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UNP requests Ranil to take up National List MP seat

Nov 23 (AD) Representatives of the UNP have agreed to appoint former PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to the vacant UNP seat at the parliament, said former MP Arjuna Ranatunga. A written request has been made by the representatives to the Party Leader requesting him to take up the vacant National List seat at the parliament, he added. This has been discussed at the Administrative Committee meeting of the UNP held today. At the meeting, the subject has been broached by Ranatunga more..

Video: Travel ban on Basil lifted

Nov 23 (AD) The overseas travel ban on former Minister Basil Rajapaksa has been lifted as per an order from the Colombo High Court. The case against the former Minister Basil Rajapaksa and three others, over the misappropriation of Divi Neguma funds, was taken up before the High Court Judge R. Gurusinghe today. President’s Counsel Gamini Marapana, appearing on behalf of Basil Rajapaksa, more..

SL and the coming Biden Foreign Policy

Nov 23 (ORF) Secretary Pompeo’s message to the SL people to choose a more democratic path than tyranny has fewer implications in the post-US Prez election environment. It has been delegitimised by Pompeo’s defeated leader, with Trump questioning the US’ democratic values and procedures while refusing a peaceful transition of power and decapitating the Pentagon. It is as if President-elect Biden has the initial task of restoring and instilling dignity and integrity to the White House. more..

MTV/Sirasa served enjoining order over defamatory claims against George Steuart

Nov 23 (AD) Colombo District Court has issued an enjoining order against MTV Channel Private Ltd after considering a defamation case filed by George Steuart Health (Pvt) Limited over defamatory news broadcast on its prime time news telecasts against the company and its chairman Dilith Jayaweera. Plaint referred to several false and defamatory news segments telecast by Sirasa NewsFirst on 11th, 13th, 16th and 19th Nov referring to the import of Covid-19 rapid antigen test kits by more..

Ex- SDIG of CID tells PCoI Zahran, his cadres had been planning attacks from 2017

Nov 23 (Island) National Thowheed Jamaat (NTJ) leader Zahran Hashim and his associates had initially planned to carry out a suicide attack in 2020, former SDIG of the CID, Ravi Seneviratne on Friday told the PCoI investigating the Easter Sunday attacks. He said that while they were aware of Zahran’s ideology, it was during the CID investigations into the Jihadist Training Camp at Wanathawilluwa that they had found more..

Maldivian Airlines appoint Nawaloka Air Services as GSA

Nov 23 (DN) Nawaloka Air Services (Pvt) Ltd, a subsidiary of Nawaloka Holdings headed by Dr Jayantha Dharmadasa is one of the largest diversified conglomerates in Sri Lanka and has been appointed the General Sales Agent (GSA) for Maldivian Airlines in Sri Lanka for Passenger and Cargo, effective 15 Sept 2020. Nawaloka Holdings has been in business for over 65 years, is currently over 10,000 employees strong and caters to 7 sectors including Healthcare. more..

Pan Asia Bank partners global bank to launch unique gold loan solution

Nov 23 (Island) Pioneering another innovation in SL’s banking industry, Pan Asia Bank has launched a superior Gold Loan product in partnership with a reputed global bank, which is a unique solution to protect the asset value of customers in fluctuating market conditions. Along with its global banking partner, Pan Asia Bank has devised this new product to take away the risk of asset devaluation due to market fluctuations. As a truly SL bank, Pan Asia Bank understands the customer point of view more..

Budget 2021: A reversion to J.R. Jayewardene policies of 1940s?

Nov 23 (FT) Budget 2021, presented to Parliament by PM and Finance Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa last week, has been hailed as a prosperity budget, development budget or growth budget by many. All Chambers, including the 181-year-old Ceylon Chamber of Commerce or CCC, welcomed it as an attempt at taking Sri Lanka to the next level of development. CCC specifically called it business-friendly, production-oriented more..

PM’s Office, Temple Trees working as usual: PM’s Media Secretary

Nov 23 (DN) The PM’s office announced that none of their staff working at the PM’s Office or Temple Trees have contracted COVID-19. “The report in a national newspaper stating that Temple Trees has been temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 epidemic is false and baseless,” PM’s Media Secretary Rohan Weliwita said in a press release. In the face of the COVID-19 situation, the PM’s Office as well as the Temple Trees carry out their daily duties in accordance with the instructions more..

