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More than 10,000 acres of forest already destroyed under present govt: JVP

Mar 2 (Island) JVP’s youth wing Socialist Youth Union alleged that around 10,000 acres of forests had been cleared since the new govt came to power. National Organizer of the SYU Eranga Gunasekera said development did not mean increasing the number of concrete buildings at the expense of the environment. “We received information that Dahaiyagala forest in Thanamalwila was being cleared on Jan 30. more..

NSA Trilateral Secretariat established at NHQ

Mar 2 (SLN) Reaffirmed strongly with the necessity of the continuation of National Security Adviser (NSA)-level meeting between India, SL and Maldives, a secretariat for trilateral National Security Advisers on Maritime Security Cooperation was formed under the auspices of Secretary of Defence, General (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne at the Navy Headquarters today (1). Based on an agreement reached at the 04th NSA -level trilateral meeting hosted in Colombo on 28th Nov 2020 with more..

Buddhist Clergy supports Black Sunday

Mar 2 (CT) Chief Secretary of the Asgiriya Chapter Most Venerable Dr. Medagama Dhammananda Thera said, the country’s Buddhist clergy will support the decision taken by the Catholics to mark next Sunday (7) as Black Sunday, as justice has not been meted out to them following the 2019 Easter Sunday terror attacks. He stated commemorating the coming Sunday as Black Sunday was wholly justified and acceptable considering the long delay in bringing perpetrators behind the carnage to book. more..

LNG project: CEB calls for proposals before ADB releases feasibility study

Mar 2 (ST) The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) has called for international proposals to deploy a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) and a mooring system for liquefied natural gas (LNG) even before the Asian Development Bank (ADB) released the feasibility study it funded for the project. Feasibility studies map out the pros and cons of undertaking a costly initiative before investing time and money into it. more..

NTB records performance whilst supporting economy

Mar 2 (TM) Govt and CB initiated various policy measures during 2020, aiming at triggering economic activities, ensuring livelihoods, and preserving the stability of the country’s financial system. These policy measures included loan moratoriums, reduction of policy rates, lowering of the statutory reserve requirement for licensed commercial banks, restricting importation of non-essential items, and offering various incentives to attract foreign funding sources into more..

Panasian Power commissions solar project worth Rs. 420 m

Mar 2 (FT) Panasian Power PLC (PAP), has recently commissioned a 3 MW ground solar plant in Matara, worth a total investment of Rs. 420 million. Panasian Power is the equity investor and led all aspects of the construction including in-house engineering, design, site acquisition, acquiring permissions, simulation and procurement. Panasian Power also took the lead in securing Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) for the project. PAP used the latest Trina bifacial solar panels, more..

Wages Board clears way to gazette Rs. 1,000 for plantations

Mar 2 (FT) Wages Board yesterday cleared the way to gazette the Rs. 1,000 daily wage for plantation workers after considering nearly 200 complaints against the move from both the tea and rubber sectors. Labour Commissioner General Prabath Chandrakeerthi said that the 19 members of the Wages Board heard 179 complaints from Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs) and 18 others from the rubber industry, against more..

Colombo land prices rise 4.6% in 2H

Mar 2 (FT) Land Valuation Indicator (LVI) for the Colombo District increased by 4.6% on year-on-year basis to 145.2 during the second half of 2020. However, the percentage level of increase of LVI was in line with the declining trend observed over the recent periods. In addition, the LVI recorded an increase of 2.5% for the second half of 2020, compared to the first half of 2020. All sub-indicators of LVI, namely Residential LVI, Commercial LVI and Industrial LVI, contributed to overall increase. more..

5 COVID-19 deaths bring fatalities to 476

Mar 2 (FT) Total COVID-19 fatalities in the country rose to 476 with health authorities confirming five COVID-19 deaths yesterday. A 73-year-old individual from Ganemulla tested positive for COVID-19 at the Colombo South Teaching Hospital and was transferred to the Pimbura Base Hospital, where she died of COVID pneumonia and gallbladder cancer yesterday. A 75-year-old individual from Pujapitiya also died yesterday. She was admitted to the Teldeniya Base Hospital after testing positive more..

