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Be warned: Dishonouring The Dead is the death of human conscience

NoV 19 (CT) There is something positively vile about a govt that goes out of its way, in the midst of a global pandemic to hurt the most core sentiments of a religious community. During the pandemic, SL is the one among abysmally few countries in the world that has explicitly disallowed burials. There is no scientific proof that says burials increase the chances of virus spread. Such a question has not arisen anywhere in the world even though there has been mass scale deaths and practical issues more..

Prez Rajapaksa: Address to the Nation

India congratulates Sri Lanka Air Force on first commissioned women pilots

Nov 18 (ANI) India on Wednesday congratulated SL Air Force officers -ADPL Gunarathne and RT Weerawardana - on becoming the first female officers commissioned as pilots by the Sri Lanka Air Force. "Proud moment for #SriLanka & for women everywhere! Our Congratulations to ADPL Gunarathne & RT Weerawardana on becoming the 1st women to be commissioned as Pilots in @airforcelk We are especially happy as they are both alumni of Indian Air Force Academy more..

Head of Dawoodi Bohra Community arrives in Sri Lanka

Nov 18 (NIA) The head of the Dawoodi Bohra Community, His Holiness Dr Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS and his entourage of 36, arrived in Sri Lanka on 16th November on a special charter flight. The entourage was met with and escorted to Anasa Wellness Resort in Bandarawela by the army and are now observing the mandatory 14 days quarantine there. His Holiness and entourage underwent the required PCR tests 72 hours prior to their departure & immediately upon arrival more..

Sinharaja conservation area: Expands over 35,000 hectares

Nov 18 (TM) The long-awaited extraordinary gazette notification approving the expansion of the Sinharaja conservation area was released yesterday (15). Centre for Environmental Justice Executive Director Hemantha Withanage said: “Although the gazette was issued on 20 Nov 2019 by former Prez and Minister of Environment Maithripala Sirisena, govt printer could not publish it due to two pages of missing data. more..

Escaped Bogambara Prison inmate recaptured

Nov 18 (AD) The inmate who has escaped from the Old Bogambara Prison in Kandy has been arrested, Commissioner-General of Prisons Thushara Upuldeniya said. He had been captured while he was within in the Kandy town itself. Upon arrest, the inmate has been sent back to the Old Bogambara Prison and placed under a 14-day compulsory quarantine period. Earlier today, it was reported that five inmates who were under quarantine at the Old Bogambara Prison had attempted to more..

Guidelines issued on non-medical reusable cloth face masks

Nov 18 (FT) Health Ministry yesterday published guidelines issued by the SL Standards Institution (SLSI) on non-medical reusable cloth face masks, with specific requirements for the design, materials, storage, performance, and testing methods. According to the document consisting of the guidelines, the standard was approved by a special committee appointed for non-medical reusable cloth face masks and was authorised for adoption and publication as a Sri Lanka standard by more..

Judge Ranawaka asked Fmr President for promotion

Nov 18 (CT) A conversation between former Prez Sirisena and then High Court Judge Padmini Ranawaka where she requests for a promotion on the basis of her services including the verdict given against former MP Duminda Silva was played before the PCoI appointed to probe into the alleged political victimisation of public officials during the tenure of the UNF-led Govt. This was based on a complaint filed by Silva's father, more..

Budget 2021 presents same old, failed neoliberal policies in new words: Harini

Nov 18 (EN) Budget 2021 presents the same old, failed neoliberal economic policies couched in new words and will only benefit a privileged few, National People’s Power (NPP) MP Dr Harini Amarasuriya said. The MP told parliament today that the various proposals in the budget for a national economy, a production economy and for strengthening the public service contain no real solutions for the crisis brought about by the capitalist system itself and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. more..

SSP’s daughter granted bail over Kurunduwatta motor showroom crash

Nov 18 (AD) The daughter of a Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), who was arrested for causing property damage by crashing a luxury vehicle into a motor showroom in Kurunduwatta, Colombo 7, has been granted bail. The suspect, Roshani Ratnayake, appeared before Colombo Magistrate’s Court when the case was taken up earlier today. She was released on two personal bails, each worth Rs 200,000. Investigations have uncovered that the 19-year-old had not been more..

JVP press conference

Karu welcomes expansion Sinharaja area

Nov 18 (FT) NMJS Chairman Karu Jayasuriya in a statement yesterday welcomed the expansion of the area of the Sinharaja Forest Reserve. “We commend former Prez Sirisena for taking a significant step towards the conservation of the Sinharaja Forest Reserve, one of SL's most valuable natural resources. Sinharaja Forest Reserve is considered to be one of the most valuable areas of primary tropical rain forests in the world and one of great ecological significance,” more..

Two species of snakes from Knuckles

Nov 18 (DM) A group of researchers, including one of the leading herpetologists in SL, Mendis Wickramasinghe and Herpetology Researcher at Natural History Museum, London, Evolutionary Biologist Dr. David Gower, has been able to discover two species of snakes endemic to SL in Riverston and Rassagala, Balangoda in the Knuckles mountain range. Researches say that with these two discoveries, the number of endemic snakes in SL increases to 108 and the number of shieldtail more..