Major improvement expected in controlling Covid-19 over next few days

Nov 23 (DM) A major improvement is expected in the spread of the coronavirus in SL over the next few days. Deputy Director General (Public Health), Dr. Hemantha Herath said that the situation with regards to existing clusters is likely to be brought under complete control after three incubation periods. “An incubation period consists of 14 days so we expect the situation to be brought under control after three incubation periods,” he said. The recent new clusters in the Police and prison are closed clusters more..

මාකදුරේ මදුෂ්, ජනපති ඝාතන සැලසුම: නාමල් කුමාර

Is section of Sangha trying to subjugate President?

Nov 23 (DM) Mapitigama Buddharakkitha, always claimed that without him SWRD wouldn’t have come to power. The head priest of historic Kelaniya temple where the Buddha visited 25 centuries ago and according to folklore the place where he enjoyed the refreshing water of the Kelani River, [and remember, a Maha Naga Rajah carrying a casket of sacred relics appeared on the eve of Presidential Election a year ago?] who financed Bandaranaike’s election campaign in 1956, hated Bandaranaike for more..

A populist Budget risking higher debtA populist Budget risking higher debt

Nov 23 (DM) Budget 2021 does not meet the scale of the challenges SL is going to face in the coming years. Instead of offering a realistic, concrete alternative to the current situation, we are in, the budget draws from the platitudes of a vistas of prosperity and splendour policy document reflecting the exuberance of a pre-crisis era. The reality is that Sri Lankans are suffering now, and they need a massive response both to deal with the short-term and long-term consequences of COVID-19 more..

Two new ministries gazetted: Gotabaya to take over Defence, Tech Ministries

Nov 23 (FT) President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is to take over as the Minister of Defence and a newly created Ministry of Technology shortly. A new subjects and functions Gazette was issued by the Prez, bringing several institutions under these ministries while a new Ministry of Public Security too, has been created. State Minister Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekera, is expected to be appointed as its Cabinet Minister, more..

Govt to continue with cremation of Covid-19 victims

Nov 23 (DM) The Govt has decided to continue with cremation of bodies of Covid-19 victims, until the final report of the committee appointed to study the matter is finalized, Director General of Health Services said. He said the decision was made following the request made by the expert committee to the Secretary to the Health Ministry. The special committee was appointed to look into how the last rites of those who fall victim to Covid-19, are conducted following grievances of Muslims. more..

BOI to target more strategic investments with tremendous provided by Budget

Nov 23 (FT) The BOI said it will target more strategic investments following the tremendous opportunities provided by 2021 Budget, which was approved in Parliament on Saturday. BOI trusts that incentives are part of the landscape of the investment strategy to attract sustainable investments, as they are often a decisive factor in investment decision-making. “Combined with the more obvious hard infrastructure offerings, locational benefits, sound legal framework and access to talent pools, more..

Central Expressway: Construction delay costs Rs 8 billion loss!

Nov 23 (CT) It was revealed at the meeting of the COPE, that as a result of work on the first part of the Central Expressway from Kadawatha to Meerigama, being delayed from 2015 until 2019, a financial loss of Rs 8 billion has occurred. It has also been revealed that a sum of more than Rs 1.7 billion has been spent on the feasibility study for this expressway. Another revelation is that SMEC Company had been selected for the first more..

Covid-19 infections in SL cross 20,000 mark

Nov 23 (AD) With another surge in Covid-19 figures seen this evening (20), total infections confirmed in SL exceeded the grim milestone of 20,000. 216 more individuals linked to Minuwangoda-Peliyagoda cluster, 9 arrivals (4 from UAE, 3 from Qatar, 1 each from Russia and China) have been tested positive for the virus. Total infections registered by the dual cluster have reached 16,643. Sri Lanka has recorded 20,171 infections since the first positive case was reported in March this year. more..

