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උදයංග වීරතුංග

Naval operation in western seas apprehends 4 suspects with drugs worth over Rs. 600 m

Jan 4 (SLN) A special operation carried out by the Navy in the seas off Negombo today led to the apprehension of 4 suspects with over 100kg of Crystal Methamphetamine (ICE) and about 80kg of Hashish and seizure of a multiday fishing trawler used to transfer the narcotic substances. As a result of continues to crack down on drug trafficking and other illegal activities operated via sea routes, strengthening the Govt's joint mechanism to combat the drug menace, more..

People have to live with COVID-19 pandemic this year too: HSDG

Jan 4 (DM) People will have to live with the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic even this year and therefore, they should be prepared to adapt to the conditions and live adhering to health guidelines, Health Services Director General Dr. Asela Gunawardane said. He said this after paying an inspection tour to the new kidney hospital within the Polonnaruwa General Hospital. "Controlling the virus is very difficult with keeping the country open. But the Govt has to spend more than Rs.60 m more..

SLIMA urges govt to fall in line with other countries and UN on using cannabis for...

Jan 4 (Island) Samastha Lanka Indigenous Medical Association (SLIMA), a local ayurveda medical body urged the govt to ease the laws on cannabis for it to be developed as an herbal drug as in our past for many ailments, which many countries have already done. Adviser to SLIMA former Registrar of Ayurveda Medical Council Dr. Danister Perera said that the United Nations had recently reclassified strict control measures more..

'East Terminal will not be sold but developed'

Jan 4 (DN) Minister Rohitha Abeygunawardena said the Eastern Terminal of the Colombo Port will be developed by investors so that 51% of the shares can be owned without obtaining a loan and turn the Colombo Port into a new economic and naval hub. He said Indian and Japanese investors have been invited to invest in the project and local investors will also have the opportunity. He was speaking after receiving blessings from Malwathu Anunayake Ven. Dimbulkumbure Wimaladhamma Thera more..

Video: Kabir Hashim invites SLFP to join SJB

Jan 4 (AD) SJB MP Kabir Hashim invites members of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) to join the SJB. He mentioned this speaking to journalists in the Mawanella area. “Members of the SLFP were hooted at on stage during the election. They were hooted at even more after the elections. Therefore it is better to join us is respect. As the main opposition in this country, a large number of people will join the platform we are creating. I urge you to join that force.” more..

Video: Schools to reopen for students facing O/Ls in March

Jan 4 (AD) Ministry of Education has decided to commence schools in the Western Province for Grade 11 students appearing for the GCE O/L Exam in March. Accordingly, schools will reopen for grade 11 students from Jan 25, Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris said. However, schools in isolated areas in the relevant districts will further remain to be closed. “Dates for GCE O/L Exam have already been announced Mar 1 - Mar 11 more..

Customs seize 7,500 kg of illegally imported turmeric

Jan 4 (AD) SL Customs has seized 7,500 kilograms of turmeric illegally imported into the country under the guise of importing wheat flour. The stock of turmeric was found inside a container shipped from India on Dec 20, declared as wheat flour. The container was searched based on information uncovered through investigations carried out by the Risk Management Unit of SL Customs while a stock of turmeric valued at over Rs 15 million was discovered inside. more..

Govt using COVID pandemic to its advantage: Patali

Jan 4 (TM) SJB MP Champika Ranawaka accused the govt of using the prevailing pandemic to its own advantage as the country has been opened for Ukrainian tourists even though many SL immigrants haven’t been repatriated. He brought to the public’s attention that there were many SL immigrants waiting to be repatriated to the country and no relief has been provided to them in terms of airfare, although the Ukrainian tourists were brought at a lesser airfare, and were staying in hotels more..

Tourism Chief unaware of Ukrainian tourists’ movements in SL

Jan 4 (DM) SL Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) Chairman Kimarli Fernando in a letter to Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga claimed the SLTDA came to know through the media that a group of tourists from the Ukraine went on excursions to Mirissa for Whale watching and Yala. She said the agreement at the Task Force Meeting was for the tour organisers to provide SLTDA detailed itineraries in advance, including more..

Lankan-born Louiqa Raschid makes Sri Lanka proud in computer science

Jan 4 (FT) Lankan-born Louiqa Raschid, a Professor in the Robert H. Smith School of Business with a joint appointment in the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS), has been named a Fellow by the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Being chosen as a Fellow is the highest grade of IEEE membership, and is recognised by the technical community as a prestigious honour and an important career achievement. more..

