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Cricket: Hopelessness and a never-ending transition

Jan 27 (ST) When Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardena retired in 2015, even the most optimistic SL fans acknowledged they left a void too big to be filled overnight. Nobody, however, would’ve anticipated SL to be searching hopelessly for replacements even five years later. But this is exactly where we stand, while we struggle to keep up with other countries. The transition seems endless. There have been some odd sparks–like the 3-0 drubbing of the Australians or more..

PCR test kits procurement: CID probes irregularities

Jan 27 (TM) Along with the allegations levelled against the Health Ministry over the mismanagement during the purchasing of PCR test kits during the past few months, concerns have been raised over the entire procurement process applied when purchasing drugs and medical equipment. There is no blanket approach applied for the purchase of medical drugs and equipment, especially with regard to more..

India’s 72nd Republic Day celebrations in Colombo

Jan 27 (FT) High Commission of India yesterday commemorated India’s 72nd Republic Day at India House – residence of Indian High Commissioner – in Colombo. Constitution of India, which is the world’s largest written constitution, came into effect on 26 Jan 1950. High Commissioner hoisted the national flag and inspected the guard of honour on the occasion, while the SL Navy band played two melodious Indian tunes to mark the solemn occasion. more..

Consignments of smuggled dried turmeric and glyphosate held in Kalpitiya

Jan 27 (SLN) A special operation carried out by the Navy at Daluwa beach in Kalpitiya today (26) led to the apprehension of 3 suspects and seizure of about 1340kg of dried turmeric as well as 80kg of glyphosate attempted to be smuggled into the country. SL Navy has been conducting regular operations in island waters with a view to curb nefarious activities by racketeers of various kinds. During a similar operation led by Northwestern Naval Command, these smuggled more..

Tax evasion attempt: Cigarette op goes up in smoke?

Jan 27 (TM) Yet another tax evasion attempt was revealed in Parliament last week, with allegations being levelled against Bank of Ceylon (BOC) over a loan granted to a famous businessman, who is alleged to have links with high-ranking officials and politicians of the present Govt, to purchase additional cigarette stocks in anticipation of a price hike. With the previous allegations of granting sugar and coconut oil tax concessions causing more..

SEC cautions Investors against unsolicited investment tips

Jan 27 (CT) Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has observed that unsolicited messages purporting to be stock tips/investment advice with respect to listed companies are being circulated through short message service (SMS), websites and social media platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc. SEC has noted that these messages have been directed towards investors and the general public, recommending to deal in particular stocks of listed companies, more..

Navin steps down as UNP National Organiser

Jan 27 (DN) Former UNP MP Navin Dissanayake has notified the party in writing yesterday regarding his intention to step down as National Organiser. However, he says he will continue to remain with the UNP and respect its policies. Dissanayake said he will function as the UNP’s Nuwara Eliya District Leader and Working Committee member. He called on the UNP to appoint a suitable member as the party’s new National Organiser. The party’s Working Committee had unanimously taken more..

Sirisena paid no attention to info: Shani

Jan 27 (CT) Although the then President Maithripala Sirisena, was personally informed by the CID, that the same group was behind the incidents of a stock of explosives being discovered in Wanathawilluwa in Jan 2019 and several Buddha statues being vandalised in Mawanella in Dece 2018, he had not paid adequate attention to it. This was revealed when former Director of the CID Shani Abeysekera testified before the PCoI more..

Coal tenders above board: Gammanpila

Jan 27 (DN) Co-Cabinet Spokesman Energy Minister Udaya Gammanpila yesterday (26) said the statement made by an Opposition MP claiming that several spot tenders were cancelled in a manner that raises serious doubts about the procurement of coal was false. The Minister emphasised that the Ceylon Coal Company totally denies allegations made by the Opposition and that the allegation that several spot tenders were cancelled and over-purchased was baseless and false. more..

US Envoy pushes for Indian stake in ECT

Jan 27 (TM) Amidst heated nationwide debates on the matter, US Ambassador Alaina B. Teplitz believes that India should have a stake in the Colombo Port’s East Container Terminal (ECT). “Obviously, with India being the beneficiary of SL’s port facilities through all trans-shipment activities that take place, along with the unloading and shipments to smaller Indian ports, having an Indian company with a stake here, I would think, is essential to SL’s maritime future,” she said. more..

