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Arjuna wants cricket in Sri Lanka overhauled

Jan 27 (EN) Arjuna Ranatunga is calling for a complete overhaul of SL Cricket after the side lost its fourth test match on the trot at Galle against the touring England side. Ranatunga who led SL to World Cup victory 15 years ago, told a TV interview that the entire cricket system in the country should be changed in order to bring back the side to its former levels. Fans are disappointed and calling for changes after the four losses against more..

The World’s Best stock rally is in Sri Lanka

Jan 27 (BN) SL stocks have returned a world-beating 30% so far in 2021 as domestic investors get more active. Local traders have bought a gross 155 billion rupees ($802 mil) worth of equities this month through Tuesday -- already 45% of the total domestic purchases last year, according to data from the Colombo Stock Exchange. That’s as overseas investors continue to exit the market, dumping a net $25 million of shares in January on top of the $273 million sold in 2020, more..

Halting police promotions, repatriations through SLBFE commendable: Harin

Jan 27 (DM) The decisions made by President to halt police promotions and COPE decision to repatriate Sri Lankan expatriate workers using SLBFE funds are commendable, but the Head of state should see to it that these decisions are implemented, SJB MP and Head of Operations Harin Fernando said today. The SJB Head of Operations speaking at a press conference said, the President should see to it that things are done in the proper manner, as time is running out. more..

SL-born billionaire Chamath Palihapitiya to run for California Governor

Jan 27 (BN) A wealthy contingent of technologists has joined a movement calling for the removal of Gavin Newsom as California governor. Chamath Palihapitiya, a venture capitalist who popularized the blank-check company, said he’s running for Newsom’s place. Palihapitiya, a former Facebook Inc. executive, promoted the recall campaign, sparked in part by Democratic governor’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, more..

It’s the season of condescension

Jan 28 (DM) Come January and sometimes even late December, we notice an outpouring of concern for SL. There are countries, which were to help SL. There is much noise and much of it comes in the form of threats, sometimes veiled and sometimes not, sometimes with a smirk and sometimes sugar-coated. And there’s also nauseating condescension. The year 2021 is not an exception. Not untypical, it comes from UK and USA, nations which compete for the unenviable top spot among nations with more..

This is Democracy’s Day

Jan 28 (DM) Finally, at last, ultimately Donald Trump, the second one-term prez in US history, left the White House and his presidency without even having the courtesy to attend the inauguration of his successor Joseph R. Biden, who was sworn-in at an impressive ceremony at the Capitol, as the 46th Prez of US & Kamala Devi Harris as its Vice Prez. Ms. Harris, an American of South-Asian/Jamaican origin also made history by being the first woman to be sworn-in to the 2nd highest office in US. more..

Full text of the leaked PCoI report on political victimization: Whitewashing criminals?

Jan 28 (CT) A leaked copy of the PCoI on political victimization reveals that it has been used to exonerate, white-wash and acquit without charge perpetrators of the most heinous crimes committed in SL in the recent past and in many cases reward murderers, abductors, and money launderers with compensation by the state. The report, first leaked on social media and thoroughly perused by Colombo Telegraph revealed that the Commission more..

Living in Hell: The plight of prisoners held under the PTA

Jan 28 (GV) The findings of the National Study of Prisons undertaken by Human Rights Commission of SL have been discussed in numerous articles since its publication in Dec 2020. The study was conducted over nearly two years with a team of 33 persons. Data was gathered through inspections of 20 prisons within the purview of the Department of Prisons and by administering questionnaires to nearly 3,000 prisoners and conducting over 300 interviews with prisoners & prison officers. more..

Small country rich in its history and future in surgery

Jan 28 (ST) Just after her first birthday, a very ill baby-girl from a humble home in Jaffna is taken to the Teaching Hospital in the area. She has renal failure due to huge stones in both her kidneys. Treatment at the Jaffna Hospital is possible through large cuts on her abdomen and the surgeons there make quick calls to their colleagues in Colombo. Things happen quickly thereafter – baby, along with her parents who have never left their home area before, is brought to C'mbo in an ambulance more..

Deforestation destroying Endemic Flora and Fauna Habitats

Jan 28 (CT) Large scale deforestation is taking place in Govt reserves surrounding Kala Wewa and Balalu Wewa built by King Datusena, said the wildlife official in-charge of the reserve. “In the last few days ancient trees including some rare trees in the reserve were destroyed using dozers. Govt lands in Dikadiyawa & Balalu wewa which belongs to Divisional Secretary and Palagala agrarian services dept was destroyed. more..