4 Covid-19 deaths reported; toll rises to 87

Nov 23 (DM) Four individuals succumbed to the Covid-19 today (21) mounting the death toll to 87. According to the Govt Information Department, two males aged 53, 84 and two females aged 70, 75 are among the deceased. All the victims are residents of the Colombo area. A total of 13 Covid-19 deaths were reported within the weekend. The details of the deceased are as follows, 1. A 70-year-old female from Colombo 15 succumbed to the virus on admission to National Hospital in Colombo. more..

Mechanism to regulate websites within 2 weeks, says Media Minister

Nov 23 (FT) Govt said on Saturday a mechanism for the regulation of websites is to be implemented within the next two weeks. The upcoming move was made public by Keheliya Rambukwella during the Ministerial Consultative Committee on Mass Media. He also said the Press Council Act should be amended in a way that would protect the dignity of the citizens and said the media should be regulated. more..

Pond near Parliament to be made more visible to prevent mishaps

Nov 23 (Island) Minister of Irrigation and State Minister of Internal Defence, Home Affairs and Disaster Management, Chamal Rajapaksa informed Parliament, on Saturday, that arrangements had been made to make the pond near the Parliament complex more visible at dusk to prevent mishaps of vehicles plunging into it. Kurunegala District SJB MP Nalin Bandara raising a point of order said that a bus transporting Parliament staff had veered off into the pond near the Parliament complex on Friday. more..

Elite National Sportspersons eventually get the attention they truly deserve!

Nov 23 (ST) A session for all National Sports Associations (NSA) summoned by the Ministry of Sports (MOS) recently, portends to raise the bar as never before and once again mirrors the fresh thinking of the Minister of Sports, no mean sportsman himself. More importantly, he understands only too well the abject lot of our sportsmen and sportswomen and thus the call for action under the auspices of the National Sports Council (NSC) and its offspring, more..

Speaker, Opposition Leader cross swords over special statements

Nov 23 (Island) Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, on Saturday, asked Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa to refrain from causing an affront to the dignity of Parliament. Speaker said so when the latter attempted to make a special statement after the former denied permission. Speaker said that the Opposition Leader had once made a similar statement and raised very similar questions and the Minister of Health and more..

SJB trying to scuttle LPL: Namal

Nov 23 (CT) Minister Namal Rajapaksa said that a group of MPs of the SJB are engaged in a very low-down effort to halt the holding of the Lanka Premier League (LPL) tournament in SL and that all those activities of sabotage will be defeated and arrangements will be made to continue with the LPL cricket tournament. Minister Rajapaksa said further that while arrangements had been made to hold the LPL Cricket Tournament according to specified health advice, he regrets the fact that more..

'Dambulla Viking’s skipper not yet selected'

Nov 23 (CT) Dambulla Vikings is expecting to name their skipper after a couple of training sessions according to their head coach Owais Shah. He said this while in quarantine at the Shangri-La Hotel in Hambantota. “We have a number of options in our squad to pick a leader from. That is always a good thing, but we are yet to finalise who our captain will be. I want to have a couple of training sessions with the guys before appointing the leader of our squad,” he said. more..

Engineers say new UDA regulations detrimental to national interest

Nov 23 (ST) Significant amendments are to be introduced to the UDA Act to meet the challenges in modern development while providing more legal teeth for land acquisition and mixed development projects, especially the construction of high-rise buildings, official sources said. While the new regulations will be gazetted soon to replace the UDA’s 34-year-old approval, planning and building regulations pertaining to high-rise apartment more..

BOC to raise Rs. 10 b via Basel III compliant perpetual bonds

Nov 23 (FT) State-owned giant Bank of Ceylon is to raise Rs. 10 billion via the issuance of BASEL III compliant, rated, unlisted, unsecured, subordinated, perpetual, additional Tier 1 capital bonds with a non-viability full and permanent write-down. It will issue 30 million such bonds initially with an option to offer a further 70 million such bonds in the event of an oversubscription of the original amount. The bonds will have a floating rate of Weighted Average 12 months net treasury bill rate+1.5% per annum more..