Third party won’t be allowed to take over our duties: Customs TUS warn Govt

Jan 27 (DM) Ruling out any doubts of a third party or the military taking over their duties as remarked by Prez Rajapaksa, as a solution to eliminate all corrupt officials, Customs trade unions warned the Govt that they shall not let such a thing happen at all costs. Convening a special press briefing at the Customs Headquarters alongside the celebrations of the Int'l Customs Day 2021, which fell on Tuesday trade unions showed its utter displeasure more..

Govt considers next-door exam centres: Only 48% of O/L students attended school

Jan 27 (TM) Only 48% of students who are facing the upcoming GCE O/L exam have attended school in the Western Province after schools reopened on 25 January, according to the Ministry of Education. However, Ministry of Education Secretary Prof. Kapila Perera said that he was “really happy” with the attendance considering the Covid-19 situation. “I’m really happy about the number of schoolchildren who turned up on 25 Jan in Western Province. School attendance percentage was 48%.” more..

Sri Lanka thanks India for sending coronavirus vaccine

Jan 27 (PTI) Sri Lanka on Tuesday expressed appreciation and gratitude to India for sending 500,000 doses of coronavirus vaccine to the island country. PM Mahinda Rajapaksa told the Cabinet that the Indian High Commissioner in Colombo informed that India would be sending 500,000 vaccines to Sri Lanka and they will arrive here on Jan 28. The Cabinet of Ministers decided to express the appreciation and gratitude of the SL govt in this regard," a Cabinet note said. more..

Foreign Secretary sounds consensual resolution as pressure mounts in Geneva

Jan 27 (Island) Foreign Secretary Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage on Monday (25) night revealed that the govt was having discussions with the UK-led SL Core Group in a bid to explore the possibility of reaching a consensus on what he described as a consensual resolution ahead of the 46th sessions of the Geneva-based UNHRC scheduled for Feb-March this year. Admiral Colombage acknowledged that an agreement more..

Video: Suspect arrested over shooting incident in Panadura

Jan 27 (AD) A suspect, who was allegedly involved in shooting a man to death at Pallimulla area in Panadura, has been arrested by the police. A man was killed after being shot at by two unidentified gunmen in front of the Pallimulla supermarket in Panadura, at around 9.15 am on the 25th of January. Reportedly, the two gunmen had arrived on a motorcycle and opened fire at three persons travelling in a three-wheeler. The deceased was identified as a 32-year-old more..

How representative of the Tamils is the ITAK/TNA?

Jan 27 (FT) The TNA was formed in 2001 by the LTTE and became known as LTTE’s political wing. The rationale to create a political wing was probably the outcome of 9/11 and the US steered global war against terror. The TNA has contested two Parliamentary Elections with backing of LTTE in 2001 and 2004 while the remaining four elections were post-LTTE defeat (2010, 2013, 2015 & 2020). Interestingly, TNA while claiming to be the representative of the Tamils contests only in more..

මිලියන 20ක ආදරය දිනූ ෂුක්රා

Four youths arrested for hacking a 24-year-old to death

Jan 27 (AD) Four suspects have been arrested for hacking a youth to death near a filling station in Meetiyagoda. According to reports, the suspects were taken into custody after they surrendered to the Meetiyagoda Police. They were identified as residents of Meetiyagoda, aged 24 – 32 years. A 24-year-old from the same area was hacked to death on Monday (25) and the perpetrators had severed one of his arms. The police have seized two motorcycles, two knives, a sword and more..

Dialling out the drama

Jan 27 (FT) Sri Lanka has to beware, moving mindfully and prudently forward, not to be waylaid by COVID superstition of which too much is afoot these days. It is a serious virus, and it is being effectively managed here, and on the other side of hysteria, we can say so confidently, based on very low related mortality by any global standard (and even there, many being called COVID deaths are not actually dying due to respiratory illness, so COVID was a bystander, or perhaps at most, more..

Video: Arundika contracts Covid-19

Jan 27 (AD) State Minister Arundika Fernando has tested positive for COVID-19 infection. After he was confirmed to have contracted the virus he has been directed for medical care. Fernando is the 7th Member of the Parliament to be diagnosed with coronavirus. Starting with State Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera, MP Rauff Hakeem, State Minister Piyal Nishantha, Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Minister Pavithra more..

ECT controversy: Prez will always listen to Sangha, says Johnston

Jan 27 (Island) Prez Rajapaksa would listen to the advice of the Maha Sangha regarding the East Container Terminal (ECT), Minister Johnston Fernando said. He said: “The Opposition is trying to create an issue out of this. It was the previous government that signed an agreement with India on the ECT. We are stuck because of their agreement. These are the same people who handed over the Hambantota Port to China for 99 years. They tried to balance it out by handing over the ECT to more..

