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Arthur impressed by all-round skills of Santhush Gunathilaka

Nov 15 (Island) Sri Lanka are taking several young players to South Africa for the two match Test series and while most of them are there as cover because last minute injury replacements are impossible to be flown in due to the pandemic, the one who perhaps has got a chance to make his debut in the Boxing Day Test of Centurion is all-rounder Santhush Gunathilaka. The 21-year-old is a top order batsman who bowls seam and he has impressed Head Coach Mickey Arthur. more..

Cold facts dash vaccine hopes, but optimism persists

Nov 15 (ST) Sri Lankans, like all others around the globe, are anxiously waiting for the week’s best news regarding a vaccine for the COVID-19 pandemic. This is after Pfizer, one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies, announced that its two-part COVID-19 vaccine is 90% effective at preventing the disease. However, the availability will involve a lot of delays, says the TIME magazine’s Coronavirus Brief more..

Foreign policy must be formulated by economists, not politicians

Nov 15 (TM) That’s one of the key items trending on SL social media these days. Not just among teenagers, but among educated Sri Lankans. Sri Lankans love to digress from reality and venture into a fantasy world. Right now, too many educated Sri Lankans are wasting time on an extraordinarily frivolous aspect of an election in a country half a world away. Meanwhile, we ignore what’s happening just next door, where a key election just took place in the north-eastern Indian state of Bihar, more..

SJB-led Opposition, a bankrupt political alliance: Johnston

Nov 15 (SO) Presenting the Appropriation Bill 2020 in Parliament, PM Rajapaksa said the Govt has already spent around Rs. 70,000 million on the identification of patients, quarantine activities, random testing and related welfare activities under the anti-Covid drive. He said the Govt hopes to meet its economic targets during the next few years despite the enormous costs and challenges posed by Coronavirus pandemic. PM said the govt has taken many measures to achieve its goals. more..

Opposition questions legality of Appropriation Bill 2020

Nov 15 (CT) Party Leaders’ met on Wednesday, chaired by Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, decided that arrangements will be made and facilities provided for both ruling and Opposition Party members to watch the 2021 Budget debate, which will commence on 18 Nov on television, from the verandah due to health reasons. Accordingly, only MPs who will speak and participate in the Budget debate and relevant Ministers, more..

Pushpakumara grabs rank of world’s second best bowler

Nov 15 (SO) Malinda Pushpakumara the left arm leg spinner has been the most prolific scalp hunter in domestic cricket in recent years and the 33-year-old bowler is now the world’s second highest wicket taker in first class cricket in the last decade, according to the Australian based Testat Cricket database. From 2010 to 2019/2020 season Pushpakumara who plays for the CCC has picked up 667 wickets to become the world’s second highest wicket taker during that period. more..

Budget 2021: Growth-oriented or more-of-the-same

Nov 15 (ST) The new Govt will be presenting its first Budget in the midst of a second COVID-19 wave. What began as a national health crisis about nine months ago quickly morphed into a severe economic crisis. This shock will have lasting effects on the entire social and economic fabric of the country. The CB, IMF, ADB and WB are projecting that the economy will shrink for the first time in two decades. Predictions vary from -1.7% of GDP to -6.3% of GDP indicating paramount uncertainty. more..

කොවිඩ් ව්‍යාප්තිය හමුවේ ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ ජන ජීවිතය

Unhealthy proclivities, Minister

Nov 15 (ST) My dear Pavithra Devi, I thought I must write to you when I heard you say in Parliament that you would even sacrifice yourself to the sea if that will rid Paradise of this deadly pandemic. I felt so proud, uplifted and relieved about having such a patriotic and selfless minister in charge of our health issues! You must see yourself like the great Viharamaha Devi who did something similar to appease the gods in ancient times, when Paradise was ravaged by floods – more..