Ukrainian tourists' visit to Sigiriya and Polonnaruwa cancelled

Jan 4 (DM) After the Ministry of Tourism has cancelled the tours by the visiting Ukrainian tourists to Sigiriya and Polonnaruwa, those areas are now opened for local tourists today and tomorrow, Central Cultural Fund said. Ministry said earlier, the tourist attraction areas in Sigiriya and Polonnaruwa have been advised to close for local tourists today and tomorrow after 12 pm, as Ukrainian tourists are scheduled to visit those locations. However, Parakrama Palace Complex, Dalada Oluwa, more..

Indian FM to arrive tomorrow

Jan 4 (HT) External affairs minister S Jaishankar will travel to Sri Lanka on Tuesday on a visit to cement India’s relationship with the island nation. The external affairs minister is expected to take up the release of Indian fishermen apprehended last month during the visit that is designed to review the developments in bilateral relations between the two neighbours from a strategic and long-term perspective. more..

Rs 1,146M owed to State Timber Corp

Jan 4 (CT) A financial report, submitted to the Ministry of Wildlife and Forest Conservation, reveals that various Govt as well as private sector institutions owe the State Timber Corporation a sum of Rs 1,146 million. SL Railways Dept has to pay a sum of Rs 940 million. This sum has to be paid to the Timber Corporation for the supply of railway sleepers. It has been calculated that apart from the govt sector, private companies also owe the State Timber Corporation Rs 70 million. more..

SL avoids IMF as fiscal austerity fails to resuscitate a pandemic-stricken economy

Jan 4 (DM) The current managers of the Sri Lankan economy have every reason to avoid going back to the IMF as preconditioned austerity measures and fiscal tightening that will typically accompany such a package could further suffocate an economy beset by the pandemic. According to Danushka Samarasinghe and Anjula Nawarathna, the two researchers behind a latest report on the SL economy by National Lanka Equities, the IMF route could be the last resort for SL but more..

COVID-19: JVP tells govt magic cannot help tackle pandemic

Jan 4 (Island) Written history of pandemics dating back to around 2,500 years indicates that only scientific methods could cure the patients, and therefore the govt should stop promoting concoctions prepared by people without any scientific background, says the JVP. Former MP Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa said that the govt should promote scientific methods and build people’s confidence in those methods in fighting more..

Farmers suspected of poisoning birds that raid their paddy fields

Jan 4 (Island) Environmentalists and animal lovers are urging the Department of Wildlife Conservation to take legal action against farmers who are alleged to have poisoned birds in Eluwankulama area bordering the Wilpattu Forest Reserve, recently. Wildlife & Nature Protection Society has stressed that those who are found guilty in such inhuman acts should be severely punished. Environmentalists also urged that post mortems should be conducted on the dead birds without further delay. more..

SL Development Bonds in more foreign currencies, direct bond sales eyed: CB

Jan 4 (EN) Sri Lanka Development Bonds, currently a dollar denominated govt security, will be issued in more foreign currencies in 2021, while direct bond sales ‘window’ is also planned, Central Bank Governor W D Lakshman said. “Going forward, Central Bank will issue fixed rate and multi-currency SLDBs, thereby facilitating the financial sector foreign currency deposit mobilization,” Governor Lakshman said, in a virtual delivery of a monetary policy road map for 2021. more..

Dengue fatalities at 35, lowest in 10 Years

Jan 4 (CT) Dengue fatalities, recorded at 35 in 2020, were probably the lowest in 10 years, Dr. Arjuna Jayasekara, Head of Epidemiology Unit, said. There were no fatalities reported in Dec 2020. Jayasekrara attributed three reasons behind this low fatality count last year, which are, less movement of people to the Western Province due to fear of contracting the COVID-19 Pandemic, the apex source having the most number of cases in respect of both more..

Maize crop loss only 0.29% of Maha forecast

Jan 4 (CT) Maize crop loss due to the impact of the fall armyworm infestation is equivalent to only 0.29% (1,124 metric tons) of the original Maha crop forecast (2020/21) of 386,592 metric tons, the Agriculture Dept’s latest data showed. Departmental data further showed that though the original Maha season maize crop harvest was estimated at 386,592 metric tons, now because of the fall armyworm menace, that has been reduced to 385,468 metric tons, a 0.29% decline. more..