Fitch explains SL bank ratings impact after scale recaliberation, sovereign downgrade

Jan 27 (EN) Fitch Ratings has released a Q & A explaining the recent rating changes in Sri Lanka companies and banks after the sovereign rating was downgraded to ‘CCC’, explaining in particular why bank ratings were lowered. Following Fitch Ratings’ downgrade of Sri Lanka’s sovereign rating to ‘CCC’ from ‘B-‘ on 27 November 2020, the Sri Lankan National Rating scale was recalibrated to reflect changes in the relative creditworthiness among Sri Lankan issuers. more..

Video: First batch of COVID-19 vaccine to arrive tomorrow

Jan 27 (AD) The first consignment of the AstraZeneca (Covishield) COVID-19 vaccine produced in India is scheduled to arrive in Sri Lanka tomorrow. Chairman of AASL, G.A. Chandrasiri stated that the aircraft carrying the vaccine will arrive in the country at 11 am tomorrow. A stock of India-produced AstraZeneca (Covishield) is given to Sri Lanka as a donation from India to control the COVID-19 pandemic in the country. more..

Positioning Sri Lanka as an innovation hub: Myths, obsessions & facts

Jan 27 (EN) A technology explosion is underway and some countries are riding this new digital wave better than others. Ramesh Shanmuganathan weighs the significance of what’s happening and discusses how Sri Lanka can avoid being left behind. The technology explosion in many counties is digitizing services and helping build an astonishing array of new products that are transforming economies and the lives of people. Some cities have taken a lead in this more..

India approves research project on origins of Sethusamudram

Jan 27 (Island) The Indian govt has approved an underwater research project to ascertain the origins of the Ram Setu — a 48-km-long chain of shoals between India and Sri Lanka. Talking about the aim of the exploration, Union Minister Singh Patel, said, “The world should get to know about the Ram Setu through evidence based on scientific research.” Ram Setu, also known as Adam’s Bridge or Nala Setu, holds religious significance because of the Ramayana. more..

No one will be forced to vaccinate themselves: Lalith Weeratunga

Jan 27 (DM) Prez Rajapaksa's senior advisor, Lalith Weeratunga who has been appointed to chair the Presz Task Force to oversee COVID-19 vaccinations said that no SL citizen will be forced to vaccinate themselves once the vials arrive in the country, starting tomorrow, and for the coming nine months the vaccines would be provided to every individual free of charge. He said that the vaccinations would not be compulsory but more..

Electoral lists will be updated by Grama Niladaris for Covid vaccinations

Jan 27 (EN) Sri Lanka will use the National Election Commission electoral registry to select people for vaccination but if people actually want to go ahead with it vaccination is voluntary. Lalith Weeratunga Chief Advisor to Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa said the general public will be selected for the vaccination program according to the grama niladari and ministry of health registry. As per the vaccination program priority list, first, the frontline health workers will be vaccinated and more..

China to donate 300,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccine to Sri Lanka

Jan 27 (DM) The Chinese Govt has decided to donate 300,000 coronavirus (Sinopharm) vaccine doses to Sri Lanka by mid-February to jointly fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chinese Embassy said. “Although the production capacity of the vaccine is still limited compared with the huge domestic and international demand. The vaccine doses are expected to be handed over to SL side in mid-February after the due procedures in both ends are completed,” Embassy said. more..

Video: Strict trade union actions from Friday, Port trade unions warn

Jan 27 (AD) The Port trade unions have decided to launch massive trade union action against the foreignization of the country’s resources from next Friday (29). They claimed that they will take every measure needed to safeguard the Eastern Container Terminal of the Colombo Port. Chairman of the National Trade Union Center K. D. Lalkantha stated that the strict trade action will commence from Friday. more..

AG strongly objects bail applications filed by PNB officers

Jan 27 (DM) The Attorney General (AG) today strongly objected to the five bail applications filed by the five suspects, including a former Police Inspector who were attached to the Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB), who have been remanded on suspicion to have indulged in drug trafficking. The five bail applications were taken up before Colombo High Court Judge Manjula Tilakaratne today. The petitions have been filed by the five persons, including Lionel Jayaratne, former Inspector attached to PNB, more..

