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'UK-led Core Group to bring resolution against Sri Lanka'

Feb 20 (CT) Minister of Foreign Relations Dinesh Gunawardena on the UNHRC’s startling statement and the resolution the Core Group is preparing to bring against SL when the Council meets virtually, with no room for debate, negotiation and compromise. He said in entirety, it’s the same treatment other countries would face in the future if not addressed. Q: Is Pakistan PM Imran Khan going to address Parliament? more..

UNHRC draft resolution weak on substance, but SL govt set to reject text & force vote

Feb 20 (CT) Govt of SL is set to reject almost out of hand the early draft of the 2021 UNHRC resolution on SL, which activists are condemning as a bitter disappointment that does not take into account the scathing report by High Commissioner for Human Rights. Draft resolution does not even come close to the text of the resolution adopted by the UNHRC in Geneva in 2014, disappointed rights activists said as calls mounted internationally for the Council to take decisive action against SL govt. more..

An epitome of insecurities!

Feb 20 (CT) In a country which gave its women the voting right as far back as in 1931 by becoming the first country in Asia to do so and became the first to elect a woman Head of Govt worldwide, 33 men have come forward to challenge a promotion given to a woman who was celebrated as the first DIG of SL Police on mere grounds that the word women is not mentioned in the regulations pertaining to relevant cadre position. The second reason acting DIG Bimshani Jasin Arachchi does not more..

The man behind moves to form the BJP in SL

Feb 20 (DM) The flower bud is the accredited electoral symbol of the SLPP which is ruling Sri Lanka. However, the image of that flower bud resembles the lotus flower bud. In fact, a lot of lotus buds are used to decorate platforms of the SLPP known in popular parlance as the pohottuwa party. Lotus flower is the symbol of India’s ruling party the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The SLPP in English means Sri Lanka people’s front. more..

UNHRC: An acid test for Lankan diplomacy

Feb 20 (DM) The govt seems to have given up hopes of adopting a consensual resolution with the Core Group which has been preparing a resolution on SL at the next session of the UNHRC which is to begin on Monday. In fact agreeing upon a consensual resolution which seems to be not different from a co-sponsored resolution is a difficult task as what the Core Group wants and what the SL govt wants is diametrically opposite. The Core group is firm in making SL authorities accountable more..

Social justice in the digital economy

Feb 20 (DM) Social justice is a vital dimension of our social lives and also our spiritual lives. Many independent analysts are hopeful that the US’ new Prez Joe Biden and Vice Prez Kamala Harris will work fast and effectively not only to end white racist supremacist extremism or terrorism as we saw on January 6 but also to bring about racial equality and social justice first in the US and then hopefully in most countries of the free world. Most world religious leaders led by the prophetic Pope Francis more..

Wages Board meets to iron out Rs. 1,000 daily wage objections

Feb 19 (FT) Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs), trade unions and Labour Ministry officials will meet today to iron out objections filed against the granting of Rs. 1,000 as daily wage by the Wages Board earlier this month and clear the way for a gazette to be issued. Labour Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva announced on 8 Feb that the Wages Board had backed union appeals for the Rs. 1,000 daily wage. more..

NDB ups after tax profit by 8% to Rs. 5.5 b in challenging 2020

Feb 19 (FT) National Development Bank PLC said it posted solid financial results for the financial year ended 31 Dec 2020, demonstrating its strength, sustainability in generating operational revenue and resilience in withstanding unprecedented challenges. As per results released the after tax profit for 2020 was up 8% to Rs. 5.5 billion. NDB also announced a first interim dividend of Rs. 1.50 per share for FY2020 The Bank and the Group’s performance as reflected in the financial more..

Tea firms request PM’s intervention to stop violence, impunity

Feb 19 (EN) An association representing manager of commercial tea and rubber plantations have asked of PM Mahinda Rajapaksa to intervene after violence erupted amid allegations of politically connected union bosses being involved but no action being taken. In the latest attack two employees of a regional plantation company (RPC) were hospitalized in a critical condition, the Planters’ Association said. “This is now the third instance this year alone where the lives of RPC employees more..

