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Health experts consulted on reopening of schools: GL

Nov 16 (AD) Reopening of schools on the previously scheduled date will be decided with the consultation of health experts, said the Minister of Education, Prof. G.L. Peiris. The third term for schools was set to commence on Nov 23 after it was postponed by 2 weeks from November 09 due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the country. A decision will be made taking into account both the health safety and the future of the children, Prof. Peiris said, joining a press conference held in Colombo today (16). more..

Video: Minuwangoda COVID-19 cluster completely under control: Army Chief

Nov 16 (AD) Minuwangoda cluster in the second wave of COVID-19 has now been brought under complete control, says Lt Gen Shavendra Silva. A total of 3,106 infections were identified from the coronavirus case cluster which originated from Minuwangoda. However, only 136 of them are currently under medical treatment while the rest have been discharged upon recovery, he said. “When Minuwangoda cluster was identified, more..

COVID-19 relapse rare: Prof. Malewige

Nov 16 (CT) Prof Neelika Malewige, of Immunology and Molecular Medicine Studies Division, of Sri J'pura University, said the possibility of a person who had been infected with the Covid-19 virus getting infected again was negligible. Prof Malewige pointed out that a person who has contracted the Covid-19 virus and recovered will not get infected again within a period of three months and there have been no reports so far that anyone had contracted the virus again after 3 months. more..

Popular singer Paul Fernando passes away

Nov 16 (AD) Popular singer Paul Fernando has passed away at the age of 68. He had reportedly passed away this evening at the Kalubowila Hospital after undergoing treatment for an illness for a long period. Details of the funeral are to be announced later. President of SL Singers Association, Keerthi Pasquel stated that due to the prevailing COVID-19 situation in the country a decision on the final rites of the veteran singer is expected to be taken later following the completion of relevant tests. more..

Wimal accuses UN of playing politics

Nov 16 (Island) NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa, MP, accused the UN of playing politics with the controversy over the cremation of all those who died of COVID-19. Minister Weerawansa said so when The Island sought his opinion on the UN recently requesting PM Mahinda Rajapaksa to do away with the existing restrictions. He emphasised that there couldn’t be justification whatsoever in UN intervention as more..

Budget: Rs.2.678T for service expenditure

Nov 16 (NR) The 2021 Appropriation Bill will be presented tomorrow to allocate Rs.2.678 trillion for service expenditure. PM and Minister of Finance Mahinda Rajapaksa will present the second reading of the Appropriation Bill for the 2021 financial year in Parliament tomorrow. The 2021 Appropriation Bill was presented in Parliament by PM Rajapaksa on the 20th of October for the first reading. PM is due to deliver the budget speech in Parliament tomorrow at 1.40 pm. more..

Pre-Budget report: We need a massive response to the economic crisis

Nov 16 (FT) Given that Sri Lanka is facing a massive economic crisis, it is extremely urgent that Budget 2021 reflects the changes that must be made to get the economy onto a sustainable track. The crisis, rather than simply a temporary, one-off effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, in fact exposes long-standing trends both in the global economy and SL’s economy. The question is whether the upcoming budget will adequately respond to this reality. To make sense of the Budget, more..

Video: Ten students obtain maximum marks for Scholarship exam

Nov 16 (AD) Ten students have been able to obtain the maximum number of marks at this Grade 05 Scholarship examination this year. The results of the examination were released by the Department of Examinations yesterday (15) and as per the Depat, 10 students have obtained 200 out of 200 for the exam. The following students have obtained the aforementioned results: -Siyathi Karunatilake - Sangamitta Balika Vidyalaya, more..

OUSL complets annual research sessions online

Nov 16 (Island) Open University of SL (OUSL) successfully completed its Annual Research Sessions (OURS 2020) on 12th and 13th Nov as a fully online event. “OURS 2020 was initially planned as an in-person event. However, when the public health situation in the country again became critical in October, the organizing committee of OURS 2020, deftly transferred the entire event online – in a short span of time – underscoring the university’s unique ability to deliver academic programs remotely. more..