New garment units to be opened in A'pura

Jan 27 (F2F) Garment factories will be established in several divisional secretariats of A'pura district to address youth unemployment issue there, according to the country’s irrigation minister Duminda Dissanayake, who is the member of parliament from the district. He visited the Thirappane Garment Factory and held a discussion with its staff recently. As only a few garment units are situated in Anuradhapura, a large number of young people work outside the district, he noted. more..

Only 54% would get COVID-19 jab, if offered

Jan 27 (CT) Although Health Ministry and medical and other frontline workers battling against the virus were keen to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine, a survey conducted by Behavioural Research Unit (BRU) of the Health Promotion Bureau, showed that only 54% would get the vaccine if offered. The COVID-19 vaccine – Public Perception Survey Report took a sample of 895, comprising 55% men and 81% women. more..

‘Govt using assets to balance powerful states’

Jan 27 (NR) NPP charges govt of balancing powerful countries in the South Asian region, with the use of economic resources in SL. MP Dr. Harini Amarasuriya attributed this prevalent situation to the lack of a stringent foreign policy. MP said Prez himself accepted that one resource is being granted to India, as another resource was previously vested with China. She charged that the Colombo Port is being used to manipulate powerful countries by placing economic resources at risk. more..

Private sector not allowed to import Covid vaccine: Govt

Jan 27 (DM) Private sector will not be allowed to import the coronavirus vaccines, Govt said. Some private institutions had offered to import the vaccines as they have the storage facilities. However, Prez Advisor Lalith Weeratunga said that, at the moment it has been decided that the private sector will not be allowed to import the vaccine. He said that private hospitals will also not be allowed to import and sell the vaccines. Weeratunga also said that there has been a request from more..

Electors unaware of electoral register revision process: CMEV

Jan 27 (Island) National Coordinator of CMEV Manjula Gajanayaka, who visited the polling districts of Puttlam and Vanni, last week, to look into allegation that more than 7,000 voters in the polling division of Mannar were to be struck off the electoral register, said that electors were unaware of the electoral register revision process. He called upon EC to take immediate steps to educate the public on what actually is taking place; more..

No construction at Muthurajawela Wetlands: Gampaha Dist. CC

Jan 27 (DM) It was decided at the Gampaha District Coordinating Committee not to allow any construction at the Muthurajawela Wetlands and to take over the plot of land said to be owned by a private faction. The decision was taken at the District Coordinating Committee meeting held today with the participation of Western Province Governor Roshan Gunathilake, District Coordinating Committee Chairman MP Sahan Pradeep Vithana. Committee Chairman Sahan Pradeep said that more..

Fort Magistrate says PTA does not suspend Criminal Procedure Code

Jan 27 (DM) Fort Magistrate Priyantha Liyanage has made an order holding that the Prevention of Terrorism Act does not suspend the application of the Criminal Procedure Code. In the order pronounced in open court, Magistrate Liyanage held that all provisions related to an investigation in the Criminal Procedure Code applies to persons arrested and held in Detention under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. Quoting from the book Criminal Procedure Code by Professor G. L Peiris more..

Batting maestro Sangakkara blames poor first-class system for batting debacles

Jan 27 (FT) SL batting legend and former Captain Kumar Sangakkara has blamed SL’s low quality domestic first-class cricket system for the batting debacles experienced in the two Tests against England. “If you just talk about these two Test matches it was pretty much obvious what you stated in terms of the lack of batting quality, decision-making, organisation in terms of plans in two crucial innings – the first innings of more..

And then she got Covid

Jan 27 (EN) The govt should be deeply ashamed by the fact that the so-called miracle cure for Covid produced by a Shaman assiduously trumpeted by its tame media and endorsed by the Minister of Health has failed spectacularly. The Minister, Pavithra Wanniarachchi, and her colleague the State Minister for Women’s and Children’s Affairs Piyal Nishantha de Silva who consumed the concoction for the cameras have tested positive for Covid 19 and are under treatment. more..

A mere gimmick to halt protests: Nagamuwa

Jan 27 (CT) Referring to the Cabinet approval to increase the daily wage of estate sector employees to Rs 1,000, through the Wages Board was a mere gimmick to stall the planned protest on 28 January, said FSP Propaganda Secretary Duminda Nagamuwa. Nagamuwa said they will start their series of protests from 28 January which is the day scheduled for the agreements to be signed regarding the basic daily wage of estate workers decided by estate employers. more..