Salaam Shukra!

Jan 28 (DM) When the schools were reopened on Monday (25) for students in western Province there was another reason for them to celebrate other than getting back to a classroom environment. A schoolgirl from Galle had just won a prize worth two million SL rupees contesting the show Who wants to be a millionaire; underscoring the fact that child minds may not have idled at home during the period where students were given online education via zoom technology. more..

A tribute to Malathi de Alwis and her work

Jan 28 (GV) Malathi de Alwis, friend, mentor, teacher, feminist, anthropologist, birder, foodie and the most amazing cook, passed away on January 21. As we mourn this utterly devastating, untimely loss of one of the most prolific and most important feminist scholars of our time, I wanted to add my voice to those reflections about her work and her legacy. In her own words, her work consistently tried to act as a bridge between the disciplines and traditions of anthropology and feminism. more..

Elle Gunawansa Himi

Marching Orders

Jan 28 (CT) Since the seventh century AD, Arab traders from the Maghreb of Africa visited Ceylon to trade in Spices & Jewels. Maghreb is Northern Africa excluding Egypt and Sudan. Ceylon was then a much sought after stop on the spice route. By the eighth century AD Arab Traders had taken control of trade in the Indian Ocean and Ceylon with some traders settling down mainly in the coastal areas of Ceylon and marrying Ceylonese women. They were referred to as Ceylon Moors and Muslims: more..

Country’s reserves in a comfortable position: Treasury Secretary

Jan 28 (SO) The country’s gross official reserves are in a satisfactory position and the govt is comfortable with the current amount of reserves, said Treasury Secretary S.R. Attygalle responding to the need to seek funding from a multilateral donor to boost reserves. “We are quite comfortable with the level of reserves which will grow this year with exports picking up and foreign direct investments starting to come in,” Attygalle said, adding that SL has foreign reserves to support 4 months of imports. more..

Let’s continue investing in Sri Lanka’s future generations

Jan 28 (WB) Sri Lanka is the South Asia region’s top performer in terms of human development outcomes and fares well above the average for Lower Middle-Income Countries (LMICs). This is the result of the country’s commitment and long-track record of achievement in health and education, as evidenced by the country’s universal network of schools and high primary and secondary school enrollment and almost universal coverage of more..

Ihala Bisokotuwa needing attention

Jan 28 (CT) Ihala Bisokotuwa is a village located in the Anuradhapura District on the Mora Oya and divides the town of Padaviya from the Padaviya Reservoir. In order to protect Padaviya from LTTE terrorists, Ihala Bisokotuwa was founded, the villagers said. 25 years have lapsed since the village was founded with the number of families having increased. The villagers are now facing a desperate situation and neither the Govt nor any other authority has found any solutions to their problems. more..

Today is Duruthu Full Moon Poya Day

Jan 28 (DN) The Buddha’s first visit to SL and offering of his hair relic to God Sumana Saman at the invitation of God Sumana Saman was mainly to put an end to the hostilities between the Nagas and Yakkhas, the then inhabitants of this country who were in constant confrontation. Enlightened One visited Mahiyangana’s Mahanaga Grove at a time when the Yakkhas had met there; when Yakkha’s took up arms the Buddha frightened them by creating a terrible mixture of thunder, rain, more..

LOLC dethrones JKH to be most valuable on CSE

Jan 28 (FT) Financial services heavy conglomerate LOLC Holdings Plc yesterday dethroned premier blue chip John Keells Holdings (JKH) as the most valuable company on the Colombo Stock Exchange. This was after a 25% or Rs. 104 gain in LOLC's share price to Rs. 521.25 yesterday, propelling its market capitalisation to Rs. 246.69 billion – an increase of Rs. 49.39 billion from Tuesday. JKH was second at Rs. 225.8 billion more..

COVID-19 vaccine only reduces severity of disease: Dr. Susi Perera

Jan 28 (DM) Inoculation against COVID-19 will only reduce the severity of the disease, and therefore the people who are most at risk will receive the jabs under the mass rollout, an official said. Deputy Director General public Health Services Dr. Susi Perera said that symptoms would be mild after vaccination, and it would reduce fatalities and hospitalizations as a result. Dr. Perera said people aged below 20 and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding would not be inoculated more..