Sri Lanka 2019, 2020 budget deficit data controversy hots up

Nov 18 (EN) Suddenly changing published data to overstating a budget deficit for 2019 and understating a deficit for 2020, flouting accounting conventions will undermine investor confidence and backfire on the country, opposition legislator Harsha de Silva warned. SL’s Finance Ministry in November suddenly submitted data to parliament claiming that the 2019 budget deficit was 9.6% of GDP and not 6.8% as more..

Surge in Covid-19 figures as 233 more test positive

Nov 18 (AD) Sri Lanka saw another surge in its confirmed Covid-19 cases this evening (18) as 233 more persons were tested positive for the virus. All the new cases are close contacts of the Minuwangoda and Peliyagoda clusters, reports revealed. With the latest development, the country’s infections tally has soared to 18,938 while total infections from the dual cluster reached 14,801. 12,587 of the confirmed patients have made complete recoveries from the virus. more..

Cabinet green-lights E-National Identity Card project

Nov 18 (AD) Cabinet approval has been given to implement the Unitary Digital Identify Framework and the e–national identity card project. "Govt was following a unitary digital identity framework and a strategy that facilitates realizing the objective of A Skillful Nation which is one of the ten fundamental objectives of the national policy framework of Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour," Govt information Dept said. The unitary digital identification framework has been prepared jointly by ICTA and more..

President to address the nation to mark first anniversary in office

Nov 18 (AD) Today (18) marks the first anniversary of Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa in office since taking oaths as the 7th Executive President of SL. Accordingly, President is expected to address the nation at 8.30 pm this evening, the PMD said. He ascended to the presidency, securing a record total of 6,924,255 votes (52.25%) with a clear mandate in the Prez Election 2019, held on the 16th of Nov last year. more..

Fisheries Ministry plans to build artificial reefs

Nov 18 (CT) Fisheries Ministry plans to expand and replicate a project, including the North, in building artificial fish breeding grounds by constructing artificial reefs in the seas close to the shore. The original project, begun off the seas of the Southern and Wayamba Provinces during 2017-2018, proved successful, the Ministry said. Such artificial reefs were built at a distance of between 15 to 20 metres off the shores of Wayamaba and in the South by using disused iron and concrete structures. more..

CA Sri Lanka, SDB sign landmark MoU to offer SMEs better access to finance

Nov 18 (CBR) In a landmark move aimed at reinforcing the dynamic Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the country, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Sanasa Development Bank PLC (SDB) recently to provide small and medium businesses with better access to finance and essential business acumen for their long-term success. To take forward this initiative amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, more..

Budget numbers nonsensical: Eran

Nov 18 (FT) SJB MP Eran Wickremaratne yesterday described the Govt’s Budget as containing nonsensical revenue measures and proposals that were too inward looking and protectionist to lay the groundwork for sustainable growth. The MP, addressing a post-Budget forum hosted by think tank Verite Research, added he had waited patiently in Parliament to hear the planned revenue measures of the Govt more..

377 more COVID-19 recoveries

Nov 18 (AD) Ministry of Health says that another 377 coronavirus patients have recovered and discharged from the hospital today. This brings the total number of Covid-19 recoveries in Sri Lanka to 12,587 while 5,423 patients are currently being treated. The patients discharged today are from the following hospitals: National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID) - 4; Iranawila Hospital - 20; Minuwangoda Base Hospital - 8; Colombo East Base Hospital – 7; more..

The pandemic and the shadow pandemic

Nov 18 (FT) We are in the tightening grip of the COVID-19 crisis. As much as we would like to wish it away, and for a while thought it had been militarily defeated, it’s proven far more recalcitrant than first imagined. While we await a medical solution such as an effective vaccine, some tweaking of the current model of COVID-19 control seems necessary to stop this sudden rapid spread which has every one petrified, apparently as much about the quarantine facilities as of the disease itself. more..

Dr Jasinghe set to return to Covid-19 front

Nov 18 (AD) Former Director-General of Health Services Dr Anil Jasinghe will be attending the meetings on Covid-19 mitigation in the future, says Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi. She made this remark responding to a question posed by SJB MP Hesha Withanage during the parliamentary session earlier today. He raised concerns over the absence of Dr Jasinghe in the Covid-19 Task Force and the rumours on more..

Heated exchange between EP Governor and TNA MPs

Nov 18 (Island) A Tense situation prevailed at the Batticaloa District Coordinating Committee meeting, where TNA MPs of the district and Eastern Province Governor Anuradha Yahampath, had a heated exchange of words, on Monday, over Divulapathana lands being given to farmers for cultivation. It was the first ever district coordinating committee meeting after Gotabaya Rajapaksa became the President and it met under co-chairpersons, Governor Yahampath and Batticaloa District MP more..

