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Sri Lanka to sign new container port deal with China

Nov 24 (AFP) Sri Lanka will tap a state-run Chinese firm to build a deep-sea container port, the govt said on Wednesday, in a move likely to reignite fears over Beijing's rising regional maritime power. The island's capital Colombo is located in the Indian Ocean between the major hubs of Dubai and Singapore, meaning influence at its ports is highly sought after. SL's port authority signed a preliminary agreement to build more..

COVID Task Force responsible if private bus service collapses: Gemunu

Nov 24 (EN) COVID task force should take full responsibility if the private bus service collapses, Lanka Private Bus Owners' Association (LPBOA) said. According to LPBOA Chairman Gemunu Wijerathne, the country's private bus operations will be reduced by another 50% by January from its current service. The private bus service is currently operating incurring heavy losses, he said. "COVID task force has warned that using public transport will cause a COVID spread in the community. more..

UN expert to visit SL to assess contemporary forms of slavery

Nov 24 (TM) UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, Tomoya Obokata, will undertake his first country visit to SL from 26 Nov to 3 Dec 2021. He will examine the labour conditions in various economic sectors, including in the garment industry, the tea plantations, tourism and domestic work. The Special Rapporteur also intends to assess the implementation of laws and policies and systemic barriers that hamper access to decent work, including for migrant workers more..

සුනිල් හඳුන්නෙත්ති

Vulnerable people still refuse vaccines, leading to a sharp rise in deaths: Health M.

Nov 24 (DM) While saying that the demand for Pfizer vaccine has fairly gone down, the Health Ministry said the vulnerable people still forgo vaccines resulting in number of deaths going up at present. Deputy Director General of Health Services Dr. Hemantha Herath said that it is alarming that vulnerable and high-risk people were not interested in getting the vaccine. “We have not been able to bring the number of fatalities under control due to people in high-risk groups forgoing vaccine” more..

Thanksgiving Service at St. Lucia’s Cathedral invokes blessings on 71st Navy anniversary

Nov 24 (SLN) To coincide with the series of religious events held in view of the 71st anniversary of the Sri Lanka Navy, the Navy Christian Council organized a Christian Commemoration & Thanksgiving Service at St. Lucia’s Cathedral in Colombo on 23rd Nov. The Christian Commemoration & Thanksgiving Service conducted by Auxiliary Bishop, Most Rev. Dr. Anton Ranjith and clergies was presided by Commander of the Navy Vice Admiral Nishantha Ulugetenne. more..

West Indies crumble against spin in pursuit of 348

Nov 24 (CI) Eleven wickets - seven of them belonging to the visitors - fell on the fourth day of the Galle Test between SL and the West Indies as the hosts inched closer towards victory. SL's spinners Ramesh Mendis and Lasith Embuldeniya ran through the West Indian batting line-up to leave them reeling at 52 for 6 at stumps. They need a further 296 runs to win with just four wickets in hand. Much like the first innings, it was the loopy more..

Deputy Chief of Staff bids adieu to SLAF

Nov 24 (CT) Deputy Chief of Staff of the SL Air Force, Air Vice Marshal Andrew Wayne Ediriweera Wijesuriya retired today after completing more than 35 years of service. He made an official farewell call on the Commander of the Air Force, Air Marshal Sudarshana Pathirana at his office. Commander commended him for the dedicated and distinguished long years of service rendered to the nation and to the SL Air Force in particular. The Commander and the Air Vice Marshal exchanged mementos more..

Former Chief Minister S.M. Ranjith indicted

Nov 24 (DM) The Bribery Commission has filed indictments before Colombo High Court against former North Central Province Chief Minister S.M. Ranjith Samarakoon and Shanthi Chandrasena, the spouse of Minister S.M. Chandrasena for allegedly causing an unlawful loss to the govt when obtaining fuel allowance between Sept 27, 2012, and Dec 31, 2014. S.M. Ranjith Samarakoon is a brother of Minister of Lands S.M. Chandrasena. The Director-General of the CIABOC filed indictments more..

Video: Golden Gate Kalyani: New Kelani Bridge vested with the public

Nov 24 (AD) The new state-of-the-art Kelani Bridge named Golden Gate Kalyani in Peliyagoda was declared open this evening (24) in a ceremony held under the patronage of Prez Rajapaksa and PM Rajapaksa. The six-lane bridge, which aims to ease the traffic congestion in Colombo and suburban areas, is the first-ever to be constructed in Sri Lanka with hi-tech stay cables. After the Colombo-Katunayake Expressway more..

Sirisena conspired with SLPP to make arrangements leading to Easter Attacks: SJB

Nov 24 (TM) Refuting claims made by State Minister Kanchana Wijesekera who said that it was the Yahapalanaya Govt which neglected intelligence advice to arrest Zahran Hashim, and thus assisted in the Easter bombings, SJB MP Nalin Bandara said that it was former President Maithripala Sirisena and the SLPP who had made arrangements which led to the Easter attacks. He made this statement while speaking in Parliament today. “The document shared by Kanchana Wijesekera is correct. more..

