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'Govt is trapped in a huge mess & muddle'

Jan 22 (DM) Daily Mirror sat with former Economic Affairs State Minister and SJB MP, Dr. Harsha De Silva to discuss the Economy, Politics, Current Affairs and a few other burning issues faced by the people. Q: The country is in dire straits economically, socially and in respect of inter-communal harmony. The unprecedented onslaught by the COVID-19 pandemic has made the situation worse. How can SL get out of this mess? more..

The Broken Promise and a broken cinema

Jan 22 (DM) When one walks along the road of Sinhala cinema that spanned 74 years on Jan 21 (yesterday) it brings both tears and joy. The Sinhala SL cinema commenced in 1947 with the screening of Kadawuna Poronduwa (the Broken Promise) which set the stage for more memorable films. The industry which produced films that touched the hearts of the audience and thrived now gasps for breath due to the present pandemic and the lack of quality movies. more..

That hazardous Ratmalana wall

Jan 22 (Island) The majority of the Air Safety experts and all experienced pilots in SL say that the potentially hazardous concrete wall at the Galle Road end of the Colombo Int'l Airport Ratmalana should be removed and replaced with a fence capable of arresting an over running aircraft, if necessary. When the possible hazards were highlighted to the three owners of the said wall, it was the SL Air Force (SLAF) that declared first that as there was no war situation at present, more..

Teacher transfer causes controversy

Jan 22 (CT) Researches around the world confirm the success of SL’s education system; comparing it with the others around the region, but they don’t emphasise its shortcomings. Reduction of gender disparities is a known positive fact in SL’s education system; – The Free Education system has fostered the notion of equal opportunity. In fact, in higher levels of education, women are more likely to complete their education than men. more..

MR Vs Biden

Jan 22 (CT) Democrat Joseph Biden (78) winner at the 49th US Prez Poll held on 3 Nov of last year, was sworn in as the USA’s 46th President on Wednesday. A lawyer by profession and born to a working class family, Biden has been in active politics for the past 51 years, cutting his teeth in politics by being elected to the New Castle County Council on the Democrat ticket in 1970 as a 27-year-old. In SL, the only person who has been as long as Biden in politics is former Prez and now more..

Editorial: Of those walls

Jan 22 (Island) Walls are meant to ensure safety. Most houses in this country have boundary walls that are as tall as those around prisons, for there are more criminals at large than behind bars, and the law-abiding people fear for their safety. But walls can also be a source of danger if they are jerrybuilt or happen to sit in the wrong places like the one along a section of the perimeter of the Ratmalana Airport near the Galle road. A veteran SL pilot, who writes to this newspaper under a pseudonym, more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Tamil Nadu politics behind India’s new hardline on Lanka

Jan 22 (DM) Early this month, when India intervened in what was Sri Lanka’s internal security matter to end a protest campaign outside the Jaffna University main gate, it evoked the memories of the tumultuous phase of India-Sri Lanka relations and New Delhi’s arm-twisting diplomacy in the early years of the separatist war in Sri Lanka. Those were the days when India’s then High Commissioner J.N. Dixit was acting like a viceroy and India was regarded as Sri Lanka’s public enemy number one, more..

SLSCA seek approval from higher authorities to begin U-19 cricket

Jan 22 (ST) Focusing on the ICC Youth World Cup 2022, the SL Schools Cricket Association (SLSCA) is on the verge of obtaining permission from the Ministry of Education to resume schools cricket with a Limite Overs tournament. With all sports activities coming to a standstill since March 2020 due to COVID-19, schools sports, including cricket, has faced a major setback sans activities for almost 11 months. With school players needing time and training prior to the biannual world event, more..

All 9 provinces object amended Schools Sports Development Circular

Jan 22 (ST) A strong protestation has been placed by all nine provinces for the amended Schools Sports Development Circular (34/2016), which was sanctioned by Secretary of Ministry of Education. One of the main reasons for the united objection is known as ignoring the initial agreement made with the directors and divisional directors of the 98 Educational Zones with regard to the final decisions of the amendments and more..

James Anderson recalled in place of Stuart Broad for second Test

Jan 22 (CI) James Anderson has been recalled by England for Friday's second Test against SL in Galle, at the expense of his long-term new-ball partner Stuart Broad, in a solitary change to the side that won the first Test by seven wickets earlier this week. Broad excelled in tricky conditions for fast bowling in the opening match, claiming 3 for 20 in SL's first-innings total of 135, before serving up 11 maidens out of 17 in their second to help restrict England's eventual target to a manageable 74. more..

