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Turmoil in Toronto as Tigers target TNA meeting

Nov 27 (DM) Last Saturday (20) saw a group of self-styled political activists create a ruckus and disrupt a public meeting in the Scarborough area of Toronto City in Canada. The incident -though distorted and misreported in sections of the media - received wide publicity in SL. Moreover it has generated a multi-faceted debate through social media within and outside SL. This is because the Toronto fracas involved SL Tamils and more..

Ignore the Signals and Head for Disaster

Nov 27 (DM) Every year I have been writing articles to mark the birth and death anniversaries of the Late Mr. Athulathmudali to bring to the attention of the public as well as those in governance the skill and competency with which this great man handled any and every situation that was thrust upon him. My aim has always been to bring to the present citizens and rulers an idea of how best we can progress as a country. As years go by, many are of the view that presently around 60% of law makers more..

Apartheid by any other name is just as bad

Nov 27 (DM) The UN observes 29 Nov as the Int'l Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people, the same date in 1947 on which the UN General Assembly adopted the resolution on the partition of Palestine. Based on that resolution, in May 1948, Israel was declared an independent state with David Ben-Gurion, the head of the Jewish Agency, as PM. Weeks prior to Israel’s declaration of independence, on April 9 terrorist Israeli gangs –Irgun and Lehi- carried out massacres in village of Deir Yasin, more..

නලීන් බණ්ඩාර

Young woman receiving treatment due to gas cylinder explosion, dies

Nov 26 (DM) A 19-year-old married woman who was receiving treatment at the National Hospital in Colombo after being seriously injured by a gas cylinder explosion at a house at Welikanda in Polonnaruwa, had died yesterday evening. Police said the deceased has been identified as Ayesha Kumuduni, a resident of Sandunpitiya, Welikanda. Investigations have revealed that the gas cylinder had exploded when she tried to light it with a match on November 13. No one else was at home at the time of the incident more..

I was not instrumental introducing organic farming: Rathana Thera

Nov 26 (DM) Refuting claims that he was behind the moves to ban chemical fertilizer, Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera said today that he was not aware of it until the Cabinet Paper prohibiting chemical fertilizer was presented to the Cabinet by the President. The prelate told Parliament that they launched a massive ideological campaign to promote organic farming and that they never proposed that it was possible to introduce organic farming within 24 hours through a Cabinet Paper. more..

'Sri Lanka to go ahead with fuel price stabilisation fund'

Nov 26 (EN) Sri Lanka will go ahead with a fuel price stabilisation fund and though the benefits won’t be immediate, the fund shall decide fuel prices going forward and not govt ministers, Energy Minister Udaya Gammanipla said. “What such a fund does is keep fuel prices as stable as possible irrespective of global price fluctuations,” Gammanpila told reporters. “We decided to establish this fund after thoroughly studying similar funds elsewhere. more..

Adheres to SLSI requirements: LAUGFS

Nov 26 (CT) As an importer of LPG to the country, LAUGFS Gas follows the standards published by the Sri Lanka Standards Institute (SLSI) and LAUGFS Gas PLC has its LPG specifications accordingly, LAUGFS in a statement yesterday. LAUGFS has never released LPG with low standards as said by certain sections of the media, it said. LAUGFS further said: ‘Composition of LPG is used according to the temperature zones and in a range of propane/butane: 30%/70% used in Sri Lanka accordingly. more..

Central Expressway ready by 2024

Nov 26 (CT) Development work on the Central Expressway will be completed by 2024, according to Director General of RDA, Sardha Weerakoon. The RDA has taken steps to consult the appropriate agencies to discuss proposals outside the present system in order to prevent the damage to completed roads during the implementation of development projects such as water, electricity, and telecom. Weerakoon, stated that a two-metre area will be set aside on each side of the road to be used in development initiatives more..

Death of Tinkering Lasantha has all hallmarks of extra judicial killing: BASL

Nov 26 (TM) Responding to the news of wanted suspect Hewa Lunuwilage Lasantha alias Tinkering Lasantha’s death this morning, which SL Police said happened during a shootout with the Police, the Bar Association of SL in a statement said that it has all the hallmarks of an extra judicial killing. “Once again, SL Police is involved in an incident which has the hallmarks of an extra judicial killing. This killing comes at a time when SL’s human rights record is under scrutiny and more..