Video: SJB suspends Diana Gamage’s party membership

Nov 16 (AD) Main opposition party, the SJB, has decided to suspend the party membership of its National List MP Diana Gamage, who voted in favour of the 20th Amendment. In a letter addressed to MP Diana Gamage, signed by party leader Sajith Premadasa, it is stated that she had failed to comply with the unanimous decision taken by the SJB to vote against the 20th Amendment. Highlighting that this is a serious violation of party discipline, the Opposition Leader states that he decided to more..

Budget 2021: Gota’s Third War, but forgive me, it is our war too

Nov 16 (FT) Govt led by Prez Rajapaksa, fondly called Gota, is to present its maiden Budget to Parliament tomorrow. Budget will cover the Govt’s financial plan for 2021, one year after Gota was elected President of the Republic. His PM and Finance Minister, Mahinda Rajapaksa, presented an Appropriation Act for 2020 to Parliament last week. It was only a regularisation of the four Votes on Account approved by more..

Bogambara Prison Covid infections threatening Kandy: Kiriella

Nov 16 (EN) Opposition MP Lakshman Kiriella is charging that said that the Prison turned quarantine centre in Bogambara Prison is posing a threat to the city of Kandy and the whole district. Kiriella said that the new quarantine centre established in the former Bogambara Prison with 800 prison inmates is a threat to Kandy as it is situated in the centre of the city and its staff are interacting with the city daily. The Kandy Prison has been moved to Pallekelle and Bogambara is being described by more..

Neluwa - Lankagama road project built on par with industry standards: Johnston

Nov 16 (DN) Highways Minister Johnston Fernando while expressing regret over the virulent social media campaign against the Neluwa - Lankagama road project said that this stretch of road is being built on par with industry standards. Minister Fernando, after having seen social media posts that a section of road had been washed away, rushed to Lankagama with MP Sampath Athukorala and inspected the project. “We regret what has been posted on social media. more..

මම නැත්නම් ගෝඨාභය කියල ජනාධිපති කෙනෙක් නෑ

Balancing the scales: Tax policies for prosperity

Nov 16 (FT) As citizens, why do we need to pay taxes? The simple answer is, taxation is the means of collecting revenue for Govt spending for the goods and services we need as a populace. However, developing tax policies that are both fair and efficient are far from simple. The difficulties are especially multiplied, being a developing country like Sri Lanka, and having to compete in the world economy. Taxation should raise essential revenue for the Govt to function, without more..

Economic expectations and prospects post 2020

Nov 16 (FT) COVID-19 has triggered the deepest global recession in decades. While the ultimate outcome is still uncertain, the pandemic will result in economic contractions across the vast majority of emerging markets and developing economies. It will also do lasting damage to Human Resource productivity and potential manufacturing output. The immediate policy priorities are to alleviate human suffering and reduce the near-term economic losses. Once the crisis becomes less intense, more..

Over 17,000 COVID-19 patients identified

Nov 16 (FT) The total number of COVID-19 patients identified in the island exceeded 17,000 with 704 persons testing positive for the virus yesterday. All infected persons identified yesterday are associates of the Peliyagoda COVID-19 cluster. The dual cluster that emerged from Divulapitiya and Peliyagoda has thus expanded to 13,788 cases. This brings the total number of COVID-19 cases identified in the island to 17,287, more..

Grade 5 Scholarship Exam results released

Nov 16 (AD) The results of the Grade 5 Scholarship Examination of 2020 have been released online, the Department of Examinations said in a media statement. The results can be accessed via the official website of the Examinations Dept. The exam was held on the 11th of October amidst the new wave of Covid-19 pandemic sweeping across the country. The Ministry of Education had made necessary arrangements to conduct the examination under the health and safety protocols. more..

Dav Whatmore out of LPL

Nov 16 (TM) The World Cup-winning Coach Dav Whatmore will not join the Lanka Premier League (LPL). He was scheduled to be in SL for the tournament starting on 26 November at least by Sunday so as to undergo required quarantine here, but it is understood that the world-renowned coach has not been informed of his travel arrangements in time by the LPL organisers resulting in him not being available for the tournament. Whatmore, now staying in Australia, confirmed to us more..

