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Biden ushers in a time to heal and revive America’s soul

Nov 14 (DM) The white House has virtually been turned into a white-washed sepulchre with the defeated President Donald Trump refusing to concede defeat as traditionally done in the United States which is considered by the free world as a model democracy with checks and balances. Worse still, the Republican Party-which boasts of the legendary President Abraham Lincoln—is adding its dead bones to the sepulchre with most of its members, including Senate leader more..

US Vice Prez-Elect Kamala Harris’s key SL Tamil aide

Nov 14 (DM) An overwhelming feeling of relief has descended upon the world-not merely the US- after the Prez elections of the US ended. Joe Biden is the new US Prez-elect. Biden’s creditable, credible electoral triumph has ensured that decency, dignity and decorum will once again return to the Oval office of the White House. A double delight in the 46th US Prez to be’s victory is that of the shattering of glass ceilings by more..

How can we stem the spread of the Coronavirus in prisons?

Nov 14 (DM) According to media reports, as at 10 Nov 2020, 109 prisoners and two officers have tested positive for COVID-19 at Welikada, Bogambara and Matara prisons. To date, Govt of SL (goSL) has taken some positive measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in prisons, such as releasing, reportedly, nearly 3000 prisoners in April 2020, the Attorney- General issuing instructions to the police regarding granting bail for particular offences, and more recently the AG, more..

Healing divisions: Post election is the challenge

Nov 14 (CT) In 1961, shortly after his election victory, Prez-elect John F Kennedy quoted one of the first colonists of the US, John Winthrop who, in the year 1630, said We must always consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill—the eyes of all people are upon us. This was one of the first examples of the belief that America would be exceptional, and that it would become a country that would set standards for the world to follow. The significance of US throughout the world more..

Sri Lanka’s Covid-19 death toll hits 53

Nov 13 (AD) Five more Covid-19 related deaths are reported in SL. One of the victims, identified as an 83-year-old female from Colombo 14 area, has succumbed to the virus while at home. She had been suffering from high blood pressure and diabetes. Second victim, aged 68 years, is a man who was residing in Chilaw area. He was admitted to the Chilaw District Hospital upon being detected as a Covid-19 positive case and more..

Foreign Ministry cautions SL travellers

Nov 13 (MFA) Foreign Ministry urges all prospective SL travellers both inbound and outbound to be cautious of individuals who demand payment / fee or any form of financial charges to facilitate entry permission to SL or any third country. Foreign Ministry hereby announces that no individual or entity is authorized by the SL Govt to facilitate entry to or exit from SL other than the Govt institutions concerned. The repatriation process which was temporarily suspended due to more..

e-Waste exported to Japan

Nov 13 (CT) A cement company in the Katunayake Investment Promotion Zone exported a consignment of electrical and electronic waste to Japan on 11 Nov. Ministry of Environment, CEA and Dept of Posts jointly implemented the collection of e-waste with the collaboration of 600 post offices. The consignment included three tonnes of printed circuit boards, eight tonnes of plastic and 13 tonnes of metal. The waste was accumulated from homes during the week of collecting e-waste. more..

Merchandise exports fall by 14.9% in October

Nov 13 (AD) As per the Customs statistics, earnings from merchandise exports recorded a negative growth of 14.9% in Oct 2020 to US$ 831.72 million as compared to the value of US$ 977.3 million recorded in Oct 2019. This poor performance is due to the adverse impact of 2nd wave of Covid-19 pandemic within the country and globally. EDB Chairman Prabhash Subasinghe said, “It is concerning to see a sharp reduction more..

Reporting Covid cases out of WP on the decline: Dr. Samaraweera

Nov 13 (DM) Reporting of Covid-19 cases outside the Western Province remained at a lower rate, Chief Epidemiologist Dr. Sudath Samaraweera said today. He said although there was a decline in cases being reported out of the WP, a considerable number of cases were reported within the WP, especially from the Colombo municipality. “Out of the 396 positive cases reported on Thursday (12), majority cases of 296 were reported from the Western province among which 232 cases more..