Ministerial Consultative Committee approves Mahapola Scholarship Trust Fund Amendment Bill

Nov 26 (AD) Bill to amend the Mahapola Higher Education Scholarship Trust Fund Act, No. 66 of 1981 has been approved at the Ministerial Consultative Committee on Trade. The approval was given at the committee meeting of the Ministerial Consultative Committee on Trade chaired by Minister Dr. Bandula Gunawardana in Parliament yesterday. Minister stated that three main points are being amended by this (Amendment) Bill. Namely, renaming the Mahapola Scholarship Fund as the Lalith Athulathmudali Scholarship Fund, more..

Tinker Lasantha shot dead by police when taken to recover hidden weapons

Nov 26 (DM) Hewa Lunuge Lasantha alias Tinker Lasantha, who was allegedly involved in a number of murders and crimes, was shot dead by police at Diyagama in Kalutara, police said. They said he was the main suspect in the murder of notorious drug trafficker Amila Prasanna Hettihewa alias Sunshine Sudda who was shot dead in Matara in September this year. The suspect Lasantha, a resident of Matara and has been involved in 13 crimes including murders, police said. Lasantha was taken to the Diyagama area more..

Court dismisses LTTE’s plea

Nov 26 (CT) The General Court of Luxembourg dismissed on Wednesday the European Political Subdivision of the LTTE’s plea to repeal the decision of placing the LTTE on the European list of terrorist organisations. The failed applicant (LTTE) claimed that the Court should, “annul Decision 2019/25, Decision 2019/1341, Regulation 2020/19, Regulation 2020/1128 and Decision 2020/1132 (together, the contested measures), in so far as they concern the LTTE; more..

Mobile vaccination service to administer booster dose

Nov 26 (PMD) President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has instructed the health authorities to take necessary steps to launch a mobile vaccination service to administer a booster dose for people over the age of 60 who had their second dose three months prior. President gave these instructions at the meeting of the Special Committee on COVID-19 Control today (26). It was decided to administer the booster dose to all those over the age of 60 who come to the hospital medical clinics. more..

Opposition suggests govt internal squabble over fertilizer a diversion tactic

Nov 26 (EN) SJB is wondering whether a highly publicised war of words between former Prez Maithripala Sirisena and Agriculture Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage on Thursday was a deliberate diversion, an SJB MP said. MP Nalin Bandara told parliament that the issue between the two should’ve been resolved internally. “It has now come out. We wonder if they’re doing this on purpose to divert attention away from the farmers’ issue, if they’re staging a quarrel, like they’re playing cops and robbers,” more..

Jaffna Uni students mark Maaveerar Day

Nov 26 (CT) A number of Jaffna Uni students organised an event at the Campus premises yesterday to observe the Maaveerar Naal (Heroes’ Day), commemorated on 27 November. University students placed floral tributes at the memorial located inside the University of Jaffna. Meanwhile, the restraining order issued by Mullaitivu Magistrate, on 17 Nov banning the Heroes’ Day commemoration was revoked yesterday. “To mourn the dead, is human,” said lawyer V.S.S. Thananjayan, more..

MONLAR accuses govt of allowing India to play bigger role in country’s agriculture

Nov 26 (Island) The govt has allowed India to play a bigger role in SL agriculture due to its recent actions regarding agrochemicals, moderator of MONLAR Chinthaka Rajapakshe alleged yesterday. Rajapaksa told The Island that the govt had banned agrochemicals to break the existing cartel that controlled fertiliser imports and thereby help its business associates. Rajapakshe said that the actions of successive govts had greatly undermined the country’s food security and sovereignty. more..

CPSTL introduces drone technology to petroleum industry

Nov 26 (DM) Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminals Ltd (CPSTL) today introduced drone technology to the petroleum industry for the first time in Sri Lanka. While introducing the new system, CPSTL Chairman a Uvais Mohamed said this technology has been designed in line with the company's effort to modernise its operations as well as the massive infrastructure development projects it is engaged in. "The new drone camera unit is capable of monitoring and responding to any sort of petroleum industry emergency, more..

