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Sri Lanka drug shortages being cleared soon, some have alternatives: Minister

Dec 1 (EN) There is no shortage of vital drugs in SL and seven essential medicines that are in short supply will be restocked in the next few weeks, a government minister said responding to opposition claims. Seven essential drugs and 13 non essential drugs have a shortage, which will be rectified over the next few weeks, State Minister Channa Jayasumana told parliament, responding to opposition legislators during a vote for budget more..

CEB plans to divide to 8 units amidst protests

Dec 1 (ST) The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) is now in for systematic restructuring process by unbundling it into eight separate corporate entities for power generation, transmission, and distribution, a recent board paper on the administration specified. Workers are protesting the move. The board paper indicated that it plans to reduce massive losses of the CEB by transforming it into efficient profit making institution by setting up these entities under eight new general managers. more..

Govt assures no lockdown during festive season

Dec 1 (FT) The Govt yesterday assured that a lockdown will not be enforced during the festive season, but called on the general public to strictly adhere to health guidelines and act responsibly. “The successful vaccination drive does not interpret that the virus has been fully controlled in country. The future depends on the behaviour of each and every individual. However, the Cabinet of Ministers this week didn’t discuss on a possible lockdown over the festive season,” Dr. Ramesh Pathirana more..

Austin Fernando: මෛත්‍රී යුගයේ ජනපති ලේකම්!

Gihani Wathsala, a talented wushu athlete from Elpitiya

Dec 1 (ST) Gihani Wathsala, 21, is a gifted wushu athlete, who has been prospering since the age of five. Wathsala, who represented her school — Denzil Kobbekaduwa Vidyalaya in Elpitiya, Galle, has made her institution proud by winning many medals since her competition debut as a kid. Appearing for her school as a youngster, Wathsala won a Provincial competition in the Under-12 age category in Changquan Elementary. She competed for her school until 2011 at minor events, more..

Lankan drug trafficker’s aide confesses to bribing cops

Dec 1 (ENS) SL drug trafficker Sunil Gemini Fonseka’s aide Sargunam, in his confession to the Q branch officials of the police, has alleged he had given Rs 1.5 crores as bribe to the officers of the Q branch. According to sources, Sargunam alias Sabesan, also a Sri Lankan, was brought to Kancheepuram for interrogation on Nov 25 from the Thrissur jail in Kerala. His associate Sunil Gemini Fonseka alias Katta Kamini was arrested by the Q branch police in Oct last year in Bengaluru. more..

Forex Crisis: Sri Lanka to obtain US$ 300M term loan from Bank of China

Dec 1 (CT) A senior govt official said that the Govt has decided to seek immediate Chinese and Indian assistance to both strengthen its rapidly-collapsing foreign reserves and avoid possible loan default. At present, Govt must settle nearly US$ 790 million in unpaid import T-Bills for gas, petroleum and other essential imports. The spokesman said the Central Bank currently has to its credit only some US$ 1.2 billion more..

Planters’ Association hails Govt decision to allow fertiliser imports

Dec 1 (FT) Commending the Govt’s decision to allow private sector imports of fertiliser and agrochemicals into the country, Planters’ Association of Ceylon (PA) has offered its support to the authorities in arriving at a long-term solution to the issue, amenable to all parties. The association – which represents the Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs) involved in the commercial cultivation of tea, rubber and other plantation crops – urged collaboration between key stakeholders to address more..

722 persons test positive for COVID-19

Dec 1 (FT) SL’s COVID-19 case count rose to 563,989 with 722 persons testing positive for COVID-19 yesterday. The patients detected yesterday include 719 persons from the New Year cluster and three overseas arrivals. The previous day, 745 persons from the New Year cluster and two SL overseas arrivals tested positive for COVID-19. On Monday, 5,731 PCR tests and 2,868 rapid antigen tests were conducted. In total, 459,150 patients have been detected from more..

Revised health guidelines issued until 15 Dec

Dec 1 (FT) Revisions have been made to health guidelines, expanding the capacity limit for several activities including weddings, dining in at restaurants, and cinemas. The guidelines will be revised further on 15 Dec, the circular signed by Health Services Director General Dr. Asela Gunawardena states, adding that persons must avoid unnecessary travel to minimise risk of COVID-19 transmission. more..

John Keells launches Digital Learning Initiative to support online education...