Eran says MPs primary responsibility to people not the executive

Nov 13 (FT) SJB MP Eran Wickramaratne told Parliament yesterday that MPs have their primary responsibility not to the executive of the country but to the people. “We have been elected by them, and it is our duty to stand by the constitution and to protect the freedoms and the rights of the people,” he said. He said that it is a very unusual situation that an appropriation bill is being presented at the end of the year when the country had a new president after the election on 16 November. more..

FCID misled Court: Wickramasuriya

Nov 13 (CT) Former SL Ambassador to the United States (US), Jaliya Wickramasuriya said FCID misled the Court, when obtaining a warrant against him for the misappropriation of public funds, during the tenure of the UNF-led Govt. Testifying from the US via Skype before the PCoI appointed to probe political victimisation of public officials during the tenure of the UNF-led Govt, Wickramasuriya said, more..

Several legal issues crop up: Lawyer

Nov 13 (CT) Environmental Lawyer Jagath Gunawardana claimed that there were several legal concerns with the circular issued by the Ministries of Wildlife and Forest Conservation whereby the direct control of land considered as State forests are taken away from the Forest Conservation Department and given to the District Secretariats and Divisional Secretariats. The circular specifies such land as those that do not fall within the purview of any Govt Department, institution or Ministry. more..

Islamic fundamentalist threatens ex-Muslim within PCoI premises

Nov 13 (Island) Rishvin Ismeth, known as an ex-Muslim in Sri Lanka among the general public, has been threatened by an ally of the former leader of SL Jamaat Islami, Rasheed Hajjul Akbar on 26th October around 11.45 pm at the premises of PCoI investigating Easter Sunday Suicide Attacks, Council of Ex-Muslims of SL (CEMSL) said in a press release. CEMSL said that Rishvin Ismeth was the present spokesperson for the Council of Ex-Muslims of SL and and the only public face of the org more..

Video: Police intelligence operation to identify those who leave Western Province

Nov 13 (AD) The police intelligence officers have launched a special operation to apprehend those who leave the Western Province borders violating the quarantine regulations, says DIG Ajith Rohana. Police media spokesperson said legal action will be sought against any individual who has left the Western Province during the isolation period. NOCPCO on Wednesday (11) announced that leaving the Western Province borders more..

Angsana Gym at Cinnamon Grand closed after employee tests positive for COVID-19

Nov 13 (TM) The Angsana Gym at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel, Colombo had been closed after an employees attached to the gym tested positive for COIVID-19 yesterday, the management said. It said the gym has been temporarily closed until such time they are allowed to open under the direction and guidance of the Public Health Inspectors (PHIs) and the Health Ministry. “First and second contacts of the team member are being identified & PCR tests will be carried out. more..

Don’t blame the public for the second wave of Covid infections: Kiriella

Nov 13 (EN) Chief Opposition Whip Lakshman Kiriella is urging the govt not to blame the public for the second wave of Covid 19 infections which has increased the death toll from the disease. He told Parliament yesterday that there is a saying about politicians which is “if we win, it’s us, if we lose you are to blame.” “During the first wave because there was some control, you took the credit, but now that the second wave is out of control you are blaming the public,” he said. more..

Another sub cluster emerges within Colombo City

Nov 13 (CT) Another sub cluster centred on construction sites has emerged from within the City of Colombo, Chief Medical Officer of Health of Public Health Dept of CMC, Dr. Ruwan Wijayamuni said. He added, in addition to the Borella Police sub cluster, another sub cluster had emerged from among construction workers, among whom locals, Chinese and Indian nationals had contracted COVID-19. more..

Kalutara Prison inmates launch rooftop protest

Nov 13 (AD) A group of inmates at the Kalutara Prison have launched a protest on the roof of the prison building. Around 15 inmates have been engaged in the rooftop protest since this afternoon. The inmates had reportedly commenced the protest stating their court proceedings had been delayed due to delays in receiving the Govt Analyst’s reports. The protesting inmates demand that the relevant reports be released immediately and to expedite the process of granting them bail. more..