Be prepared

Nov 15 (Island) There is little doubt among thinking people here who followed the U.S. prez election that Donald Trump was bad news for a land which prided itself as being the cradle of democracy in the world. He did everything but Make America Great Again, leaving a legacy of blunders and a personal stamp of a man too small for the very big pair of boots he wore during the last four years. But as the Trumpkin Pumpkin, (orange on the outside and hollow inside) depicted by a cartoon on this page, more..

'Govt confident of implementing Budget proposals'

Nov 15 (SO) State Minister Ajith Nivard Cabraal said he is confident that the expertise and the commitment of the Prez, PM, Cabinet of Ministers and other Govt officials, will enable us to achieve what has been set out in the Budget. State Minister said they are keen to ensure that the Budget is implemented fully and that all that has been set out are achieved. We are confident that the Budget implementation will actually be quite robust more..

Biden-Harris win, Trump in denial, America left hydra-headed in transition!

Nov 15 (CT) In the last week of October, President Trump and the traditional Halloween pumpkin inspired the adaptation of C.S. Lewis’ fictional dwarf to create a new political meme – Trumpkin: orange on the outside, hollow on the inside, and thrown out in November. The Nove 3 US presidential election has come and gone. Americans voted in record numbers in spite of the coronavirus, and did throw Trumpkin out. But the big yellow head has got stuck in the nation’s garbage chute. more..

An open letter to Minister of Health

Nov 15 (CT) Dear Hon Minister of Health, Mrs. Pavithra Wanniarachi. In the name of Justice, I write this letter on behalf of the beleaguered population of our two million strong SL Muslim community. The Muslims of SL – descendants of as far and wide as Morocco to Java, who now constitute nearly 10% of the island’s population, have been a peace-loving community since their advent in the 7th century and have always played a part at the forefront in safeguarding the interests of Mother Lanka. more..

'Time to automate testing for Covid - 19'

Nov 15 (SO) The pressure is on the health authorities to take adequate measures to curb the Covid - 19 virus from spreading further, with virus related deaths reaching over 50 and the number of cases exceeding 15,000. Health Ministry Media Spokesperson Dr. Jayaruwan Bandara, said that it is high time that the country explores ways to automate testing to detect Covid-19 patients faster. more..

A challenging first year in office

Nov 15 (SO) It is generally accepted that the conflict in the North and the East would not have ended without the political leadership provided by then President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the active military coordination of then Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. This twin combination enabled the Sri Lankan Security Forces to march to victory in just over four years, a great achievement against a terror outfit that some foreign military experts called invincible. Once the war ended, more..

Budget Speech 2020: Full Text

Nov 15 (CT) PM Mahinda Rajapaksa in his capacity as the Finance Minister presented the Appropriation Bill for the year 2020. Full Speech: Honourable Speaker, I am very glad to be able to present the Second Reading of the Appropriation Bill for 2020. Although, this is the 11th time I am presenting an Appropriation Act in Parliament, this Appropriation Act is different from those presented so far. That is because this Appropriation Act includes 4 Votes on Accounts and as such this is a report of more..

Dilshan Madushanka delighted with unexpected call for SL’s training camp

Nov 14 (CT) Cricket has witnessed several rags-to-riches stories and SL’s latest fast-bowling sensation Dilshan Madushanka could be a new addition to it if he lives up to the expectation. While he is yet to earn a call-up from SL’s senior team, the youngster is on the right path at present. He was recently included in SL’s training squad for the forthcoming South Africa tour. The 20-year-old left-arm medium-fast bowler is one among more..

'Govt of planning to grab 500,000 hectares of forest cover for agriculture'

Nov 14 (Island) Former UNF Minister Harsha de Silva said that the govt was planning to obtain 500,000 hectares of forest with high biodiversity and vest those lands under the District Secretaries and Divisional Secretaries for agricultural purposes. This could be considered the biggest ever robbery of lands with a high density of biodiversity in the recent history. he said. “Rivers, canals, waterways flow through those lands and there are also archaeological sites in them,” he pointed out. more..