Modern Indoor Cricket Complex at Piliyandala Grand Park Arena

Jan 22 (DN) SLC chairman Shammi Silva opened a new state of the art Indoor Cricket Complex named Grand Park Arena in Piliyandala. Officials from the Ministry of Sports, SLC, Sports Directors of the Tri Forces, Media and other sport dignitaries also participated in the opening ceremony. This private venture fully owned by Eran Ranasinghe will eventually see Grand Park Arena complete its other planned facilities such as a badminton court, gymnasium and a swimming pool in stages. more..

We have something up our sleeve

Jan 22 (CT) Despite England winning the last five Test matches, Dinesh Chandimal said that Sri Lanka has something up their sleeve walking into the second and final Test of the series which commences today in Galle. Sri Lankan team was rocked by several scandals this week with several reports on fitness fixing, bribing support staff to pass fitness tests, and alleged misbehavior between players and support staff. more..

Some thoughts on the Fall Army worm

Jan 22 (SO) The Fall Army worm (FAW) recorded for the first time in SL in Aug 2018 on maize is a moth, whose larva (Senadalambuwa) is one of the most devastating pests of agriculture. It is native to the tropical and sub- tropical Americas and found its way to several African countries in 2016 and then spread to China, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand and SL. Unlike most other insect pests, it is polyphagous in the extreme, attacking leaves, stems and reproductive parts of more..

Vehicle registration up in December

Jan 22 (DN) Total vehicle registrations recorded 4,407 units in December up from 2,868 units in November. There was also an increase in sales of locally assembled vehicles. Industry sources confirm that this is not an indication of an uptick in sales but due to the shifting of registrations from the month of Nov to Dec. The registrar of motor vehicles was closed during a period in November on account of social distancing measures taken due to Covid19. Locally assembled Zotye cars (Ideal motors) more..

President appoints CoI on human rights

Jan 22 (FT) Prez Rajapaksa has appointed a 3-member commission to identify the findings of the preceding Commissions and Committees that probed human rights violations and what progress has been made in the implementation of their recommendations in terms of the existing law and what further steps need to be taken in line with the present Govt policy. Commission is headed by SC Justice more..

Eight Sri Lanka cricketers fail fitness tests

Jan 22 (Island) Sri Lanka Cricket has issued an ultimatum to its contracted players after eight of them failed a fitness test in Colombo. A pool of 20 shortlisted players for the upcoming tour of West Indies underwent fitness tests in Colombo and eight of them did poorly failing the tests. The list includes several permanent members in the side and some senior players. The players have now been given an ultimatum to get their act together before another fitness test on February 3rd. more..

Turkey, SL have completely friendly relations

Jan 22 (AA) Turkey politically has no problems with Sri Lanka and the two countries have completely friendly relations, according to a Turkish official. The two countries are fighting against separatist terrorism and have similar problems, Turkey’s former ambassador to SL Tunca Ozcuhadar said in a video conference with Cemal Demir, head of the Istanbul-based South Asia Strategic Research Center (GASAM). Also, especially in the int'l area, both countries support all their draft resolutions more..

SLC to inquire into alleged misbehavior

Jan 22 (CT) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has requested Team Manager Asantha de Mel to submit a report into alleged misbehaviour involving a female doctor and a young SL cricketer within the National team’s bio bubble during the first Test. The alleged incident was reported widely on social media on Wednesday, tarnishing the image of the National team. Regarding the incident SLC said in a media statement yesterday: more..

Gammanpila corrects and challenges Harsha

Jan 22 (FT) Minister Udaya Gammanpila has sent the following clarification with regard to the Daily FT article titled Govt. two-faced on debt: Harsha, published on 14 Jan: Kindly be noted that the article has mentioned a different opinion to what was expressed by me and therefore it gives an incorrect message to the general public. The fourth paragraph of the article quotes my fellow MP Dr. Harsha de Silva mentioning I had appealed the creditors to rollover part of $ 6.86 billion of debt in 2021. more..