Special operation finds over 4,000 people without face masks in WP

Nov 24 (DM) The Police yesterday warned nearly 10,000 people for not wearing face masks properly to prevent the spread of Covid-19 during a special operation conducted in the Western Province. On the orders and instructions of the Senior DIG, Western Province, a special operation was carried out to control the spread of Covid-19 disease from 6 am to 6 pm yesterday covering the Western Province. Accordingly, more than 35,000 people travelling in buses, three-wheelers and more..

Sri Lanka to amend media laws, ethics, formulate national media policy

Nov 24 (EN) SL will appoint a committee to amend existing laws applicable to journalists and media organisations and to formulate a national media policy that will cover, among other things, media ethics, according to the cabinet office, amid concern over govt overreach. The cabinet has approved a proposal by Media Minister Dullas Alahapperuma to appoint the committee that will represent the fields of media, marketing, more..

'Kinniya UC Chairman should be removed'

Nov 24 (EN) Chairman of Kinniya UC who is a relative of SLMC MP Imran Maharoof should be removed from his post as he had illegally given permission to run a ferry across the Kinya lagoon, State Minister Nimal Lansa told Parliament. State Minister who made an announcement in the House said the Chairman of Kinniya UC is a relative of MP Maharoof while the businessman who has been allowed to run the ferry service is a member of SLMC and an associate of Mr. Maharoof. more..

BMICH all set to resume regular expositions

Nov 24 (Island) BMICH, together with the SL Association of Professional Conference, Exhibition & Event Organizers (SLAPCEO) announced that they have implemented all safety guidelines recommended by the health authorities to ensure a safe environment for all stakeholders in restarting the regular expositions. “The procedures and processes that have been implemented with co-operation and guidance of the health authorities and with the total commitment of all stakeholders more..

Video: Private sector allowed to import chemical fertilizers from today: Minister

Nov 24 (AD) Permission will be granted to the private sector to import agrochemicals such as chemical fertilizers and weedicides with effect from today, says Minister of Agriculture Mahindananda Aluthgamage. He made this remark addressing the special media briefing held this morning to announce Cabinet decisions. However, the govt’s policy to promote green agriculture in the country will not be rolled back, minister said. more..

Students’ appeal to postpone practical exams directed to Education Minister

Nov 24 (DM) Requests received regarding the postponement of the dates of the practical exams by students for GCE A/L exams will be directed to the attention of the Education Minister, Cabinet spokesman and Minister Dullas Alahapperuma said. In response to a question raised by a journalist via zoom during the weekly cabinet meeting, he stated that the practical examinations for the A/L Atheistic subjects are scheduled to take place from Dec 1 to 15. more..

SLMC suspends three MPs who voted in favour of Budget 2022

Nov 24 (TM) SLMC, led by former minister Rauff Hakeem, has decided to suspend the party membership of the three parliamentarians who voted in favour of the Budget 2022. The SLMC said that MPs H.M.M. Harees, Faizal Cassim and Hafiz Nasir Ahmed have been suspended from their posts in the party with immediate effect. The decision has been taken due to them failing to comply with the resolution of the SLMC’s High Command with regard to the Budget vote in parliament. more..

ගොවිතැනත්, ගොවියාත් විනාශ කිරීමක්!

Electoral reforms and new constitution

Nov 24 (FT) I have written extensively advocating the necessity to consider amending our existing electoral system which in my view requires certain amendments towards effective representation. I am pleased to note Prez Rajapaksa in a recent forum reiterated the introduction of an electoral system and a new constitution as a matter of priority. Towards this endeavour the Parliamentary Select Committee is in the process of finalising its recommendation. At this stage it is opportune for me to highlight more..

Driving digital: Fighting the enemy within

Nov 24 (FT) Digital acceleration was one of the positive outcomes of the COVID 19 pandemic. The pharmaceutical industry in particular leveraged this opportunity to shed its image of being a laggard and launched multiple initiatives ranging from virtual channels of customer engagement, innovative apps to provide just in time information to healthcare professionals and leveraging social media for social listening and gathering insights. Healthcare professionals evolved their approach more..

GMOA flays PSC official, asks Prez to intervene

Nov 24 (Island) The GMOA has requested President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s intervention to prevent L.A. Kalukapuarachchi, Secretary, Health Sub Committee of Public Service Commission, from interfering in the appointments and transfers of medical officers. GMOA President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya has urged the President to ensure that appointment and transfer process proceeds smoothly. more..

PM inaugurates BIA’s expansion project tomorrow

Nov 24 (DN) The second stage of the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) expansion project increasing the airport’s passenger handling capacity to 15 million annually will be launched by PM Mahinda Rajapaksa tomorrow (25). The BIA expansion project will be constructed in two parts, Package A and Package B funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and is the second largest development project currently implemnted in Sri Lanka. more..

Significant rise in number of COVID positive cases in schools daily: CTU

Nov 24 (DM) Following the resumption of school activities in all grades at various stages, a significant number of students, teachers, and non-academic staff reported contracting the COVID-19 virus on a daily basis, CTU Chief Secretary Mahinda Jayasinghe said. In a letter addressed to the Education Minister, the CTU said the number of COVID positive cases reportedly is increasing daily. In a situation where the instruction given by the health authorities are not followed since more..

