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Video: Sri Lanka to commence COVID-19 vaccine drive on Thursday

Jan 25 (AD) SL’s coronavirus vaccine drive is scheduled to commence from Jan 28, after receiving the first stock of vaccines on Jan 27, says State Minister Prof. Channa Jayasumana. He also spoke on the order of priority in which vaccinations will be given. Jayasumana said, “All 500,000 of these vaccines are donated. There is no cost for that. This vaccine is mostly useful for people over 18 years of age. The population of people above 18 years in our country is nearly 2/3rds of total population. more..

Video: Schools in non-isolated areas in WP to reopen for O/L students today

Jan 25 (AD) Schools in non-isolated police areas in Western Province will reopen today only for students sitting for GCE O/L Exam in March, says Minister of Education Prof. G.L. Peiris. The exam is scheduled to be held from 01st to 11th of March and a total of 79,000 candidates will be facing the test from the Western Province. In a statement, education minister said the decision was taken to expedite the students’ academic sessions more..

A child’s guide to acute macro imbalances: Ignore it at your own peril

Jan 25 (FT) Aseni, the whiz kid, and her Grandpa, Sarath Mahatthaya, are examining the macroeconomic imbalances, turned from chronic to acute, in the country in the light of various promising statements made by the country’s leading policymakers. Here are the excerpts: Aseni: Grandpa, I am confused because Govt’s top leaders say that the economic fallout from COVID-19 is fully under control, while independent analysts have a different opinion on it. more..

Discerning the abnormal: Dilemmas of new normal in Sri Lanka

Jan 25 (FT) It was indeed interesting to get involved in a hybrid conference as a panelist in discussing the people factor amidst a planetary pandemic. The much-acclaimed annual conference of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka was a much different experience this time as it comprised of a series of hybrid sessions. The insights on the ‘most valuable resource’ would be pertinent to ponder with a view of broadening our approach towards sustained results. more..

සිරෙන් නිදහස් වූ මේජර් අජිත් ප්‍රසන්න

Sivajilingam stages drama to halt archaeological survey

Jan 25 (Island) A group of Tamil politicians led by former NPC Member M. K. Sivajilingam and former Chairman of the Vadamarachchi East PS, Thyagaraja Nirosh recently obstructed the officials of the Dept of Archaeology engaged in carrying out excavations near the Nilavarai bottomless well in Jaffna. The politicians arrived at the site with a large number of supporters on Thursday and threatened the officials not to conduct their surveying and further research on the well. more..

Sri Lanka to canvass support from like-minded countries

Jan 25 (DM) Sri Lanka is planning to canvass the support of the like-minded countries to present its case at the next session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), an official said yesterday. Sri Lanka is listed to come under scrutiny by the UNHRC during its 46th session scheduled for between February 22 and March 19 in terms of performance on the implementations of matters outlined in the resolution 30/1 adopted in 2015 and the two subsequent rollover resolutions. more..

Video: MP Wasantha Yapa Bandara diagnosed with COVID-19

Jan 25 (AD) Kandy District SLPP MP Wasantha Yapa Bandara is confirmed to have contracted the COVID-19 infection. Accordingly, he is the sixth MP to have been diagnosed with the virus. Starting with State Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera, MP Rauff Hakeem, State Minister Piyal Nishantha, Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara, and Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi had also tested positive for COVID-19. more..

Sethsiripaya Phase III to be largest Govt office complex

Jan 25 (DN) Construction of Sethsiripaya Phase III, the largest Govt office complex, commenced at Battaramulla last Friday. This construction will see several offices of public institutions in one location to provide an efficient public service and easy access to services to the people under the Vision of Prosperity policy statement. Sethsiripaya Phase III construction is aimed at reducing traffic congestion. Speaking after laying the foundation stone for the new multi-storey office complex, more..

'Regional cabals’ control over mining of sand and granite'

Jan 25 (Island) A cabal of regional politicians and businessmen had put paid to the govt efforts to ensure that rural communities enjoyed the benefits of natural resources around them, Dr. Anil Jasinghe, Secretary of the Ministry of Environment said. Jasinghe said: “When I was in the Health Ministry, I thought the pharmaceutical mafia was strong, but now I see that the sand and granite Mafia is as strong as the pharmaceutical Mafia. This Mafia controls the price of sand and granite.” more..