COVID-19 isolates heart of city

Nov 16 (FT) Govt has imposed lockdown from today in Fort, Pettah, Maradana, Slave Island, and Dam Street, bringing the total number of isolated Police jurisdictions in the Colombo District to 17. While lockdown was imposed on these areas at 5 a.m. today, Modara, Mattakkuliya, Grandpass, Dematagoda, Bluemendal, Foreshore, and Kotahena in Colombo North, Borella in Colombo South, Aduruppu Street, Maligawatte, more..

National Movement for Consumer Rights Protection calls for people-friendly Budget

Nov 16 (FT) Tomorrow’s Budget must provide reasonable concessions to the burdened public and these proposals must not be restricted to paper and instead be practically applicable and accessible to the people, asserts the National Movement for Consumer Rights Protection (NMCRP). The organisation also stated that special attentional must be focused on reducing call charges and data rates given the public’s high dependence during pandemic times. more..

EDB, BOI firms, essential offices to run in new Coronavirus isolated Colombo areas

Nov 16 (EN) Factories linked to the Board of Investment, Export Development Board, courts, essential govt and private companies can continue to operate in areas of Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo that will be isolated from Monday, the information office said. The companies and offices have to follow health regulations and operate under the directions of the health authorities. From Monday, Maradana, Fort, Slave Island, Pettah and Dam Street police areas are being named as isolated areas more..

COVID-19 death toll rises to 58

Nov 16 (FT) Health authorities yesterday confirmed five COVID-19-related deaths, which brings the total COVID-19 death toll to 58. All individuals were residents of the Colombo municipal area, including two from Colombo-13. A 54-year-old man from Colombo-13 passed away at the National Hospital of SL (NHSL) when the lung cancer he suffered from for a lengthy period worsened due to COVID-19. The other resident of Col-13 more..

Budget 2021: Low-interest loans for youth

Nov 16 (TM) Ministry of Youth and Sports is under discussion with the Central Bank to provide low-interest business loans through state banks to youth planning to start small enterprises. Minister Namal Rajapaksa, said: “During my recent visit to the Northern Province, I came across youth groups who informed me of the difficulties they face when applying for business loans. Ministry, through its Small Enterprise Development (SED) Division, has initiated discussions with CBSL to design more..

Junior Bar wants suitable hospitals for COVID-19 positive lawyers

Nov 16 (FT) Junior Bar Committee 2020 Chairman Kuvera De Zoysa P.C. has written to the President of the Bar Association of SL (BASL) requesting him to initiate a dialogue in order to allocate suitable hospitals for Attorneys-at-Law affected by COVID-19. In the letter sent on Friday, De Zoysa said that due to the professional duties of lawyers, there exists a greater risk for this virus spreading and they and their family members getting infected. “I humbly request that consideration is given to more..

COVID-19 related expenditure from March to Nov. exceeds Rs. 68 bn

Nov 16 (DN) Expenditures over COVID-19 related affairs in SL from March 31 to Nov 13 exceeded Rs.68 billion, the Govt said. Govt has spent Rs.68.64 billion of public funds so far on COVID-19 measures and of that the highest amount has been allocated to provide the families with the Rs. 5,000 allowance during the lockdown period. 12.7 million families have received this concessionary allowance during this period. more..

Project E-mprovise: Helping Sri Lankan community learn Arduino' technology

Nov 16 (NIA) The project E-mprovise is a three months course on Embedded Systems Development and Engineering organized by the Leo Club of the Uni of Sri J'pura which provides a precious opportunity for the SL community to learn about the world trending and highly demanded Arduino technology. Lions Clubs International is the world's largest organization with 1.4 million members. Today, there are approx 46000 Lions clubs in over 200 countries & geographic areas. more..