Sri Lanka to charge 0.25% social security levy from businesses

Nov 18 (EN) Sri Lanka has proposed to charge a 0.25% social security tax from business with more than 50-employes to support temporary job losses due to pandemic such as COVID-19, PM Mahinda Rajapaksa said presenting a budget for 2021. The bigger businesses will finance the job losses of smaller ones. “I also propose to create a new insurance scheme to support those who temporarily loose livelihoods due to the quarantine process related to epidemics including COVID,” more..

Covid-related unrest in Prisons grow as escaping inmate in Kandy is shot dead

Nov 18 (EN) Prisoners in many jails are uneasy because of the Covid 19 spread in the institutions and the incident this morning where an inmate was shot dead in Kandy was partly caused by this unrest, activists advocating Prisoners’ Rights say. Chairman of the Committee Protecting the Rights of Prisoners Senaka Perera said that the diagnosing of hundreds of prisoners as being Covid positive has led to this unrest. more..

JVP Colombo municipal members urge govt. to provide slum dwellers with face masks

Nov 18 (Island) JVP CMC members called on the govt to provide people living in the slum areas of the city with face masks free of charge because they could not afford them. JVP CMC member Hemantha Weerakoon said that people living in the Colombo city limits were a high risk group. “One third of the COVID-19 deaths have been reported from within Colombo City limits. Those living in slums are exposed to danger. Although the government instructs them to practice physical distancing more..

First team of 7th Army contingent off to South Sudan

Nov 18 (SLA) The 1st group of the 7th Army contingent of the Sri Lanka Army Medical Corps (SLAMC), bound for UN Peace-Keeping Mission in South Sudan’s Level-2 Hospital (UNMISS) have left the island from the BIA early Tuesday. This first team, comprised of 10 Officers and 22 Other Ranks before their boarding formalities interacted with the Army Chief who wished them best of luck and reminded them of the importance of maintaining the highest level of discipline while serving more..

ආසාධිතයනගේ සෙම් සොටු ජලයට මුසු වීම...

Video: CID seeks Interpol help to trace duo in Japan/Australia over social media fake news

Nov 18 (DM) CID is to seek Int'l Police Organisation (Interpol) assistance to trace two suspects living in Japan and Australia over circulating fake news related to COVID-19 deaths in SL on social media. DIG Ajith Rohana said that fake news had been circulated in the social media platforms such as on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, claiming that dead bodies were found on streets in SL due to COVID-19. It was also claimed that the health authorities of SL are unable to control the spread of more..

SL needs a strategic, transparent and comprehensive State land management...

Nov 18 (FT) Land management in SL appears to be all over the place. Several ministries and Govt departments appear to be responsible for State land management including for forests management, wildlife conservation area management, residual land management (latest to hit the headlines, see below), agriculture land management and tea, rubber and coconut land management. The latest headline grabbing news item in the LankaWeb News Circular enabling Govt to hand over more..

Development Budget: PM

Nov 18 (FT) PM Mahinda Rajapaksa presented what he described as a development Budget for 2021 to Parliament yesterday aimed at steering Sri Lanka to 5.5% growth in 2021 and overcoming the severe setbacks to the COVID-19-hit economy. Presenting the Govt’s first Budget since its election in August and Prez Rajapaksa’s election last November, the PM said the medium term vision of the new administration more..

PM equals Ronnie de Mel’s record

Nov 18 (CT) PM Mahinda Rajapaksa in his capacity as the Minister of Finance equalled the record set by ex-UNP Finance Minister Ronnie de Mel who had delivered 11 Budget speeches in Parliament, when he presented Budget 2021 yesterday. 75th Budget since Independence was presented to the Legislature by Rajapaksa, and it also marked 11th Budget speech delivered by him to the House in his political career. De Mel had done likewise as the former Minister of Finance from 1977-1988. more..

Coronavirus cannot be eradicated by isolating the community: GMOA

Nov 18 (DM) Community-related disease like Coronavirus can never be eradicated by isolating the community, GMOA spokesman Dr. Samantha Ananda said. He said the novel coronavirus is a disease which is spreading in the community and help should come from the community to defeat it. Coronavirus spread is an issue relating to Community Health. Therefore, a wide comprehensive and very sensitive programme should be implemented to locate COVID-19 more..

401 new cases increase dual cluster total to 14,568

Nov 18 (FT) The dual COVID-19 cluster that emerged from Divulapitiya and Peliyagoda yesterday expanded to 14,568 cases with the detection of 401 new patients. The 401 cases were contacts of the Peliyagoda COVID-19 cluster. A total of 18,075COVID-19 patients have been identified in the island to date. In addition to the dual cluster, total count also includes 1,488 SL returnees from abroad, 950 Navy personnel more..

Budget 2021: Special GST tax to be introduced

Nov 18 (AD) The efficiency of tax collection will be improved through the introduction of an online – managed single Special Goods and Service Tax (GST) in place of the various goods and service taxes and levies, imposed under multiple laws and institutions on alcohol, cigarettes, Telecommunication, betting and gaming and vehicles, which accounts for 50% of the income from taxes and levies, PM Mahinda Rajapaksa said in parliament today. more..

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