Sri Lanka on alert for heavily mutated variant of SARS-CoV-2; caution advised

Nov 26 (EN) SL’s health authorities are on alert for a mutated variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, currently spreading in South Africa. Health Services Deputy Director Dr Hemantha Herath said that a technical committee of the health ministry is reviewing available data on the new strain which is said to be unresponsive to vaccines currently in use around the world. The variant, named B.1.1.529 was first detected on Nov 24 and has since been observed in multiple countries, more..

COVID figures move up with 26 new deaths and 488 cases

Nov 26 (AD) Director-General of Health Services has confirmed 26 new coronavirus-related deaths for Nov 25, increasing the death toll in the country due to the virus pandemic to 14,258. The deaths include 16 males and 10 females. The latest victims include one male aged below 30 years and three others between the ages 30-59 years. The remaining 22 are in the age group of 60 years and above. Meanwhile, Ministry of Health has reported that another 508 persons have tested positive for COVID-19 today. more..

Another explosion at house in Nikaweratiya

Nov 26 (DM) Another explosion was reported at a house in Kandegedara in Nikaweratiya today due to a suspected gas leak, causing severe damage to the house. No injuries were reported as the mother and father of the house had gone out from the house at the time of the incident while two sons of their's were also not in the house. Severe damage had been caused to the house due to the incident. However, when contacted the OIC of the Nikaweratiya Police, said he an investigation was underway to determine the cause of the incident. more..

Video: Five-judge bench appointed to hear Yugadanavi petitions

Nov 26 (AD) Chief Justice has appointed a five-member judge bench of the Supreme Court to hear the Fundamental Rights (FR) petitions filed against the Yugadanavi Power Plant deal. Relevant petitions were called before Supreme Court Judges Murdu Fernando, Gamini Amarasekara and Arjuna Obeysekara this morning. The bench consists of Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya and Supreme Court Judges Buwaneka Aluvihare, Priyantha Jayawardena, Vijith Malalgoda and L.T.B. Dehideniya. more..

German warship visiting Sri Lanka under Indo-Pacific strategy in January

Nov 26 (EN) With Germany now following an Indo-Pacific strategy to keep sea lanes open for global trade, the frigate Bayern will visit Sri Lanka in January, Ambassador to SL, Holger Seubert said. Germany unveiled an Indo-Pacific strategy in 2020. “Is there any hidden agenda by the Germans of assertion for new zones of influence? What’s the background of this decision?” Seubert said addressing Top German Brands in SL. Ambassador Seubert said there were two pillars to Germany’s Indo-Pacific strategy. more..

Fmr. Prez fully responsible for Easter attack, legal action should be taken: Prasanna

Nov 26 (DM) Former President Maithripala Sirisena is fully responsible for the Easter Sunday attack and legal action should be taken against him, Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said. He told the media after participating in a ceremony organised in Yakkala that he did not have issues with the SLFP, but action should be taken against Sirisena. "The SLFP is our beginning, and my honour is given to the party. But we have a problem with the people who led the SLFP in the past. more..

UN will always work closely with Sri Lanka

Nov 26 (PMD) The United Nations will always work closely with Sri Lanka, said Mr. Khaled Khiari, UN Assistant Secretary General for Political, Peacebuilding and Peace Operations. Mr. Khiari made these remarks when he met with Prez Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat, today (25). UN Assistant Secretary General Khiari is visiting Sri Lanka as a follow-up to the bilateral meeting with the President and the UN Secretary- General Antonio Guterres held in September this year more..

Central Bank blames usual suspects for inflation after printing money

Nov 26 (EN) SL’s central bank has blamed the usual suspects for surging inflation despite being the sole authority which is able to create or not create inflation by virtue of holding a legal monopoly on money issue in the country. The central bank blamed supply side disruptions and removal of price controls and raising administratively determined prices, a long time favourite, for inflation of over 8 percent in October. No mention is usually made in SL and other countries more..

Navy provides safe passenger transport service at Kurinchankerny bridge

Nov 26 (SLN) SL Navy made arrangements to provide safe passenger transport service at the Kurinchankerny bridge commencing from 25th Nov 2021. The residents in the area will be able to use this mode of transportation until the construction of the Kurinchankerny Bridge in Kinniya, Trincomalee is completed. Following the directives of Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Nishantha Ulugetenne this initiative was set in motion taking into account the difficulties faced by the residents and school children, more..