SLADA to employ law enforcement officer to fight doping in sports

Nov 16 (Island) Obtaining the service of a qualified law enforcement officer and joining hands with the Director General of Health Services and the Public Health Inspectors are among strategies that the SL Anti Doping Agency is going to employ to fight the use of prohibited drugs in the sports field. Dr. Seevali Jayawickreme, Director General SLADA expressed these views, as his agency marked its seventh anniversary on Sunday. There is wide belief that sportsmen both professional and more..

Pandemic and import restrictions put vehicle traders out of business

Nov 16 (FT) Vehicle importers said COVID-19 and import restrictions have put several vehicle traders out of business, prompting the industry to call for help. “There are a number of small and medium scale car sales island-wide that have gone bankrupt. Most of them were unable to maintain their business with no stocks to sell, pay rents and salaries,” Vehicle Importers Association of SL (VIASL) Immediate Past Prez Ranjan Peiris said. more..

Softlogic opens unique hypermarket in Mt. Lavinia with Glomark, Odel and Softlogic Max

Nov 16 (FT) Softlogic Group last week opened its brand-new hypermarket in Mount Lavinia offering a massive total retail space of 25,105 square feet. Three of its celebrated retail brands, Softlogic Glomark, Odel and Softlogic Max have come together to create a spellbinding retail revolution. Staying true to its vision of providing customers unparalleled product offerings and superior service excellence, the all new Softlogic hyper-market combines the best of int'l & local brands more..

Vehicle ploughs in to Col-7 car showroom

Nov 16 (FT) A luxury Land Cruiser vehicle ran off the road and rammed in to the Nanda Motors car showroom on the corner of Albert Crescent and Independence Avenue on Colombo-7, damaging a number of vehicles last afternoon. According to the Police, the vehicle had lost control while taking the bend and rammed into the showroom. Several vehicles that were displayed at the showroom have been damaged. No one was hurt in the incident and public property was not damaged, more..

Colombo Port: A slow return to normalcy

Nov 16 (TM) Operations at the Colombo Port are slowly returning back to normal, SLPA said yesterday, assuring a full recovery within the week with the additional staff called on for work. SLPA Chairman Daya Ratnayake said the SLPA had already called the retired employees, expecting to resume operations within the next week at a normal pace. “We hope that the operations will return back to normal by next week as more..

Rosy fears there could be 30,000 undetected infections in the city

Nov 16 (Island) Colombo Mayor Rosy Senanayake said that there could be as many as 30,000 undetected COVID-19 cases in the Colombo Municipal Council area. She said that the population density, lifestyle and public behaviour in Municipal areas were contributing factors to the high number of COVID-19 patients detected in the city. On Saturday 275 infected persons were detected during random PCR tests conducted across the city, she said. “Irrespective of warnings people in flats more..

Aitken Spence achieves 33% growth in 2Q PBT from non-tourism sectors

Nov 16 (FT) Aitken Spence Plc’s non-tourism sectors have reported a Profit-Before-Tax (PBT) of Rs. 1.13 billion in 2Q, a growth of 33% compared to the previous year in the midst of challenging economic conditions. These sectors also reported an EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest Expense, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation) of Rs. 1.59 billion prior to the impact of forex compared to 2Q of previous year. The Group’s non-tourism sectors continued their positive performance more..

Burial or cremation: GMOA wants experts to decide

Nov 16 (Island) The GMOA said that SL didn’t need international mediation to decide whether to allow the burial of those who died from COVID-19, GMOA official Dr. Haritha Aluthge said. He said that UN Resident Coordinator in Colombo Hanaa Singer had written to PM Mahinda Rajapaksa, raising concerns over the Health Ministry guidelines according to which the creamation of those who die of COVID-19 is mandatory. more..

Dr. Harsha Subasinghe, inspires winners of the AIA Higher Education Scholarships

Nov 16 (Island) 12th AIA Insurance’s Higher Education Scholarships Programme, now in its 26th consecutive year, rewards the top performers from each district at the Grade 5 scholarship examination, by giving them a monthly bursary from Advanced Level (A/L) class right up to the completion of their University degree. Started in 1994, the programme was initiated to lend a hand to Sri Lanka’s brightest and most promising students, as they are the future of our nation. more..