England seal series win over Sri Lanka on dramatic day in Galle

Jan 25 (CI) England took what they needed from those who had to give it most as they secured victory over Sri Lanka in the second Test in Galle. On an enthralling day when 15 wickets fell, England's frontline spinners came to the fore and opener Dom Sibley scored an unbeaten half-century to help defeat Sri Lanka by six wickets with a day to spare and win the series 2-0. Lasith Embuldeniya followed his 7 for 137 in the first innings more..

Intl. class business club, boutique hotel planned at 80 Club premises

Jan 25 (FT) The 80 Club at Independence Square, Colombo 7, which was taken over by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development recently, will be transformed into an international class business club and expanded into a boutique hotel. The Club takes up about 1.6 acres of prime land in Colombo and will be developed in the interest of the public because only few people are using this public land at present, Ministry of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Sirinimal Perera said. more..

Video: Updated announcement on isolation orders

Jan 25 (AD) National Operations Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO) Head Army Commander General Shavendra Silva has issued an updated announcement on the isolation status of several areas. Accordingly, the following areas will be newly declared isolated areas from 6.00 am this morning (25): - Ambalantota Divisional Secretariat: Melkoniya village in 140-Bolana South Grama Niladari Division - Poojapitiya Medical Officer of Health (MOH) Division: more..

Shani Abeysekera gives evidence at PCoI on Easter attacks via Skype

Jan 25 (AD) Former Director of CID Shani Abeysekera has given evidence before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry probing the Easter attacks. He testified today via Skype from the Colombo National Hospital where he is currently receiving treatment for a cardiac arrest. Reportedly, his doctors have not recommended him to be discharged to testify at the Commission. Abeysekera is held under remand custody for more..

'Issues over different laws will be resolved through new Constitution'

Jan 25 (Island) Issues that had arisen over the quazi court system would be resolved through the new Constitution that would be formulated soon, Minister Sarath Weerasekera said. He said: “According to the current Constitution, these quazi courts are legal. There are many laws that have clauses that are against fundamental rights of the people. The current Constitution allows Muslim, Thesawalamai and Kandyan customary laws to exist alongside the general laws, this is against the concept of more..

COVID-19: 480 cases in Colombo; highest within a day

Jan 25 (DM) The highest number of COVID-19 cases within a 24-hour period in a district was reported in Colombo District yesterday. Total number of 843 cases were reported in the country yesterday and among them, 480 were from Colombo. Among the highest number of patients reported in Colombo were; 242 cases were within the Colombo Municipality area while 29 each from Mt. Lavinia and Wellampitiya areas. Accordingly, the total number of patients from the COVID-19 second wave more..

SL's batsmen, and the voice of unreason

Jan 25 (CI) Despite Monday's evidence, SL's batsmen must have a small voice inside their heads that tell them the right thing to do. Here is a possible conversation a generic SL batsman had with his batting conscience ahead of their 126 all out. Batting conscience: All right, we've got a lead of 37. Nice one. I mean, it could have been more, but in these conditions, 37 is nothing to scoff at. They'll be worried. Lasith Embuldeniya only needs more..

Video: Footage of Panadura shooting

Jan 25 (AD) A man was killed after being shot at by two unidentified gunmen at the Pallimulla area in Panadura, this morning. The deceased has been identified to be a 32-year-old residing in Gemunu Mawatha, Keselwatta, Panadura. The incident had taken place at around 9.15 am in front of the Pallimulla supermarket. Reportedly, the two gunmen had arrived on a motorcycle and opened fire at three persons traveling on a three-wheeler. A person critically injured in the incident had been more..

Indian fisherman arrested on poaching vessel tests positive for COVID-19

Jan 25 (AD) SL Navy says that one of the Indian fishermen apprehended earlier this month along with 08 others and a trawler while poaching in SL territorial waters, has tested positive for COVID-19 following the quarantine period. SL Navy during a special operation in the northern sea area on 9th Jan apprehended 09 Indian fishermen along with their trawler, for poaching in SL waters. Subsequent to this apprehension, these 09 individuals were directed for 14 days of quarantine due to more..

'Weekend spike in COVID-19 cases expected due to public movement in Dec, Jan'

Jan 25 (EN) Health officials attribute a recent expected spike in COVID-19 cases to increased public movement in December and the first week of January. SL recorded 887 cases on Friday, the highest single-day cases reported so far. Over the weekend, over 750 people tested positive for the virus each day. “It happened just like we expected. Especially during the last week of December and the first week of January, public movement more..