WHO to provide vaccines to 27% of Sri Lanka population

Feb 19 (DM) The World Health Organization (WHO) has agreed to increase the percentage of vaccines and most likely would provide at least 27% to us, Army Commander Gen. Shavendra Silva said today. The WHO earlier assured Sri Lanka that it would provide vaccines for 20% of the local population free of charge. In addition to it, China and Russia also agreed to donate vaccines to the local population. more..

Public in high-risk areas to be vaccinated

Feb 19 (DM) The public in high-risk areas are to be vaccinated on a priority basis to control the spread of the coronavirus. Army Commander General Shavendra Silva said that infected people are being detected on a regular basis in some areas. He said, for example, Covid infected individuals have been detected in Narahenpita regularly. As a result, Prez has given instructions to target Covid hotspots in the vaccination process, General Shavendra Silva said. He said that cities, villages or more..

Chilling stats and inaction

Feb 19 (Island) DIG Ajith Rohana has alerted the public to an alarming increase in killer road accidents recently. During the past seven days, as many as 23 people have died in road mishaps, he says. Prangs, near misses and the attendant chaos on roads have become the order of the day, again. This may be taken as an indication that the country has returned to normal earlier than expected. During pandemic-related lockdowns & travel restrictions, there was a sharp drop in road fatalities, more..

Devananda says North granted land powers

Feb 19 (Island) Fisheries Minister Douglas Devananda on Wednesday (17) claimed that the Northern Province had been granted land powers in terms of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. The NP consists of administrative districts of Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Mannar and Vavuniya. Devananda said that in spite of the absence of consensus among SLPP constituents as regards devolution of power, more..

SJB lauds India: Kavinda

Feb 19 (CT) As the Opposition, the SJB is grateful to the Indian Govt for providing Sri Lanka with 500,000 Oxford-AstraZeneca Covishield vaccines free, said MP Dr. Kavinda Jayawardena. He said the vaccine had shown significant success, though not 100 per cent. He also said it was the responsibility of the Govt and all parties to encourage people to use only scientifically proven immunity boosters, instead of using tonics like what was introduced by Dhammika Bandara in Kegalle. more..

Night outs in tents at Mini World’s End banned temporarily

Feb 19 (DM) The Meegahakiula Pradeshiya Sabha imposed a temporary ban on tourists spending the night in tents at Mini World's End in Madulsima. Meegahakiula Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Lalith Jayawardena said the decision was taken after a 34-year-old man reported missing during an excursion to the Mini World's End in Madulsima, due to the insecure nature of the area. He said local and foreign tourists often come to the Mini World's End to spend the night in tents and more..

Chaminda Vaas appointed Sri Lanka fast bowling coach for West Indies tour

Feb 19 (CI) Former SL seamer Chaminda Vaas has been appointed as the national team's fast bowling coach for their upcoming tour to the West Indies. He replaces Australian David Sekar, who resigned as the fast bowling coach on Thursday for personal reasons. Vaas has previously coached the SL team on three occasions, in 2013, 2015, and temporarily in 2017. Vaas, SL's most successful fast bowler with 355 Test wickets more..

Brian Thomas released on bail

Feb 19 (CT) Colombo Chief Magistrate Buddhika Sri Ragala yesterday (18) enlarged on bail veteran cricket commentator Brian Thomas, who had been in remand on a charge of fraud. Bail was set at Rs 25000 in cash and two sureties of Rs 500,000 each. Thomas had been charged with defrauding a sum of Rs 143 million. The Magistrate also impounded the suspect’s passport. The CID commenced a probe against Thomas on a complaint lodged by businessman Dinesh Schaffter on 20Mar2019 more..