565 discharged; COVID-19 recoveries up to 37,817

Jan 4 (NR) 565 persons who contracted the novel coronavirus have recovered and have been discharged from hospitals, raising the number of recoveries to 37,817. 65 persons were discharged from Rambukkana Treatment centre, 61 from Bingiriya Treatment centre, 38 from Hambantota District General hospital and 30 patients each from Kattankudy Base hospital and Warakapola Base hospital during the past 24 hours. Accordingly, 6,744 persons including 3 foreign nationals are more..

Tough guidelines laid down by Health Ministry appointed Experts Committee for...

Jan 4 (Island) Recommendations of the Health Ministry appointed Experts Committee comprising Virologists, Microbiologists and Immunologists to revisit the guideline (1) on disposal of corpses of persons infected with SARS – CoV – 2 virus has released the following recommendations. 1. The dignity of the dead and their families should be respected & protected as far as possible throughout the process used for the disposal of the body. more..

SL to issue a 2000 rupee banknote again

Jan 4 (EN) A new 2000 Sri Lanka rupee banknote will be introduced in 2021 with improved security features, as part of the existing series, Central Bank Governor W D Lakshman said. “A new currency note for Rs. 2,000 will be introduced in 2021, as part of the existing 11th note series with improved security features,” Governor Lakshman said delivering a policy roadmap for 2021. Sri Lanka first introduced a 2000 rupee note in when current finance minister and PM Rajapaksa was finance minister. more..

Extremist link not underscored: Police

Jan 4 (CT) DIG Ajith Rohana said, that there was no evidence to show that there was no terrorist or extremist link involved in the theft of explosives from a quarry in Mawanella recently. The Mawanella Magistrate remanded three suspects in connection with stealing explosive material from a quarry in Mawanella. The suspects were remanded till 7 Jan 2021. However, one suspect was earlier arrested and remanded in this connection. Four suspects in all have been arrested over the theft. more..

Rwandan help to fight Fall Army Worm part of on-going cooperation

Jan 4 (EN) Rwandan military officers conducting experimental spraying of pesticides to combat the Fall Army Worm which is threatening maize cultivations is part of on-going military cooperation with that country, Army Spokesman Brig Chandana Wickremeratne said. “We have close relations with many militaries across the world and a number of Rwandan officers are graduates of the Kotelawela Defense University,” he said. more..

Minimum age of employment to be raised from 14 to 16

Jan 4 (Island) Labour Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva is scheduled to move a Bill for debate to increase the minimum age of employment from 14 to 16. The Bill, titled Employment of Women, Young Persons and Children (Amendment) Bill, would make it an offence to employ anyone below the age of 16, Labour Commissioner Prabhath Chandrakeerthi said. He said that the UN had declared the year 2021 as the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour and more..

UNP accuses govt of placing public at risk by bringing in tourists without following...

Jan 4 (TM) The UNP today accused the govt of placing the public at risk of a further spread of COVID-19 virus by bringing in tourists into the country without following due procedure. Former MP Sandith Samarasinghe said that according to global health statistics, Ukraine is currently listed as the 17th worst affected country by the virus. “However, the Govt has chosen to ignore these concerns and proceeded with a tour organised by an individual connected to the ruling family. more..

Moeen Ali tests positive for Covid-19 as England arrive in Sri Lanka

Jan 4 (CI) England's touring party landed in SL on Sunday, ahead of their 2-Test series & were tested on arrival. Although the ECB initially reported that all results were negative, it has subsequently transpired that while the lateral flow test - the quicker version of the test which takes only 30-minutes or so to complete - was negative, the more accurate PCR test, which takes longer to analyse & was also carried out at airport, was positive. more..

Covid-19: Stop adding insult to injury

Jan 5 (DM) The Health Ministry had appointed a committee to look into COVID-19 related deaths occurring at homes, rather than in hospitals in October. The ministry was prompted to take step subsequent to repeated reports of deaths of COVID-19 patients at their homes, especially in Colombo. This is a scenario that has been evident during the second wave of the pandemic in SL. Not a single incident of that sort was reported during the first wave. However, two months have passed more..

Simplification halts corruption

Jan 5 (CT) Every Govt in power, especially after 1977, was accused of corruption. But, there has been no headway made to eradicate corruption. Although every Govt that came to power since promised that they will eradicate corruption, in the eyes of the public, nothing tangible has taken place upto now. Bribery and corruption are the two sides of the cancer plaguing the democratic governance. SL ranks 93rd in the World Corruption Index, far behind our Asia peers Singapore (4), Malaysia (51), more..