Govt hiding stats on 2020 economic growth: Sajith

Nov 13 (CT) Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa, alleged in Parliament the Govt is attempting to hide statistics about the economic growth in 2020. Participating in the 2nd Reading of the Appropriation Bill, he said: “In normal practice, Govt presents the statistics about the economic growth after 75 days of each quarter. So, statistics for the second quarter of 2020 should have been presented by 15 Sept. But, what happened to those statistics? Govt failed to present them on time.” more..

Special notice for residents of urban flats within CMC limits

Nov 13 (AD) Director-General of Health Services, Dr Asela Gunawardhane has issued a special notice to the residents under quarantine at the urban flats within the administrative limits of CMC. The notice reads that people with chronic illnesses such as diabetes high blood pressure, heart diseases, epilepsy, wheezing, high blood cholesterol, kidney ailments or cancers are at high risk of contracting the Covid-19 virus and more..

'NCM against Pavithra will be defeated'

Nov 13 (CT) Chief Govt Whip and Minister of Highways Johnston Fernando said if the SJB-led Opposition were to submit a No-Confidence Motion against Minister of Health Pavithra Wanniarachchi, the SLPP-led Govt will defeat it with a sizeable majority in Parliament. He said at a time when the present Government was striving hard to save lives and protect the people from falling victim to the scourge of COVID-19, the Opposition was doing its utmost to scupper those efforts. more..

Govt can manage without IMF help: Cabraal

Nov 13 (FT) The Govt can manage the current debt with the resources that are at its disposal as well as implement other plans without the help of the IMF, State Minister Ajith Nivard Cabraal told Parliament yesterday. “The Opposition says we are in a debt trap. There are many trying to push us towards the IMF; so we are forced to sell our national resources, cut down the public service, depreciate the Rupee and take the Govt towards failure — but we will not allow that to happen,” Cabraal said more..

Terror tag for LTTE should continue, India tells UK

Nov 13 (WION) India has told the UK that the ban of LTTE should continue. New Delhi has shared information as to why the ban should remain on the group that was responsible for the 30-year long insurgency in Sri Lanka but also the assassination of former Indian PM Rajiv Gandhi and SL President R. Premadasa. The development comes after Britain's Proscribed Organisations Appeal Commission (POAC) in October more..

National Movement for a Just Society calls for wide consultations on new Constitution

Nov 13 (EN) Prof Rohan Samarajiva is saying that process of making a new constitution to the country is not something that is owned by a party which won an election. Speaking at a special press conference held this morning by the National Movement for Just Society (NMJS), Samarajiva said that the party which won an election has the right to approve some laws and regulations but they don’t have the right to own a constitution. He said that the NMJS wrote to the committee which advertised through more..

Sampath Bank 9 months’ pre-tax profit down 33% to Rs. 6.99 b

Nov 13 (FT) Despite the drastic economic downturn, Sampath Bank said it has recorded a profit before tax (PBT) of Rs. 6.99 billion and a profit after tax (PAT) of Rs. 5.09 billion for the nine months ended 30 September 2020, reflecting a decline of 33.1% and 22% respectively from a year earlier. The Bank recorded PBT of Rs. 1.66 b and a PAT of Rs. 1.12 b during the third quarter from 1 July 2020 to 30 September 2020, a drop of 64.2% and 53.8% respectively compared to Q3 of 2019. more..

Video: Covid-19 mitigation efforts have not failed, says Army Chief

Nov 13 (AD) Lt Gen Shavendra Silva reiterates that the govt’s Covid-19 mitigation efforts have not failed. He said the spread of the virus has been successfully curbed in the Western Province where a high population density is reported. The latest wave of Covid-19, which began from Minuwangoda and grew up to 3,106 cases in total, has been controlled completely, he stressed. However, infections from the Peliyagoda Fish more..