President directs to import Molnupiravir antiviral COVID drug through SPC

Nov 26 (AD) Prez Rajapaksa has directed State Minister Prof. Channa Jayasumana to take required measures to import the antiviral medication for COVID-19, Molnupiravir, through the State Pharmaceuticals Corporation (SPC). Rolling out Molnupiravir antiviral pill to treat symptomatic coronavirus cases in Sri Lanka was discussed at the meeting of Special Committee on COVID-19 Control held earlier today. Molnupiravir, which works by interfering with the virus’ replication, more..

Majority of SLFP MPs will remain with govt: Roshan Ranasinghe

Nov 26 (DM) Majority of SLFP MPs will remain with the govt, even if one or two decide to leave, SLPP Polonnaruwa District MP Roshan Ranasinghe told Parliament today. He came out with this remark in response to the remarks made by former President Maithripala Sirisena who hit out at the govt on Thursday. “Mr. Sirisena said he will hit us in a different way. Zahran’s attack may be one of the different hits he talked about. Majority of SLFP MPs will stay with us even if one or two decide to leave ,” more..

Foreign Minister stresses importance of collaboration

Nov 26 (MFA) Foreign Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris was the Special Guest at the inauguration of the Annual Research Symposium 2021, at the University of Colombo on Nov 23. The symposium brings together distinguished academics representing a number of disciplines, and highlights the theme for 2021 – Impartial Research through an Interdisciplinary Approach. The event was also attended by the Acting High Commissioner of India to SL Vinod K. Jacob, notable academics from the Faculty of the university. more..

Anura Kumara Dissanayake

One bipartisan crisis, two stages; so what’s the solution?

Nov 26 (FT) For decades, the UNP and (until 1977) the Left held the multiethnic cities; the SLFP, the Sinhala countryside. The SLPP did even better than the SLFP. Today, with one nuclear policy bomb the epicentre of which is paddy cultivation, Prez Rajapaksa has erased that political map. The SLPP is almost certainly shattered in the countryside, doomed in the cities. PM Modi set a healthy example of leadership by addressing the nation, pledging to repeal the three pieces of legislation more..

The silence of the lambs

Nov 26 (FT) Last week, a soft-spoken Catholic priest had to mark his presence in the pleasant offices of the CID to record – not one, or two, but no less than three – statements regarding his comments on the alleged role of the State military and intelligence services vis-à-vis the Trojan horse we now know as ‘4/21’. And that the outspoken individual patiently treading the path to his own Calvary of a sort is a man of the cloth is not atypical in a country where personal religion turns into tribal politics soon enough. more..

Sirisena sounds warning to Govt

Nov 26 (CT) Former Prez Maithripala Sirisena, in what appears to be a warning, told the Govt, in Parliament yesterday, not to be overconfident of the 2/3 majority as it is wielded by the 14 SLFP MPs in the House. In response to Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage’s recent claims on extravagant expenses of former Prez, Sirisena warned Aluthgamage and other ruling party members, who criticise coalition allies, not to more..

No new IMF programme: Cabraal

Nov 26 (CT) Sri Lanka will not discuss a new programme with the IMF team who will visit the country next month for their (IMF’s) regular ‘Article IV’ consultations with the Govt, CB Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal told reporters. He said, instead the Govt is pursuing Govt to Govt (G to G) consultations to uplift the country’s foreign reserves, which talks are at an advanced stage. Among those G to G talks are those with India as well, the Governor speaking from CBSL Headquarters in Colombo said. more..

SLAF deploys aircraft and drones to monitor traffic congestion in Colombo

Nov 26 (DM) A Bell 212 aircraft and drones of SL Air Force have been used to monitor traffic congestion in Colombo in a joint operation with the SL Police. Air Force Spokesman said it was observed that heavy traffic congestion was reported in the Colombo area after the travel restrictions in the island were lifted due to the Covid-19 epidemic. He said Prez has directed to monitor the situation and to take appropriate action to reduce the traffic congestion in Colombo and its suburbs. more..