Tamil MPs shun jabs at Army Hospital

Feb 19 (CT) Leader of TNPF MP G. Ponnambalam claimed, TNA MPs are not ready to take COVID-19 vaccine at the Army Hospital in Narahenpita, as Tamil MPs do not want to come into contact with the military. He said, his stance had been accepted by the TNPF’s other MP Selvarasa Kajendran as well and remarked that he was personally glad to see the TNA also sticking to the same policy. Ponnambalam added no Tamil MP is willing to come into contact with forces personnel or even visit forces more..

Govt.-backed racketeers run riot: 3,000 acres grabbed in Somawathiya National Park...

Feb 19 (Island) Another 1,000 acres of the Somawathiya National Park were been grabbed yesterday by an organised group who removed boundary posts put up by Dept of Wildlife, and placed them further inside the National Park, thus bringing the extent of the sanctuary land encroached in two days to 3,000 acres. Environmentalists said govt supporters were responsible for the land grab. A group led by a high-ranking official of more..

16-hour water cut for parts of Colombo District tomorrow

Feb 19 (AD) The water supply to several urban and municipal council areas in the Colombo District will be suspended for 16 hours tomorrow due to essential maintenance work. The water cut will be in effect from 8 am tomorrow to 12 am, the National Water Board said. Accordingly, Colombo, Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia, Sri J'pura Kotte and Kaduwela municipal council areas and Maharagama, Boralesgamuwa and Kolonnawa urban council areas will be affected by the 16-hour water cut. more..

Forex interventions rise to US$72mn amid credit pick-up in Jan 21

Feb 19 (EN) SL forex market interventions to defend a soft-peg with the US dollar had picked up to US$ 72.25 million in January 2021 from US$ 22.5 million in December as domestic credit started to pick up, official data showed. Sri Lanka’s rupee has fell close to 200 to the US dollar in the one week forward market in February amid excess liquidity in money market mainly from Treasuries failed to be sold under a price controlled sale which was previously a multiple price auction. more..

Mahela says no Sri Lanka player in IPL 2021 is disheartening

Feb 19 (CI) Former SL captain Kumar Sangakkara was straightforward and open about a number of aspects surrounding the IPL and his new role as Rajasthan Royals' Director of Cricket. It wasn't until he was asked about plotting and planning against his good friend Mahela Jayawardene, the Mumbai Indians head coach, that he finally broke into a chuckle. Two, who were part of many big moments in SL cricket history, more..

Abans records outstanding 9 months consolidated PAT of Rs. 1.5 b

Feb 19 (FT) The recently-ended year posed a series of challenges in the financial market and business sphere, as the COVID-19 pandemic gave rise to a plethora of risks, drawbacks and losses in terms of profit, capital and company sustainability. However, Abans Group emerged victorious in a highly volatile business atmosphere after employing carefully-structured strategies, controlled decisions, and containing trading and monetary conditions with the goal of functioning according to new normal. more..

Tourism Minister says MPs have a right to priority vaccination

Feb 19 (EN) Parliament members in the opposition are trying to spread the COVID-19 virus and create chaos in the country by deferring to get the COVID-19 vaccine, Minister of Tourism Prasanna Ranatunga said. Speaking to reporters yesterday, he said that since it is the MPs and ministers who associate with the people most there is nothing wrong with them getting vaccinated. He said if a cluster is created because of the MPs then the media will start blaming them for it. more..

Video: I won’t leave govt, but don’t know if govt will leave me: Wimal

Feb 19 (AD) Minister Wimal Weerawansa says that he will never leave the govt, however added that he cannot say whether the govt will abandon him. He stated this in response to questions from journalists, following an event held in Colombo today (19), as to whether he would be able to remain within the govt. Asked whether any major changes are to be expected in the govt, he said that there is absolutely no need for anyone to more..

Equity sharing arrangement with LIOC for development of Trinco oil tank reforms

Feb 19 (DM) Energy Minister Udaya Gammanpila said the Trincomalee Oil tank farm would be managed under a company to be formed with Lanka Indian Oil Company with a majority stake for the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC). In other words, it will be a company with majority stake for the CPC. It is subject to scrutiny by the Auditor General. COPE can peruse the audit reports Minister Gammanpila said that the agreement for such an equity sharing arrangement more..