SJB launches Intelligence Forum

Jan 25 (CT) SJB Intelligence Forum, made up of 100 members, was launched yesterday. “I’ve witnessed that various political parties use many intellectuals and professors in their election campaigns and abandon them after achieving their objective. This opportunistic process should be completely ruled out, while empowering them and using their wisdom for the betterment of the country,” Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa said. Premadasa added that the SJB is expecting more..

People’s Bank wins Best Consumer Digital Bank and Best Mobile Banking App

Jan 25 (FT) People’s Bank has won Sri Lanka’s Best Consumer Digital Bank while the People’s Wave App has been crowned the Best Mobile Banking App at the World Finance Digital Banking Awards 2020. These accolades not only emphasise the bank’s success but further cement its position as Sri Lanka’s Most Digitalised Bank. World Finance is a quarterly magazine that covers international business, the global economy and the financial industry. more..

SL gears up for a hard battle at UNHRC

Jan 25 (CT) Sri Lanka is gearing up for a hard battle at the 46th Session of the UNHRC in Geneva in February –March. While the core group, comprising UK, Canada, Macedonia, Germany and Montenegro, are working on a draft consensual resolution, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michele Bachelet, has sent a draft of her report to the Sri Lankan govt for its comments. SL is presently working on Bachelet’s report more..

'Fiercely independent foreign policy a must'

Jan 25 (AD) SL’s foreign policy must be fiercely independent and always be non-aligned, SJB MP Eran Wickramaratne stated. Speaking to '@HydePark' program, Wickramaratne expressed the following: “Sri Lanka’s foreign policy must be fiercely independent, because we have come out of 500 years of colonial rule. Doesn’t matter which govt is in power. Our independent is not going to depend via external forces. We need to know our place in the world. more..

Considering pandemic situation, Sudarshini suggests economising of treatment for...

Jan 25 (Island) State Minister Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle said yesterday that the country should explore the possibility of treating asymptomatic patients at hospitals for only 10 days and letting them complete the last four days of treatment at their homes given that a person with COVID-19 is most contagious in the first 10 days of contracting the disease. Fernandopulle said the time had come to re-evaluate COVID-19 response based on new scientific evidence on the virus. more..

Sri Lanka’s first-ever sign language journalist makes her debut

Jan 25 (FT) SL Development Journalist Forum produced SL’s first sign language journalist Suranga Udari on 1 Jan. Her report on pollution in the beautiful coastal area of Galle went down in history as one of the very first sign language news reports in the country; a first for SL journalism. Suranga Udari who was born with a loss of hearing was determined to become a journalist from a very young age. She was nominated by more..

National Hospital gets Rs 12 M worth of medical equipment

Jan 25 (CT) Essential Medical Equipment produced by State Pharmaceuticals Manufacturing Corporation (SPMC) worth Rs 12 million was donated to the Accident and Orthopaedic Unit of the Colombo National Hospital by State Minister Prof. Channa Jayasumana, on Friday. The equipment is a great support to accident victims and patients who are brought to the hospital daily. In addition, a large number of medical equipment was also provided to Kalubowila Hospital previously. more..

COVID-19: Priority list on vaccination finalized: Army Chief

Jan 25 (DM) While saying that they have finalised a list of those who need to be vaccinated first, Gen. Shavendra Silva said all the necessary steps have been taken in respect of COVID-19 vaccination. Accordingly, vaccines will be given to frontline workers who are engaged in efforts to prevent the spread of the virus. The Commander said after the vaccines have arrived at the Katunayake airport from India and would be transported by the Army to be stored in Colombo. more..

EU-SL Joint Commission: Joint press release

Jan 25 (EU) The European Union (EU) and Sri Lanka held their 23rd meeting of the Joint Commission on 25 Janu, via video conference. This was the first Joint Commission under the new leadership in both the EU and SL. The Joint Commission meeting, was held in a cordial and open atmosphere and the EU and Sri Lanka exchanged views on a wide array of subjects, reaffirming the deep cooperation ties and more..

Sri Lanka closes forward forex market

Jan 25 (EN) SL has barred commercial banks from selling or buying foreign exchange for three months as the currency came under pressure amid high levels of excess liquidity. “In view of the need to avoid excess volatility in the foreign exchange market and the impact on banks’ risk management, licensed commercial banks are hereby informed to refrain from entering into forward contracts of foreign exchange for a period of 3 months with immediate effect,” CB Governor W D Lakshman said. more..