Sri Lanka Tourism goes digital

Jan 22 (CT) As experts say the global COVID-19 pandemic provided all industries some space to capitalise on available opportunities. Thus, the tourism industry being the worst affected has no doubt also received some space to plan for the future; focus on least attentive areas such as human capital development, tourism promotion and strategic plans to revive in the new normal with changed requirements of travellers. Besides, this is the time that the importance of technology more..

GL sounds far-reaching educational reforms

Jan 22 (Island) Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris acknowledged that for want of tangible measures on the part of successive govts, there was a critical mismatch between the education provided and the availability of job opportunities. The academic, in quarantine as a result being identified as potential Covid-19 contact, emphasised the need for far reaching changes to address the issue as part of their efforts to restructure the entire system. more..

Hotels Chief welcomes airport opening but urges stakeholders to be cautious

Jan 22 (FT) Hotels Association of SL (THASL) welcomed the reopening of the borders for foreign visitors, saying it would greatly benefit millions of livelihoods which were dependent on the tourism industry. However, THASL appealed to all stakeholders to maintain extreme caution and adherence to health and safety guidelines, paramount to resume sustainable growth in the months ahead. “We appeal to the general public to cooperate and support us in this journey to more..

Dhammika drives stock market to dizzy heights with mega share sub-division move

Jan 22 (FT) Business leader Dhammika Perera picked perhaps an auspicious 21.1.21 to unleash a sensational move of share splits of his flagship export-rich diversified blue-chip Hayleys PLC and several subsidiaries sending the stock market to dizzy heights with investors scrambling to grab stocks. Hayleys announced a share split of one share into 10 and 13 other companies in which Hayleys and Dhammika has control announced straight forward sub-division. more..

Call to adopt strict, authorised regulatory mechanism at private hospitals

Jan 22 (DN) General Shavendra Silva and Director General of Health Services, Dr. Asela Gunawardena on Wednesday jointly met a representative gathering of private sector laboratory technicians and discussed the possibilities of implementing a common regulatory mechanism for conduct of antigen and PCR tests giving priority to BOI approved garment industry employees, those proceeding overseas, more..

UL steps up tourism push; will fly to Moscow twice a week from Feb.

Jan 22 (FT) SriLankan Airlines said yesterday it will step up the country’s fresh push to woo tourists by starting twice weekly flights to Russian capital Moscow from February. “As the national carrier we are ready to attract tourists now that the country has reopened the borders, which we actively campaigned for,” SriLankan Airlines Chairman Ashok Pathirage said. He said plans are underway to look at new destinations and SriLankan Airlines hopes to start flights to Moscow by mid-February. more..

Reliability of Sri Lanka's batting under scrutiny as England target 2-0 sweep

Jan 22 (CI) What can we make of cricket played in such abnormal conditions? England's victory in Galle was substantial, and yet it was the kind of Test that didn't reveal a lot about either team. This is largely down to Sri Lanka's 135 in the first innings - their monument to incompetence, under the shadow of which the remainder of the Test was played. They batted more normally in the second dig, which perhaps provided a more accurate account of their batting ability. more..

Highest daily COVID-19 cases recorded with 887 testing positive

Jan 22 (FT) Over 800 persons tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday, bringing the country’s total COVID-19 patient count to 56,076. According to Dept of Govt Information, 887 COVID-19 patients were detected in the island yesterday and this is the highest number of patients detected in a day. On 2 Dec 2020, 878 persons tested positive for the virus and 866 persons tested positive for COVID-19 on 23 Oct 2020. more..

Decision on release of Rajiv Gandhi killers in a month, Supreme Court told

Jan 22 (HT) TN governor Banwarilal Purohit would take a decision in a four weeks on the state govt’s recommendation to release the seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, the centre on Thursday informed the Supreme Court. This comes as a significant development just months ahead of TN’s assembly elections slated for April-May. The Raj Bhavan in Chennai said that an official communication would follow after receiving information from solicitor general Mehta. more..

Govt approves two new airlines to operate to Sri Lanka; 4 more queued up

Jan 22 (FT) Govt has approved two new airlines to operate into SL, increasing the number of registered carriers to nearly 40. Ethiopian Airlines and Maldivian Airlines are the two approved so far among six new applications received by the Civil Aviation Authority of SL (CAASL). The approval of GoAir – an Indian low-cost airline; Sky Capital Airlines – a Bangladesh cargo airline; Jetsar – an Australian low-cost airline; Air Falcon – a cargo carrier from Pakistan; and Jazeera Airways more..