1987-90 Violence: Call for State-backed Commemoration Package

Nov 23 (DM) As the JVP (and empathy groups) organizes memorial events every November for thousands killed during the political emergency of 1987-1990, how may the SL State contribute to such efforts? What took place during 1987-90 is an upheaval in which at least 40,000 to 60,000 men and women are conventionally estimated to have been killed. The atmosphere of extra-legal govt and violence which the State maintained as a political philosophy has, by now, more..

New private sector retirement age: Question mark over mandatory or voluntary status

Nov 23 (Island) Treasury Secretary S.R. Attygalle said that the implementation of the 2021 budget proposal to increase the retirement age of private sector workers to 60 would have to be discussed with stakeholders before a final decision was made. PM Mahinda Rajapaksa, in his capacity as the Finance Minister presented to Parliament the govt policy with regard to the private sector retirement and now the implementation more..

China happy with SL’s stance on Port City

Nov 23 (CT) Beijing’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian told China-based Shenzhen TV on Thursday that China appreciates SL’s willingness to provide legal support and preferential policies for the Colombo Port City. He was responding to a question raised by Shenzhen TV where he was asked, “SL PM Mahinda Rajapaksa presented the Govt’s Budget for the new fiscal year to the Parliament on 17 Nov. He said the Govt would formulate a legal framework for the special economic zone at more..

Rigid’s USD 250M plant ready for Operations

Nov 23 (CT) Rigid Tyre Corporation, built with an investment of USD 250 million, is slated for opening in mid-January 2021. The state-of-the-art, fully-integrated manufacturing plant was visited by Minister Wimal Weerawansa, last week. The construction of Phase 1 with an investment of USD 100 mn has been completed while Phase 2 is due to be completed by mid-March 2022. Elaborating on the project, Exec Director Dhammika Lokuwithana said: “It is the largest FDI in the last 10 years; more..

Most Ven. Makulewe Wimala Thera elected Mahanayake of the Ramanna Maha Nikaya

Nov 23 (CT) Chief Incumbent of the Meerigama, Minioluwa Vidyawasa Pirivena, Adhikarana Sangha Nayake of the SL Ramanna Maha Nikaya, Aggamaha Panditha Shasthrapathi, Most Venerable Makulewe Wimala Nayake Thera has been appointed as Mahanayake of the SL Ramanna Maha Nikaya which fell vacant with the passing away of Most Venerable Napane Pemasiri Nayake Thera. more..

Dale Steyn joins Kandy Tuskers in LPL

Nov 23 (CI) Dale Steyn, the South Africa fast bowler, has confirmed he will join Kandy Tuskers for the LPL, providing a lift for both the team and the league following a difficult week. Over the last six days, Tuskers saw Chris Gayle - their highest profile player - withdraw from the tournament due to injury, before Pakistan fast bowler Sohail Tanvir tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving on the island, and entered treatment in isolation, which is expected to keep him out for at least 14 days. more..

Access to invest in agri and livestock

Nov 23 (FT) Access Group will be expanding by investing in agriculture and livestock industries, Access Engineering Chairman Sumal Perera said last week as part of efforts to bolster Sri Lanka’s food security. Speaking at the Budget 2021 Forum, organised by Daily FT and the Colombo Uni MBA Alumni Association, Perera acknowledged that many countries were refocusing on food security, following vulnerabilities created by COVID-19 and that he, too, felt that it was an important endeavour. more..

Dividend dilemma

Nov 23 (FT) There will be no change in SL’s generous tax-free dividends policy to foreigners though the 2021 Budget referred to new conditions or requests, whilst Sri Lankans will continue to be taxed prompting at least one business leader to flag-off the single country, two laws facet last week. Daily FT-Colombo Uni MBA Alumni Asso. organised popular 2021 Budget Forum triggered much debate on the taxation policy on dividends as well as more..

Budget 2021: Are the people satisfied?

Nov 23 (TM) On 17 Nov, the Budget for 2021 was tabled by PM Mahinda Rajapaksa in his capacity as the Minister of Finance. The proposals put forward were greatly focused on poverty alleviation and economic revival as envisaged in the Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour policy framework of Govt of Prez Rajapaksa. Finance Minister stressed that it is their duty as policymakers to “formulate our national policies with a long-term strategic vision, protecting our sovereignty, to exploit more..