Question mark over state enterprises prevented from placing orders

Nov 24 (Island) The CID probing allegations against Secretary to the President, Dr. P.B. Jayasundera, as regards the opening of a new account at the Town Hall Branch of the People’s Bank under the name United Farmers Trust Limited (UFTL) on Oct.18 for the payment of nano-urea ordered from the Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO), has questioned Secretary to State Ministry of Agriculture more..

Italian Ambassador calls on Foreign Minister

Nov 24 (MFA) Ambassador of Italy to SL Rita Manella met Foreign Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris on Monday (22) at the Foreign Ministry. The discussion focused on issues of mutual interest including political relations; further consolidation of bilateral trade, investment and tourism ties; SL – EU cooperation; and the exchange of visits. Italian Ambassador also referred to the promotion of cultural cooperation between SL and Italy ina range of spheres including architecture, more..

71,204 persons receive COVID-19 vaccines

Nov 24 (FT) COVID-19 vaccines were administered to 71,204 persons on Monday and 74.01% of the country’s population has received at least one vaccine dose to date. Our World in Data states that 63.76% of the population has received both doses. Both vaccine doses have been administered to 93.8% of the country’s over-20 population. 15,914,780 persons have received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 13,716,871 persons have received both doses. more..

Indian Consul General in Jaffna wears LTTE official flower

Nov 24 (CT) Consul General of India in Jaffna, Raakesh Jayabhaskaran, formally launched the Karthikai Vaasam flower garden in Nallur Kittu Park, Jaffna on 20 Nov by wearing a Niyangala flower (karthigaipoo), which was used as the LTTE’s official flower. The Tamil National Green Organisation (TNGO) staged a floral garden called Karthikai Vaasam, where Niyangala flowers were pinned on participants, more..

Kiriella wants ex-SIS Head indicted as main accused

Nov 24 (Island) SJB MP Lakshman Kiriella demanded in Parliament that former SIS head Senior DIG Nilantha Jayawardena be named an accused in respect of the Easter Sunday terror attacks. Participating in the third reading debate on the budget, SJB MP said that SDIG Jayawardena, who had allegedly failed to prevent the terror attacks and now was a state witness, should be indicted as an accused and prosecuted. “The court has that power to name him an accused. more..

740 persons test positive for COVID-19; 759 delayed cases added to total

Nov 24 (FT) Over 700 COVID-19 cases were added to the country’s total detections following verification and health officials state that 740 persons tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday. SL’s COVID-19 detections have thus risen to 558,860. 759 COVID-19 cases detected between 5 and 11 Nov were added to the total after verification. The COVID-19 patients detected yesterday were from the New Year cluster and, the previous day, 735 persons from New Year cluster tested positive for COVID-19. more..

Ranjith Maddumabandara & Harsha de Silva

Advocata Institute launches public policy discussion

Nov 24 (TM) Advocata Institute is to launch a public policy discussion today on building consensus on economic reforms to emerge from the present economic crisis that SL is encountering. The institute is dedicated to finding policy solutions to key challenges holding back SL’s road to development. The discussion would discuss in detail policies and strategies that would enable SL to build consensus on a programme of economic reforms that can drive SL towards recovery & economic prosperity. more..

Shashikala Siriwardena: Queen and Motherly figure of Women’s Cricket

Nov 24 (CT) Let's take our memories back to the 2020 Women’s T20 World Cup. A perfect farewell for a legend! Siriwardena retires on a high; Lankan ladies get a consolation win, quoting few headlines when the Lankan ladies thrashed the Bangladesh Women’s team in their final outing of the 2020 T20 World Cup. It was indeed a special match for a special player, a lady of sheer class and calibre. It wa s on 2 March 2020, after representing the country for 17 years, more..

'What are you going to discuss with IMF next month?'

Nov 24 (TM) UNP Leader and former PM Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday (23) claimed in Parliament that Sri Lanka will be engaging in Article IV discussions with the IMF in December, and called on the Govt to disclose to Parliament the specifics of what will be discussed with the IMF. IMF Article IV discussions are bilateral discussions generally carried out annually between an IMF team of economists & govts of member countries, more..

New mandatory insurance scheme for migrant workers

Nov 24 (DM) In an effort to strengthen the weak social safety network, Labour Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva has announced plans to introduce a new mandatory insurance scheme for migrant workers, with a maximum converge of US $ 15,000. “We are going to introduce a mandatory insurance scheme for migrant workers in the event of disease, accident and in the event of loss of employment to pay up to US $ 15,000,” De Silva announced at National Occupational Safety & Health Conference more..

hSenid looks to next growth wave via historic IPO

Nov 24 (FT) The first enterprise software firm to list, hSenid Business Solutions, is looking for its next growth wave globally and locally via the Rs. 692 million worth Initial Public Offering (IPO) subscription to which opened yesterday. hSenid Business Solutions (HBS) is offering 55.4 million ordinary non-voting shares (20% stake) to the public at a price of Rs. 12.50 per share. The official opening of the IPO is 3 Dec. The company said funds raised via the IPO are to be channelled toward more..