British HC agrees to set up mangrove laboratory

Jan 25 (CT) British High Commissioner Sarah Hulton agreed to set up SL’s first mangrove laboratory, said Secretary to the Ministry of Environment, Dr. Anil Jasinghe. Last week, a mangrove planting campaign was held in Anawilundawa Sanctuary, Puttalam. Dr. Jasinghe further stated that the improvement of the mangroves will enhance the quality of shrimp cultivation, and added that the mangroves attract both local and foreign tourists. more..

Authorities turn blind eye to construction of hotels on elephant corridor

Jan 25 (Island) Two businessmen were constructing hotels blocking the Menikkawatta, Bowitiyatenna elephant corridor, which is used by elephants to cross from Morning Side, a part of the Sinharaja Forest Reserve to Dellawa – Walankanda forest, environmentalist Sajeewa Chamikara said yesterday. Chamikara told The Island that one hotel was being built by the son-in-law of a wealthy gem merchant in Kalawana; 7 acres of forest land more..

Foreign ministry fumbles playing cheap media games with confidential UN Report

Jan 26 (CT) In an unprecedented move, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has openly leaked a version of a scathing report by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights sent confidentially to the Govt of SL for comments ahead of its release just before the 46th Session of the UNHRC Session in Geneva, Switzerland. Michelle Bachelet, the HCHR transferred her draft report on the human rights situation in Sri Lanka to the govt on 12 January 2021 for comments on any errors in fact or law. more..

Victims, culprits of Dammika Paniya and false national pride

Jan 26 (DM) Less than two months ago, a self-professed holy man ( Kapuwa) from Kegalle became the embodiment of the SL ingenuity. The man who had no medical background concocted a miracle COVID-19 cure after being told of its recipe by Goddess Kali in sleep. (He is not the only one; some years back, a Math professor from a local university published a research into the Chronic Kidney Disease also guided by divine intervention). Dammika Bandara’s miracle drug dominated more..

‘What I do in my bedroom shouldn’t be State’s business’

Jan 26 (DM) LGBTIQ rights have been and are still a very sensitive topic in Sri Lanka. The topic is sensitive mainly because of Sri Lanka’s strong cultural background, a culture which refuses to accept gay rights. Rosanna Flamer-Caldera has been pushing for the recognition of LGBTIQ rights in SL. Yet those attempts have yet to reach a successful conclusion. Q: You are the Founder of EQUAL GROUND and more..

A fervent message to Lankan mothers through Sirasa Lakshapathi

Jan 26 (CT) Nowadays, Shukra Munawwar became the talk of the town due to her remarkable achievement in Sirasa Laksapathi quiz competition. Yes, she is unique and became an icon at national level. Indeed, her knowledge she acquired through voracious reading at early age is amazing. People from all walks of life irrespective of their ethnic identities appraised her wholeheartedly and saw her victory as their own due to her pleasant personality and admirable qualities and more importantly more..

COVID-19: Ridiculing patients

Jan 26 (DM) While the Health Ministry’s Epidemiology Unit has been claiming that there is no community spread of COVID-19 in SL, citing World Health Organization’s criteria, the GMOA citing the same WHO’s analysis, warns that the country has exceeded the risk level of COVID-19 positive patients rate. Daily Mirror yesterday quoted Editor of the GMOA, Dr. Haritha Aluthge as saying that the COVID-19 positive rate has got past the 5.5 margin. Positive rate was at level 3.0 a month before. more..

Pollution crisis looms as PPE waste piles up

Jan 26 (CT) Following the COVID-19 pandemic, wearing a mask became the norm and it increased the use of medical masks globally. Even though medical masks provide protection against diseases, it is not disposed properly by many. This improper disposal of used masks poses a big threat to marine life, the marine environment, other animals, and nature. It also increases the threat of spreading the virus. more..

We believe Sri Lanka is better than this

Jan 26 (ST) Two recurrent themes in Prez Joe Biden’s inaugural address last week was the need for uniting the nation and protecting democracy. While these concerns had been repeatedly flagged by him during his campaign as well as after his victory, Prez Biden took the opportunity to once again impress upon the American people the significance of these two values in his inspiring speech. What is of interest to Sri Lankans is that both these issues are of contemporary more..

Some angels fear to tread

Jan 26 (ST) At a ceremonial sitting of the Supreme Court last week– hardly a rare occasion — Attorney-General Dappula de Livera made an address to welcome three new members to the bench of the highest court. While in normal circumstances such a ceremony would have attracted little attention except from other members of the judiciary, the official and unofficial bars, academics, family and invitees, last week’s sitting seems to have caught the interest of some others because of another judicial more..