Headquarters of Sri Lanka Police where about 2000 personnel are deployed. Commandant Field Force Headquarters SSP Chandana J. Kodituwakku was also present on the occasion. more..

Random Rapid Antigen Tests to be conduct in vulnerable areas in the country

Jan 2 (DM) Random Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) will be conducted on persons who live in vulnerable areas in the country to identify COVID-19 patients and treat them, Police Spokesman DIG Ajith Rohana said. He said such tests were conducted yesterday on those leaving the Western Province and several other areas as well. DIG Rohana said that seven more COVID-19 cases were identified through 1,003 Rapid Antigen Tests carried on more..

Seven coronavirus cases detected from Peliyagoda Manning Market

Jan 2 (AD) Random PCR tests have confirmed that seven persons at the new Manning Market Complex in Peliyagoda are positive for Covid-19. Public Health Inspector (PHI) of Peliyagoda UC area, D.H.G. Chinthaka said the PCR tests were carried out on 112 shop owners, employees and customers at the marketplace on Dec 30. The patients will be directed to medical care within the day, he said further. In another development, the postmaster and three employees of Borella Post Office more..

Govt saddled with 60 disputes following shifting of Manning Market to Peliyagoda

Jan 2 (Island) Around 60 disputes had cropped up after the Manning Market was shifted to a new complex at Peliyagoda, State Minister Dr. Nalaka Godahewa said. A committee had been appointed to resolve those issues, he said. Godahewa said: “Some of the people who owned shops at the Manning Market have leased them to others. There have always been some issues between some members of these two groups. They have taken a turn for the worse since we shifted them to more..

Ranjan to host cash dansela for the needy

Jan 2 (DM) MP Ranjan Ramanayake said he will distribute personal funds of Rs. 4 million he received as allowances from the govt to the needy citizens of SL. He made these comments taking to his personal YouTube channel. “Four years ago all MPs received an allowance of Rs. 100,000. There was also an attendance allowance which was raised to Rs. 2,500 from Rs. 500. As an elected MP and an artist I didn’t have a luxurious life. more..

Spreading, emerging of COVID sub-clusters away from WP critical: PHI Union

Jan 2 (DM) A critical situation of spreading and emergence of COVID-19 sub-clusters has been observed away from the Western Province, Public Health Inspectors' (PHI) Union Secretary M. Balasuriya said. He said though COVID-19 situation in the WP seems to have decreased, it has spread to other districts in the country. According to the received data, COVID-19 sub-clusters began to emerge from the areas where the virus haven't been found in districts such as Matale, Kandy, more..

Children’s park for Chenkaladi

Jan 2 (CT) A children park is taking shape with the assistance of villagers and the Army attached to the Eastern Command in the Pulayaveli Village in Chenkaladi, Batticaloa in the Eastern Province. It would be developed and funded by the Eelapatheeswarar Aalayam organisation in the UK. This would also see the construction of a supermarket and hairdressing salon in the Pulayaveli Village, which is in progress, while the marketplace is planned to officially be opened more..

Govt ready to face any challenge at UNHRC

Jan 2 (CT) Minister Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekera said, SLPP Govt was more than capable of facing any kind of charge levelled against the country during the next UNHRC sessions in March. He said, many countries had already assured their support for Sri Lanka at the forthcoming sessions. Dr. Weerasekera made these remarks when asked for his views regarding the decision taken by LTTE sympathisers and the TNA, to exert pressure more..

Tuition classes to be allowed to resume after schools reopen

Jan 2 (AD) The Epidemiology Unit says steps are being taken to allow tuition classes to continue with adherence to health and safety measures, following the resumption of academic activities at schools. Addressing a press conference held in Colombo today (2), Chief Epidemiologist Dr Sudath Samaraweera said plans are underway to resume academic activities of school children without delay, as last year saw a huge drawback in education due to the virus outbreak. more..

SL is only govt that paid salaries, allowances to state workers on time; PB

Jan 2 (DM) Secretary to the President P.B. Jayasundera said despite the severe financial difficulties, Sri Lanka is the only government in the world that had paid salaries and allowances to over 1.5 million public servants and over 600,000 retirees on time without any deductions. The entire public service should be sincerely committed to an efficient and effective public service as per the Saubhagyaye Dekma policy framework, Secretary to the President stated. more..

Academics to lead virtual protest

Jan 2 (CT) A virtual protest on Zoom, involving around 1,000 persons, demanding the East Container Terminal (ECT) at the Port of Colombo not be handed over to Indian Adani Group, will be held on 9 Jan 2021. During the zoom protest, several academics including Professors L. Gunaruwan and Sumanasiri Liyanage and Dr. Dharini Rajasingham will share their views on the subject. Govt is currently holding discussions with more..

Sri Lanka gets five new Majors General

Jan 2 (CT) Prez Rajapaksa, on the recommendation of Army Commander and Chief of Defence Staff, General Shavendra Silva, promoted five senior Brigadiers to the rank of Major General, the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) reported on 31 December 2020. They were the General Officer - Commanding of the 59 Division, Brigadier Manoj Lamahewa (of the SL Artillery), the Brigadier General Staff of the Security Forces Headquarters (SFHQ) – Kilinochchi, Brigadier Ajith Dissanayake (of SL Artillery), more..

Five arrested for vandalizing wildlife office in Panama

Jan 2 (AD) Police have arrested five persons for causing property damages to the Wildlife Office in Panama. The suspects had vandalized the wildlife office building last night (1) over the death of a man due to an attack by a leopard, DIG Ajith Rohana said. Two motorcycles and a three-wheeler were also taken into custody along with the suspects. The arrestees are to be produced before the court today (Jan 2) and the Panama Police is conducting further investigations into the incident. more..

FSP to crank up union action until govt, fulfils promises to workers

Jan 2 (Island) The Frontline Socialist Party (FSP) said it would carry out a series of trade union action this month to force the govt to fulfil its promises to the workers, FSP Propaganda Secretary, Duminda Nagamuwa said. He said the govt had promised to increase the daily wage of estate workers to Rs. 1,000, confirm the recently recruited development officers in service and increase teacher salaries. FSP would continue labour agitation more..