Ayubowan again to the world

Jan 22 (FT) Fifteen leisure visitors arrived yesterday as Sri Lanka reopened borders after 10 months of closure, giving a lifeline to the tourism industry – the most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Five of the 15 tourists who arrived in Oman Air, the first commercial flight to land, were from Germany and Turkey, while last night 10 British and Dutch business executives based in Dubai arrived via Emirates. more..

COVID-19 death toll rises to 276

Jan 22 (FT) Health authorities confirmed two Covid-19 deaths, bringing SL’s total Covid-19 death toll to 276. The death that occurred on 20 Jan was that of a 71-year-old individual from Peliyagoda. She tested positive for the virus while receiving treatment at the National Hospital of SL and was transferred to the Colombo East Base Hospital. However, she died of acute pneumonia. Authorities also confirmed that the death of a 46-year-old individual from Athurugiriya on 19 Jan was Covid-19-related. more..

Bodies of four fishermen from Tamil Nadu found in Sri Lanka

Jan 22 (TOI) The bodies of four TN fishermen reported missing since they went out to sea from the Kottaipatinam jetty in Pudukottai district last Monday washed ashore on a SL beach on Thursday, Indian high commission in Colombo was informed. Another group of fishermen who had set sail alongside the boat carrying the victims alleged that the quartet was attacked by the SL Navy while fishing mid-sea. Navy officials on Thursday ay contacted Indian mission to say that the bodies had been found. more..

Karu says alleged sugar tax fraud could sour President’s reputation

Jan 22 (FT) NMSJ Chairman Karu Jayasuriya said that the failure on the part of the Govt to explain the massive fraud of Rs. 10 billion that had allegedly taken place due to the cut in the sugar tax was a serious blow to the confidence that the people of this country had in the Prez. He said the Chairman of a Govt institution who resigned recently was suspected of being either involved in or aiding such a massive fraud but he still continued to more..

What is wrong with the Judiciary?

Jan 22 (FT) It is clear that the sentence imposed on MP Ranjan Ramanayake by SC and its magnitude has generated great public sympathy for Ranjan and protest against the Judiciary. The apparent absurd nature of certain proceedings of the Judiciary over a long period also seems to have become another important factor influencing the public protest. State of SL, which was in a condition of degeneration caused by the persistent neglect of essential reforms, is collapsing before our eyes. more..

SL, Vietnam ICT sectors explore co-operation

Jan 22 (EN) Information and communications industries of SL and Vietnam had a virtual meeting to discuss future co-operation, Colombo’s embassy in Hanoi said. “The two sides also agreed to together explore business ventures in software development, outsourcing, BPO and other sectors,” the embassy said. “Vietnamese organizations will be inviting their SL counterparts to participate at major IT events they hold in Viet Nam in the future. “The potential of Viet Nam’s initiatives in their more..

ධම්මික බණ්ඩාර දත් දොස්තර ගුටි කෙලිය

One young girl who united all Sri Lankans… and she wears a head scarf

Jan 22 (FT) When Shukra Munawwar excelled in the SL version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire on a local TV channel, the 17-year-old schoolgirl from the south of SL brought all Sri Lankans together in one joyous celebration. It was not just her sincerity, her candid and cheerful demeanour that captured the hearts across religious and ethnic divides. It was her story, her talent, her skill and her determination. Shukra, beautifully clad in a head scarf and exceptionally knowledgeable in her answers, more..

Chandana de Silva appointed Chairman of Janashakthi Group

Jan 22 (FT) Janashakthi Ltd. announced the appointment of Chandana de Silva as the Group’s Chairman with effect from 1 January 2021. Prakash Schaffter will continue to focus on its Group companies in his executive role as Deputy Chairman/ CEO. Chandana de Silva holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and Management from the University of London, UK and is a Fellow Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and in SL. more..

Video: Sri Lanka approves emergency use of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine

Jan 22 (AD) National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) has granted the approval for emergency use of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine for Covid-19 infection in Sri Lanka. State Minister Prof. Channa Jayasumana said the decision was taken during a recent meeting held with the NMRA. Accordingly, the authorities hope to roll out Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines in Sri Lanka soon, the state minister said further. more..