State Minister Jayakody tells Opposition not to fan racial tensions

Nov 14 (Island) The Opposition was trying to incite racial tensions during the COVID-19 pandemic situation prevailing in the country, State Minister Sisira Jayakody told Parliament. Participating in COVID-19 second wave debate, State Minister Jayakody said: “We would like to commend the measures taken by the President, PM, the Minister of Health, the security forces and the health sector to control the pandemic. The Opposition is saying that they would have closed the airports more..

Laggard administrators leave athletes in quandary

Nov 14 (CT) Track and field athletes are in a dilemma due to the authorities moving at snail’s pace, which has resulted in a number of top athletes being denied hostel facilities and without a place to train for a couple of weeks. Lockdown was first confined to Minuwagoda and Divulapitiya on 4 Oct with the second wave of COVID-19, which was soon followed by quarantine curfew for Gampaha District, which is where most of more..

Kiriella denies asking for raise

Nov 14 (Island) Chief Opposition Whip Lakshman Kiriella told Parliament that social media and newspapers had misreported him by stating that he had called for a salary increase the MPs at the last party leaders’ meeting. Making a special statement with the permission from the Chair, MP said: Parliament Business Committee meeting under the chairmanship of the Speaker usually discusses the facilities and privileges accorded to the MPs, their houses the security provided to them etc. more..

Gibbs removed from LPL commentary panel

Nov 14 (CT) Former South Africa cricket legend Hershelle Gibbs has been excluded from the revised panel of commentators announced for the Lanka Premier League Cricket tournament scheduled for November. Sri Lanka Cricket last week said that Hershelle Gibbs will be among the six high profile commentators joining the LPL, which Gibbs himself shared on social media. But when the updated list released yesterday did not included Gibbs name, he wasn’t pleased at all. more..

Govt gazettes fixed rice prices: shortage likely in the coming days, traders warn

Nov 14 (ST) Traders have cautioned the Govt that they are unable to provide rice at prices stipulated by the CAA and this could result in a shortage of rice in the market in the coming days. The traders said they did not receive rice below the govt issued maximum retail prices and therefore were unable to sell rice at a four-rupee profit as expected by the Govt because they had to incur transport costs also. more..

Person remanded for spreading false information on COVID-deaths

Nov 14 (AD) An individual who was arrested for spreading false rumors through the internet that a large number of COVID-19 infected people are dying on the roads in SL has been placed under remand custody. When the suspect was produced before the Kandy Magistrate’s Court, he was ordered to be remanded until Nov 18, DIG Ajith Rohana said. He was arrested at Egodahawatta in Kadugannawa over spreading false reports of COVID-19 infected persons in SL dying on roads. more..

State/private institutes can verify authenticity of NICs through new online facility

Nov 14 (ST) Registration of the Person’s Department will go online to authenticate the national identity cards of the citizens of SL. The move that would be operative henceforth will benefit the police, would-be employers and officials of many other institutes to check on the veracity of national identity cards, officials said. Dept’s Commissioner General, Viyani Gunathilake, said the new facility would be made available to banks, finance companies, govt corporations, more..

Video: Discrepancies in Hira Foundation registration revealed at PCoI

Nov 14 (AD) The PCoI was told yesterday, that a former Additional Director at the Dept of Social Services had ignored due protocol when giving the Hira Foundation, certification of its previous registrations. The Hira Foundation is heavily linked to former Eastern Province Governor M.L.A. Hizbullah, and has come under severe scrutiny since the Easter Sunday terror attacks of last year. more..

Probe on Bathiudeens won’t be hampered

Nov 14 (CT) A CID source said since the documents regarding the investigation on MP Rishad Bathiudeen and his brother, in connection with the 21 April 2019 Easter Sunday terror attacks, have been forwarded to the Attorney General, no difficulty will occur concerning future investigations, despite the transfer of the officers who were conducting the probes. Only three senior officers have been appointed instead of the 19 CID officers who have been transferred. more..