Import policy sparks local investment bounty

Mar 2 (FT) Spurred on by the Govt’s import restrictions, local manufacturers are stepping up with about 140 new proposals, worth an estimated Rs. 48 billion, currently under evaluation by the Industries Ministry, Industries Ministry Secretary Anusha Pelpita said. He that the multitude of new ventures has left officials scrambling for land, as all zones within the Western Province are mostly operating at capacity. more..

SLC snubs Tissera and Tennekoon

Mar 2 (Island) A state banquet held recently at Shangri-La to welcome World Cup winning captain and PM of Pakistan Imran Khan was graced by many greats of the game, Ministers, cricket officials and other dignitaries. However, two notable absentees at the gathering were two former SL captains – Michael Tissera and Anura Tennkoon. The Island learns that the two former greats had been snubbed by the authorities. The banquet was organized by the Ministry of Sports. more..

SLSI to standardise beauty products

Mar 2 (ST) The genies in jars and tubes may have to step up their game with new edicts round the corner. The SL Standards Institution (SLSI) will be setting the standards for all cosmetics entering the SL shores. SLSI Chairman Nushad Perera said in a recent interview that the SLSI will be setting new benchmarks for cosmetics entering the country – ruling out heavy metals’ elements in them. In cosmetics, high mercury levels are common in products that promise to fade dark spots, more..

310 persons test positive for COVID-19

Mar 2 (FT) A total of 310 people tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday, bringing the total number of COVID-19 patients detected in the island to 83,552. The patients detected yesterday include 291 associates of the Peliyagoda COVID-19 cluster and 12 persons from the Prisons cluster. The Divulapitiya, Peliyagoda and Prisons triple cluster has thus expanded to 79,392 patients. In addition to the triple cluster, more..

National Chamber signs MoU with Lanka Business Ring, Kandy

Mar 2 (FT) The National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka and the Lanka Business Ring (LBR) of Kandy, Central Province entered into a MoU on 25 Feb. The purpose of this MOU is to promote the economic co-operation through trade and investment between their respective business communities and to create a stable platform for continuous exchange of business related information. The National Chamber had been in the forefront of business development in SL more..

President’s energy directive ignored by the power ministry – II

Mar 2 (Island) The piece written by Dr Tilak Siyambalapitiya (Dr TS) appearing in The Island of 24.02.2021, in response to my letter on 19.02.2021 is wide of the mark. The Power Ministry officials responsible for not taking any action on the President’s directive for over five months are fortunate that they are living in Sri Lanka where there is still some sort of democracy prevails. In a country like China or North Korea, they would have been probably summarily executed. more..

Paralympian Amara Indumathi eyes swansong in Tokyo

Mar 2 (ST) As the countdown begins for the Tokyo Paralympics this year, Sri Lanka will be buoyed by the performance of its athletes during the World Para Grand Prix that was held in Dubai. Six SL athletes participated and won six medals (three silver and three bronze). Among the medal winners, Amara Indumathi the first female Para athlete to represent SL at the Paralympics, has ambitions of winning more..

Learning lessons from the COVID-19 burial fiasco

Mar 2 (ST) Probably the bitterest experience faced by the Muslims in the history of the country has come to an end with the Govt’s decision to restore the right of burial to those who died or were suspected to have died as a result of being afflicted by the COVID-19 virus. But the irrational decision of the Govt to forcibly cremate the unfortunate ones who succumbed to COVID-19 has caused harm on many fronts and will take a long time to repair. Firstly the anguish and pain of mind caused to more..

A brief guide to COVID-19 vaccines and life after vaccination

Mar 2 (GV) Sri Lanka, although facing challenges related to vaccination coordination, has started vaccinating the public. As misinformation can be a serious challenge to understanding the vaccine landscape during this crucial time, here is a brief guide on vaccines, their global availability and why public health measures are still important. As of Feb 27, 2021, globally there are 74 vaccines in clinical development and 182 vaccines in pre-clinical development. more..