JKH further improves performance in 3Q despite COVID impact

Jan 28 (FT) Premier blue chip John Keells Holdings (JKH) has continued to improve its performance in the third quarter despite its core sector, Leisure, lagging on account of the COVID-19 pandemic. JKH reported a group revenue of Rs. 35.59 billion for the third quarter (3Q) which was a decrease of 5% from a year earlier. Group revenue excluding the Leisure industry group stood at Rs. 34.23 billion up 5%. Cumulative group revenue for the first nine months of FY21 was down by 13% to Rs 89.58 bil. more..

Covid-19 Situation Report

Cricket administrators must look after key stake holders: Roshan Mahanama

Jan 28 (DN) Former SL Cricketer and ICC match refree Roshan Mahanama said that Cricket administrators were duty bound to look after it’s key stake holders such as umpires, coaches and scorers in addition to the players. Mahanama made this comment after distributing provisions and cash awards to full time scores and umpires on Wednesday (27). Mahanama said that there was an abundance of talented cricketers in SL but was sadened to observe that they had not been more..

ECT-linked Adani to raise $ 500 m via bond sale

Jan 28 (TM) Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd. (APSEZ), which is tipped to be given a stake in the East Container Terminal (ECT) of the Colombo Port by the SL Govt, announced a $500 million bond sale. This is its second such offering in the last few months, as the group flagship seeks to capitalise on benign interest rates overseas. The proceeds of the bond sale would be used to finance early redemption of dollar bonds of a similar amount maturing next yr. Bonds have 10-yr maturity. more..

Performance-based payment system for Cricketers

Jan 28 (CT) Minister Namal Rajapaksa has introduced a novel high-performance system designed by High-Performance Committee, where top athletes will benefit with a better financial scheme than mere promises. He said a performance based financial system will be introduced for all sports, including cricket. Minister stated athletes have been categorized into four tiers - Olympic, C'wealth & Asian Games medal prospects. more..

Public health midwives understaffed and overburdened

Jan 28 (TM) At present, there is a shortage of around 4,500 field public health midwives (PHMs) in SL, with the current service requirement being one PHM for a population of 1,878, a research article noted recently. Therefore, immediate steps should be taken to increase the number of field PHMs, who are considered the backbone of the primary health care system in SL, the authors of the article added. This article titled the “Burden of work and workload indicator-based staffing needs of PHMs more..

Over 100% YoY growth by Sri Lankan startup in Covid-hit year

Jan 28 (TM) Advice Lab, a financial planning specialised business process outsourcing (BPO) provider based in Colombo, doubled its growth in the year ending 31 Dec 2020. Advice Lab services financial planning clients based predominantly in Australia and provides them with paraplanning and back office admin services. It was claimed that during one of the toughest years in economic history, Advice Lab doubled its growth across the board in business and staff numbers. more..

Economy steering well despite choppy waters: Cabraal

Jan 28 (FT) State Minister Ajith Nivard Cabraal sought to dispel speculation on SL’s economic fundamentals asserting that the Govt has taken all necessary steps to manage the economy and position the country on a growth trajectory whilst meeting all international obligations. Cabraal noted that 2021 has so far seen speculative behaviour from the outset, resulting in some forward contracts and stated that the CB has been more..

Envoy hails Indo-Lanka partnership

Jan 28 (DN) SL has been a consistent partner of the Indian people and society, Indian High Commissioner Gopal Baglay said on Tuesday. The envoy was speaking at the India’s 72nd Republic Day celebrations held at the India House in Colombo on Tuesday. The HC hoisted the national flag and inspected the guard of honour on the occasion. SL Navy band played two melodious Indian tunes to mark the solemn occasion. Teachers and students of Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre held more..

'Negotiating Committee reviewing proposal'

Jan 28 (CT) Chairman of SLPA, General (Retd) Daya Ratnayake said, a Cabinet -approved negotiating committee for Colombo Port’s East Container Terminal (ECT) is currently reviewing India’s Adani Group’s proposal on how the ECT should be operated. Adani Group submitted its proposal on ECT on 22 January 2021 and the Govt would take another week or so to finalise matters related to the ECT, he said. Govt awarded the ECT to Adani Group as per the Memorandum more..