Bus permits will be cancelled

Nov 14 (CT) Sources at the Ministry of Transport said if buses were to transport passengers in violation of the orders that have been issued by the Ministry, to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, steps will be taken to cancel their permits. State Minister Dilum Amunugama said bus owners have been given a one-week time period to comply with those instructions. Amunugama further said if the drivers and conductors do not use gloves and facemasks, strict legal steps will be taken by the Police more..

Sumanthiran stresses need for proper laws to tackle public health emergency

Nov 14 (Island) TNA Jaffna District MP MA Sumanthiran told Parliament that the issues related to importation of rapid antigen test kits were due to the absence of proper laws to deal with public health emergencies. Participating in the adjournment debate on COVID-19 second wave, the MP said that the health sector, particularly the public health sector, had often asked for laws that could help deal with such situations. more..

Free mobile clinics for quarantined residents of urban flats in Colombo

Nov 14 (AD) The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) has decided to carry out free-of-charge mobile clinics for people under quarantine at urban flats within its limits. The Public Health Department of the CMC said the program is coming into effect after careful consideration of the health and safety of the residents of theses housing schemes, who are suffering from non-communicable diseases. Details of the mobile clinic schedule are as follows: Methsada Sevana (Modara) – 16th of Nov more..

Prez attends religious observances in Anuradhapura seeking blessings on people

Nov 14 (PMD) President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa attended religious observances at Ruwanwali Seya in Anuradhapura yesterday seeking blessings on people in SL and the world. Upon arrival at the sacred site Prez called on the Chief Incumbent of Ruwanweli Raja Maha Viharaya Ven. Pallegama Hemarathana Thero. Joining the Kapruka Pooja and Ashtapala Chathumadura Pooja President sought blessings on the country and people. A special Pirith chanting was conducted at the premises. more..

Video: More than 270 Covid-19 infections among prison inmates

Nov 14 (AD) Total Covid-19 infections detected among prison inmates have reached 278, according to the Dept of Prisons. Commissioner General of Prisons said 107 of them are female inmates. 68 inmates at the Old Bogambara Prison have been tested positive for novel coronavirus yesterday, while 13 inmates at Kuruwita Prison and 03 at Mahara Prison were also confirmed as positive cases. more..

66 Indian nationals tested Covid-19 positive

Nov 14 (PTI) Sixty-six Indian nationals, all workers at a construction site in Colombo, have tested positive for Covid-19, a top health official said on Friday. “They have been lodged in the north Colombo area where they were identified as the first level contacts of the positive cases from the fish market cluster,” Colombo city’s chief medical officer Dr Ruwan Wijemuni said. Wijemuni said the construction site workers, all Indians, “were found coronavirus positive from random tests more..

Chamal proposes Delimitation Committee

Nov 14 (CT) State Minister Chamal Rajapaksa, proposed to the Cabinet of Ministers to set up a Delimitation Committee that could establish new Divisional Secretariats and gazette existing Divisional Secretariats, and for establishment and reconstruction of Grama Niladhari (GN) Divisions. The proposed Members to the Committee include the Secretary to the Ministry of Local Govt (LG) or one of its representatives, the Registrar General or a representative, the Surveyor General or more..

Parallel construction of many housing projects begin soon…

Nov 14 (PMD) President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has requested construction industry pioneers to commence work on a large number of housing projects simultaneously for the benefit of low, middle and upper middle income earners covering different areas of the country. President pointed out that the construction must proceed fast in a creative and eco-friendly manner using new technology and methods. more..

Senior Journalist & Veteran Artiste Sydney Chandrasekara passes away

Nov 14 (NF) Senior Journalist and veteran artiste Sydney Chandrasekara passed away on Saturday morning (14) while receiving treatment in hospital. Late Mr. Sydney Chandrasekara served as a consultant for News 1st. He commenced his career as a journalist from Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation and was a past pupil of Ananda College in Colombo. Chandrasekara who created many popular teledramas in SL held many important positions in the field of media in the country. more..