Face the Nation

Daggers drawn at UNHRC as SL leans on China bloc

Mar 2 (TM) Sri Lanka’s foreign policy is currently facing a litmus test like never before with pressure intensifying before the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) at its 46th Session with High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet standing steadfast on what she calls the need for a proper mechanism to ensure accountability in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka’s neighbour and long-standing ally, India, is, meanwhile, for the first time, adopting an icily neutral position on the island. more..

Sri Lanka, a sovereign nation; Why allow others to dictate?

Mar 2 (DM) The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) which comprises 57 member states raised the issue of Sri Lanka’s COVID-19 cremations at the 46th United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva on February 23. Speaking at the sixth meeting of the high level segment of the session, OIC Secretary General Yousef Al Othaimeen said the OIC is concerned with the situation of Muslims in Sri Lanka as they are denied the right to be buried, according to their faith. more..

'Govt should revert to non-aligned policy'

Mar 2 (TM) Although Sri Lanka was to present alternatives to the UN resolution that they withdrew from in addressing issues such as holding inquiries over the alleged war crimes, impunity, and minority issues, the Govt decided instead only to reject the report furnished by the UN Human Rights Commissioner, stating that it was incorrect. Against this backdrop, The Sunday Morning Hot Seat reached out to SJB General Secretary more..

When Imran Khan was left speechless-almost

Mar 2 (ST) Many are the comments about Sri Lanka. The latest doing the rounds is that Pakistan PM Imran Khan was rather shabbily treated when the Address he was scheduled to make to Parliament was cancelled. It appears that the pandemic is the reason for the belated cancellation as though the pandemic suddenly enveloped Sri Lanka and we in the Resplendent Isle were unaware of its existence. There are many things which our leaders are not aware of. They would themselves admit that. more..

Recurrence and Democracy

Mar 2 (DM) Sri Lanka is again being raised at the UNHRC. The moves at the UNHRC are as much the play of geopolitical interests as it is the mishandling of SL’s external relations by the current Govt. The substance of the debates and the possible Resolution on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC are framed around the idea that addressing the past with war-time accountability and arresting the current deterioration are crucial for salvaging the future. In thinking about a plural and democratic future, more..

Highway to Destruction

Mar 2 (CT) The Thalangama wetlands have recently come under threat from a proposed highway and environmentalists and local residents are worried. On 13 February, a ragtag group of around 200, ranging from environmentalists to farmers to students and residents protested the move. They have written a letter to the President and launched an online petition with almost 9,000 signatures, hoping desperately that more..

SL’s troubles UNHRC: Who digs them up?

Mar 2 (DM) Last week, the govt rejected the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet’s written report on Sri Lanka to the 46th session of the UNHRC, which is currently in progress. Dinesh Gunawardene, the foreign minister speaking at the interactive dialogue retorted that the report has unjustifiably broadened its scope and mandate further, incorporating many issues of governance & matters that are essentially domestic for any self-respecting, sovereign country. more..

The final frontier

Mar 2 (CT) On 22 Feb, NASA scientists unveiled a breathtaking video of its new rover, dubbed the Perseverance, descending to Mars. Although there have been previous similar space missions, the clip was a first of its kind and showed the supersonic parachute inflation over the red planet and a rocket-powered hovercraft lowering the science lab on wheels to the surface. The footage was recorded on 18 Feb by a series of cameras mounted at different angles of the multi-stage spacecraft as more..

Video: Unidentified woman’s body found in suitcase at Dam Street

Mar 1 (AD) An unidentified body has been discovered stuffed inside a suitcase which had been abandoned at Dam Street in Colombo. Police said that the decapitated body of a female has been found inside the suitcase and that the deceased has not been identified as of yet. The suitcase had been found in the roadside at Dam Street in Pettah. Meanwhile footage of the suspect who had brought the suitcase to that location has been caught more..