Will not internationalise Sri Lanka’s internal issues: SJB

Nov 13 (DM) SJB does not practice tale carrying politics but will only voice the issues only internally, Leader of Opposition Sajith Premadasa told Parliament. Mr. Premadasa said he along with the main opposition does not intend to internationalise SL’s internal issues. “There were times when those who were in the opposition in the past internationalised SL’s internal issues and engaged in tale carrying politics, but we don’t intend to engage in such a practice, “ he said. more..

Video: Repatriation of Sri Lankans to resume from next week

Nov 13 (DM) Army Commander and Head of the National Operation Center for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak, Lt. Gen Shavendra Silva said authorities will resume the repatriation process to bring back stranded Sri Lankans from overseas by next week after it was halted due to the sudden spike in COVID-19 cases here. Silva said that all SL nationals who are overseas and wish to return will be brought back in batches, with special emphasis placed on those stranded in the Middle East. more..

Video: Govt dismisses allegations concerning import of Rapid Antigen Test Kits

Nov 13 (AD) The public sector has not yet purchased any Rapid Antigen Test kit, which is used in the diagnosis of respiratory pathogens, says State Minister Prof. Channa Jayasumana. He made this remark during today’s parliamentary session, responding to the accusations on irregularities during the tendering process. The WHO has included Rapid Antigen Tests and Nucleic Acid Tests in its Emergency Use Listing more..

Imprisoned MPs not allowed to attend Parliament sessions

Nov 13 (AD) Business Committee of Parliament has decided not to allow MPs currently jailed at Welikada and Magazine prisons to attend parliament sessions due to the prevailing COVID-19 situation. Accordingly, Batticaloa District MP and TMVP leader S. Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan, Wanni District MP and ACMC leader Rishad Bathiudeen, who are in remand custody, and Ratnapura District MP Premalal Jayasekara, who is serving a death sentence at the Welikada Prison, more..

Facing community spread of COVID-19 with creativity and better strategies

Nov 13 (FT) The purpose of this article is to emphasise on the necessity for the Government to prepare and plan for a probable community spread of COVID-19 which may be inevitable due to the prevailing situation in the country. We cannot be complacent because we controlled the first wave of the pandemic very successfully with an excellent management of the total situation which resulted in a very low death rate compared to other developed nations. Even if the Brandix cluster more..

Dr. Harsha De Silva

Rishad Bathiudeen further remanded

Nov 13 (AD) MP Rishad Bathiudeen has been further remanded until the 25th of Nov. Colombo Fort Magistrate Priyantha Liyanage delivered the order today, dismissing a bail application submitted by the former minister. On Nov 10, the defence attorneys had sought the magistrate to release MP Bathiudeen on bail claiming he is susceptible to Covid-19 infection if he continues to be under remand custody at Magazine Prison. However, its superintendent had informed the court that none of the more..

End of an era

Nov 13 (FT) This is not an issue which has received adequate attention. Yet, I am of the view that one era of the history of SL which commenced since independence in 1948 has come to an end in 2020. It simply means that the State and its associated socio-political system that was bequeathed to us by the British when SL was granted independence, by ending the long period of colonial rule, has completely collapsed and ceased to exist. Although there may have been shortcomings in more..

Mahinda pledges economic revival

Nov 13 (FT) PM Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday delivered a blistering criticism of the previous Govt, blaming it for stalling growth on all fronts, and pledged a massive turnaround during the next four years. “The economy and the financial position passed down to us is pathetic. It has to be acknowledged that this pathetic situation is due the failed economic and fiscal management programs implemented in the last five years by more..

TMVP Secy arrested for threatening witness

Nov 13 (CT) Secretary of TMVP, Poobalapillai Prashanthan was arrested by the CID yesterday for allegedly threatening one of the witnesses to a double murder alleged to have been committed by Prashanthan and his brother in 2008. Prashanthan was arrested over a complaint by a relative of the murdered couple in 2008. A couple in Arayampathi in the Eastern Province, a teacher named Krishnapillai Manoharan and his wife, were shot dead 29 Dec 2008 and the murdered woman’s sister more..