'SL must protect its artefacts while trying to bring back stolen ones from foreign...'

Feb 19 (Island) Director General of Archaeology, Prof. Anura Manatunga said that before trying to bring back the SL artefacts in foreign museums, the country needed to protect archaeological sites in the country. Prof. Manatunga said he had to sign at least 10 files a day to prosecute against those who had caused damages to archaeological sites. Prof. Manatunga said that archaeological sites were being destroyed at a rapid pace. Int'l agreements prevented artefacts from being traded more..

පාස්ටර්ස ලා හොරු ද?සුවකිරීම් බොරුවක් ද?

Avoiding cash agony

Feb 19 (FT) During the last couple of months I noticed that there were a number of advertisements sponsored by Central Bank (CB) both in print and electronic media to inculcate the general public about the enormous benefits one can gain through cashless transactions and the agony one has to endure when using cash for transactions. In other words, it encourages simply not to use cash/money/currency but to use plastic cards either credit or debit or smart & ATM cards more..

Reawakening of Tamil society

Feb 19 (FT) Looking at the recent developments, the Tamil community in the north, which has remained more or less in a state of spiritual demise over a long period, seems to be making a determined effort to breathe freely again. Not only the Tamil community but also the Sinhala and Muslim communities were in a similar state. In other words, their social psyche has been lying in a state of infirmity for a long time. It is also an important factor contributing to current deplorable situation more..

SJB to stand against govt oppression

Feb 19 (CT) Requesting the final report of the PCoI probing political victimisation of public officials from 2015 to 2019, be tabled in Parliament at the coming session, Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa said it should be taken up for debate throughout the next Parliamentary week. He claimed the Govt is making a malicious attempt to cover up its irregularities and corruption, by stopping the political activities of Opposition more..

Get vaccinated without fear: State Minister

Feb 19 (DN) State Minister Dr. Sudarshani Fernandopulle urged public to get vaccinated for COVID-19 without any undue fear. She said this while addressing the media regarding false information shared through social media on the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. Adverse effects have not been reported after vaccination and all the reported cases are general discomforts which are common to any other vaccine. She said COVID prevention can be achieved only when more..

Lack of people’s cooperation cause for major concern: HSDG

Feb 19 (DM) Health Services Director General Dr. Asela Gunawardene who expressed concern over the lack of public cooperation to bring the pandemic under control, said it was left to the people to decide whether they would hold wedding receptions, parties, public functions and enjoy as in the past, or reduce merry making events to the barest minimum to pave way for the reopening of schools and universities. He said the spread of the disease had prevented the reopening of schools in the WP more..

Pakistan asked Sri Lanka for PM’s address to its parliament

Feb 19 (TN) PM Imran’s maiden SL visit will start on Feb 22, and the host country has released details of his two-day engagements in Colombo. During the visit, he will meet Prez Rajapaksa, PM Rajapaksa and attend an investors' conference. Imran Khan’s speech at the SL parliament had been included in PM's itinerary on the Pakistan govt's request. However, an information coming from Colombo has also been confirmed more..

Trinco Oil Tanks: Cabinet Paper to be submitted shortly

Feb 19 (CT) The Cabinet Paper on the agreement reached between shareholders regarding the Trincomalee Oil Tanks will be submitted to Cabinet once discussions are concluded, Energy Minister Udaya Gammanpila said yesterday (18). He said the Cabinet Paper would be submitted after making public the points in the agreement and then holding discussions with religious leaders, civil organisations, trade unions and the Maha Sangha to get an overall idea about the agreement. more..

THASL thanks Prez for supporting tourism industry

Feb 19 (FT) The Hotels Association of SL (THASL) President Sanath Ukwatte in a statement yesterday thanked the Govt for taking all steps necessary to encourage foreign visitors to the country. Speaking after meeting with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Wednesday, Ukwatte said the President ensured that all health guidelines for visitors will be designed in a way to encourage more tourists to visit the country without compromising the safety of the nation during this pandemic period. more..