Pelwatte forms auxiliary industry to support local dairy farming

Mar 1 (FT) Pelwatte Dairy Industries, Sri Lanka’s leading local dairy producer, is on a renewed mission to produce sufficient forage for the cattle – all year along, despite the season, weather and climate, which usually cause deflects to the produce and affect grazing patterns and milk production capabilities of the cattle. Thereby not only ensuring to meet the domestic milk demand but also uplift the socio-economic status of local dairy farmers, supportive industries and locals. more..

SLPI requests Justice Minister to codify laws on Contempt of Court

Mar 1 (FT) SL Press Institute (SLPI) has forwarded to the Minister of Justice MP Ali Sabry, PC a set of proposals by The Editors Guild of SL (TEGOSL), setting out the rationale for the codification and enactment of a Contempt of Court Act in SL in line with many other countries. In its letter to the Justice Minister, the SLPI has referred to the long-felt need to codify the laws on Contempt of Court. Editors’ Guild proposals are based on its submissions to the Parliamentary Select Committee of 2003, more..

Tom Moody appointed as Sri Lanka's director of cricket

Mar 1 (CI) Tom Moody has been appointed Sri Lanka's director of cricket, a broad new role that will have Moody overseeing Sri Lanka's international programme and domestic tournaments. The appointment was made on the recommendation of Sri Lanka's new technical advisory committee headed by Aravinda de Silva. The role will see Moody spend at least 300 days in SL over the next three years focusing on more..

Rocky leads PNB to heroin spots

Mar 1 (CT) Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) was able to identify several locations at Dostara-Watte in the Weligama Police area, which were used to hide the heroin that was recently seized from Horana. PNB called on Rocky, a sniffer dog of Police K9 Unit, to locate the hiding places. The watcher of the estate was arrested for aiding and abetting in heroin trafficking. This was following an incident where the Panadura Central Anti-Vice Striking Unit arrested two suspects for the possession of 45 kg more..

Douglas threatens to take fight to India

Mar 1 (CT) Fisheries Minister Douglas Devananda, speaking to representatives of fisheries societies in the North, said on Saturday (27), if Indian authorities do not take steps to prevent Indian fishermen from encroaching on Northern Seas of Sri Lanka, he will accompany about ten thousand boats of fishermen of the North into Indian territory and stage a protest. Devananda was in Mullaitivu for three days, 25, 26, and 27 February, to discuss problems faced by Northern fishermen. more..

Air Force turns 70 tomorrow

Mar 1 (FT) Air Force (SLAF) will celebrate its 70th Anniversary tomorrow with the main event held at Katunayake Air Force Base, followed by an air display by the SLAF and Indian Air Force aerobatic teams at Galle Face Green. The celebration will be low-key due to the ongoing COVID-19 with formation-level parades being held at their respective airbases and units. Two Indian Air Force aerobatic teams, Suriyakiran & Sarang, more..

Two dead in trishaw-cop jeep collision

Mar 1 (CT) Two people were killed and three injured when a three-wheeler and a Police jeep collided yesterday, DIG Ajith Rohana said. The accident took place at the 10th mile post on the road from Wariyapola to Katupotha at 8 a.m. The 40-year-old driver of the three-wheeler and his 69-year-old mother died in the accident. The three-wheeler driver’s wife and children aged nine and 13 have been admitted to the Kurunegala Hospital. The family had been travelling to Anuradhapura more..

UNHRC report fails to pay attention to what happened in SL during war: GL

Mar 1 (DM) High Commissioner's report of the UNHRC that was taken for discussion at the Council in Geneva has no connection with what had taken place during the war in Sri Lanka, Education Minister G.L Pieris said. He said the UNHRC High Commissioner's report focused on the internal affairs of our country. "The report included the topics that the new govt did after the regime change in Nov 2019 and things that are completely outside the scope of human rights. more..