UK must spearhead international push for justice following damning UN report: AI

Jan 28 (AI) The UNHRC must take urgent steps to address the worsening human rights situation in SL, Amnesty International said today, following the release of a damning UN report on the country’s efforts to ensure accountability for crimes committed during the civil conflict. Almost 12 years on from the end of Sri Lanka’s civil war, the report, from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), warns that more..

Korean Ambassador espouses investment opportunities in SL

Jan 28 (TM) During the 26th Annual General Meeting of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce’s Sri Lanka-Korea Business Council (SLKBC) held recently, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Sri Lanka Woonjin Jeong invited Korean investors to explore opportunities in Sri Lanka, especially in key sectors including agriculture, renewable energy, infrastructure, LNG, the digital economy, and so on. “There is more potential for business opportunities to expand between our two countries. more..

Islamic State not behind Easter Sunday attacks: Shani Abeysekera

Jan 28 (CT) Former CID Director Shani Abeysekera said, he did not believe that there is a direct link between the Easter Sunday terror attacks, and the Islamic State (IS), adding that there is another force behind it. He was testifying before the PCoI. Shamil Perera (PC), appearing for Colombo Archbishop Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, cross- examined the witness. Perera asked the witness whether he accepted that there was no direct link between the Easter Sunday bombings and the IS. more..

Chairman of Selectors Ashantha de Mel resigns

Jan 28 (DN) Chairman of Selectors Ashantha de Mel tendered his resignation yesterday citing personal reasons. He made this decision a week after stepping down from the Team Manager’s post amidst various criticism on the National team’s dismal performance, incurring two series whitewashes against South Africa and England. Ashantha has served as a National selector for over a decade since 1996. more..

'Won’t hesitate to appoint Interim Committee'

Jan 28 (CT) Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa stated that if needed he won’t hesitate to appoint an Interim Committee to run Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), though he personally does not see that as an option for the present state of the National team. The Minister said this during a Development Committee meeting in Matara, while replying to queries about statements made by former World Cup winning skipper Arjuna Ranathunga on a TV show Tuesday night. “We were World Champion in 1996. more..

COVID-19 fatality count in SL reaches 290

Jan 28 (AD) SL has reported two more deaths from the coronavirus pandemic. A 43-year-old male from Colombo 15 has passed away from COVID-19 pneumonia and a heart condition complication. He had passed away at Homagama Base Hospital today (27). Meanwhile, a 74-year woman from Gonapola has died upon admittance to the Horana Base Hospital yesterday (26). The cause of her death has been determined as COVID-19 pneumonia, kidney infection, severe cellulitis. more..

COVID-19 patient count exceeds 60,000

Jan 28 (FT) Total number of COVID-19 patients detected in the island exceeded 60,000 with the detection of 772 COVID-19-positive persons yesterday. 742 associates of the Peliyagoda COVID-19 cluster were among those who tested positive for the virus yesterday. This brings the total number of patients linked to the Divulapitiya, Peliyagoda, and Prisons clusters to 56,778. The total patient count also includes 1,822 returnees from abroad, more..

Antigen Tests at 11 WP exit points today

Jan 28 (TM) Persons leaving the Western Province over the long weekend will be subjected to Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) starting from today (28) till 2 Feb. Police Media Spokesman DIG Ajith Rohana said that these tests will be carried out at 11 exit points covering all roads that lead out of the Western Province. “The testing will be carried out in locations including Mirigama, Pasyala, Hanwella, Ingiriya, Welipenna, the Bentota Bridge, and all other exit points of the Western Province.” more..

U.N. rights boss calls for sanctions on some Sri Lankan ex-military

Jan 28 (DM) U.N. human rights chief Michelle Bachelet called on states on Wednesday to impose “targeted sanctions” on former Sri Lankan military commanders implicated in alleged war crimes during the final years of a 26-year civil war that ended in 2009. “States can consider targeted sanctions, such as asset freezes and travel bans against credibly alleged perpetrators of grave human rights violations and abuses,” she said in a report on Sri Lanka to the U.N. Human Rights Council. more..

Sri Lanka to procure 3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine

Jan 28 (FT) Entering the global fray to procure vaccines Sri Lanka will order three million doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca jab from India’s Serum Institute by the end of the week as part of plans to immunise at least 50% of the population within this year. Rolling out its vaccine plans in earnest SL will today receive the country’s first batch of COVID vaccines as part of a donation from India and will begin vaccination process targeting more..