Derana campaign against Prof. Jennifer Perera revealed

Jan 5 (CT) A leaked copy of the Committee of Experts appointed by the Govt to make recommendations on whether it was safe to bury victims of Covid-19 has explained a relentless campaign against the chair of the committee, Professor Jennifer Perera. Prof Perera is chair of the department of microbiology at Colombo Uni’s Medical Faculty. A copy of the report that leaked on social media earlier this week more..

Misreading the 69 lakshaya mantra – no extra powers conferred

Jan 5 (ST) Prez Rajapaksa obtained 69 lakhs of votes at the Prez Elections in Nov 2019 to be elected as the Head of State and Head of Govt. Since then the phrase heta nama lakshaya (sixty nine lakhs) has become a catch phrase and is often used on political platforms. The current usage of the phrase particularly by those supporting the Govt reveals a total misreading and misinterpretation of the number of votes received by the Prez as a justification of Governmental actions more..

The quote of The Year 2020 & The Geneva portal 2021

Jan 5 (CT) A campaign for democracy has little chance of success against long-established authoritarian systems, but the odds are considerably better when the task is to interrupt the transition, or degeneration through subversion from above, by a regime, of a long-established democracy such as SL. Under Prez Gotabaya, militarization is eating through the long-established civilian public administration like the armyworm eating through crops. To understand how this works and more..

Leopard attack on farmers in Kutumbigala: On the receiving end of a leopard!

Jan 5 (DM) An abundance of greeneries that come to life with birdsong and calls of the wild, punctuated with rocky outcrops highlight the Kutumbigala Sanctuary as one of the most pristine locations in the Ampara District. Home to one of the ancient Buddhist monastic complexes built during the times of King Devanampiya Tissa, Kutumbigala comprise of ancient caves, inscriptions and ancient dagabas. more..

SLFP with its 1.5% attempts Hara-kiri?

Jan 5 (DM) SLFP which almost equally shared the post-independent 72-year administration switching roles with UNP could manage a meagre 1.47 and 1.57% of valid votes in Nuwara-Eliya and Kalutara, in the two districts in the South that they challenged their own off-shoot Pohottuwa at 2020 General Elections, seems ignorant on the place they currently occupy in the electoral map of SL. However, they fared extremely well in Northern Jaffna with a 13.7% gain compared to more..

Editorial: Sick healers peddling snake oil

Jan 5 (Island) The unfolding political drama in the US, which makes itself out to be the greatest democracy on earth and even exports democratic governance to other countries that are not within the sphere of its influence, reminds us of a line from Shakespeare’s Hamlet—Something is rotten in the state of Denmark—and the recurring image of the snail under the leaf in Katherine Mansfield’s stories. It has now become obvious that there is something rotten in the United States, and more..

Face the Nation

In a democracy, presidential immunity should be clearly defined and limited

Jan 5 (DM) The office of the SL Prez carries with it a wide variety of duties and responsibilities. He has many official and unofficial roles and as the chief executive he has to implement governmental policy and supervise the executive branch of govt. He presides over Cabinet meetings as both the head of State and head of govt. He is the commander-in-chief and exercises supreme command authority of the nation’s military forces and has the primary responsibility to preserve the constitutional more..

Sena Caterpillar: Why Entomologists from Ruwanda?

Jan 5 (Island) The Fall Armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda), also called Sena caterpillar (SC) is larval stage of a moth that is causing damage to economically important cultivated cereals such as maize, rice, sorghum, vegetables, etc. In 2018, maize crops cultivated in some parts of the country were affected by this caterpillar causing hardships to a large number of maize farmers. Sri Lanka was targeting to grow around 112,000 hectares of maize during the current Maha 2020/2021 season more..

Dimuth Karunaratne's 91* rallies Sri Lanka as Vishwa Fernando claims maiden five-for

Jan 5 (CI) South Africa still control the second Test, but after an abject first day, Sri Lanka resisted on day two, raising mild hope. First, the seamers lay siege, rolling through South Africa either side of lunch, to claim nine wickets for 84 runs - Vishwa Fernando taking five of those. Later, captain Dimuth Karunaratne produced his best innings in South Africa, to be not out on 91 by stumps. And yet, thanks in part to centurion Dean Elgar, more..