Dec 1 (Island) John Keells Foundation (JKF) launched the pilot of John Keells Praja Shakthi Digital Learning Initiative on 11th Nov 2021 in Ranala. As a medium-term response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the project aims to facilitate online based learning of disadvantaged school children who are preparing for public examinations in the midst of the pandemic and mitigate the increase in inequalities in accessing educational opportunities. The pilot project involves the distribution of more..

Sri Lanka Athletics changes dates of youth selection trial

Dec 1 (Island) Sri Lanka Athletics has decided to advance the Youth Selection trial which was earlier scheduled for February. The track and field governing body stated that it had decided to conduct the selection trial for Asian Youth Championships on January 23 and 24 at the Sugathadasa Stadium. Sri Lanka Athletics said that the dates of the selection trial were amended in response to an emergency notice from the Asian Athletics Association on Tuesday morning. more..

'ලාල්කාන්තලාත් අපේ ආතල් කඩයිද?'

Wellalage’s efforts in vain as England Under 19s win

Dec 1 (Island) Skipper Dunith Wellalage’s all-round performances were in vain for SL Under 19s as the England Under 19s restricted the home team to 217 runs to win the first Youth ODI between the teams at the SSC on Tuesday. Chasing 243 runs to win, St. Anthony’s College, Katugastota openers Chamindu Wickramasinghe and Anjala Bandara gave the hosts a confident start as they added 51 runs for the first wicket. But SL lost five wickets within the phase of ten overs to concede the advantage as more..

Cabinet nod to amend Ordinance to control election expenses

Dec 1 (FT) Cabinet of Ministers this week has unanimously approved a proposal by Prez Rajapaksa to advise the Legal Draftsman to draft a proposal to amend the existing Ordinance to control election expenses, whilst considering the consensus of all stakeholders. The need to control the expenses incurred by candidates or parties contesting in elections has been discussed by the Govt previously. The Yahapalana Cabinet of Ministers in 2017 also approved amending more..

Insurance inquiries surge on gas explosion fears

Dec 1 (TM) Fears regarding the safety of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders following a spate of explosions and fires in kitchens across the island has led to an increase in queries by consumers regarding home insurance policies, according to insurance industry sources. Several insurance industry sources revealed that over the past week there has been an increase in queries by the general public from more..

66,467 persons vaccinated against COVID-19

Dec 1 (FT) SL’s COVID-19 immunisation program on Monday administered COVID-19 vaccines to 66,467 persons. This includes 60,490 persons who received a booster dose, which has been administered to a total of 581,973 persons. The first dose of a vaccine has been administered to 15,929,547 persons and the second dose has been administered to 13,745,161 persons. 94% of the over-20 population in SL has received both vaccine doses and 84% of the over-16 population has received both more..

A Land of Zealots

Dec 1 (DM) In SL, it seems there is little you cannot say or do from behind a Saffron coloured robe. The Gnanasara appointment as Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on ‘one country/ one law’ was brazen and certainly generated shock value, but was also wholly predictable. Especially if one noted the President’s inner circle before, during and after his election victory. Previous PTFs have been largely ornamental, this latest effort is perhaps diversionary, stealing cameras away from more..

Govt taps new avenues to boost forex reserves

Dec 1 (FT) Govt said it was exploring different avenues to generate foreign exchange, whilst hoping that the gradual resumption in tourism and worker remittances will help avert a possible economic crash. “Foreign exchange crisis has been a developing scenario over decades. Our trade deficit has reduced gradually over a period of time. Each year, we have imported more than our exports and this has reflected in a deficit over time. more..

Recovering from Sri Lanka’s present crisis: Challenges and possibilities

Dec 1 (Island) The recently introduced Budget for 2022 shows some of the reasons why Sri Lanka fell into the present crisis. The pandemic affected the entire world, but its impact was worse in Sri Lanka as the present government failed to take the right decisions, at the right time, to manage it. Thus Covid-19 contributed to the present situation as the Govt closed the barn after the horse escaped. It was pure mismanagement of governance that pushed the country into this mess. more..

Editorial: The Crab House

Dec 1 (Island) An oft-heard complaint is that Minister Basil Rajapaksa is more absent than present in Parliament during the ongoing debate on Budget 2022. This, however, is not the first time Opposition MPs have complained of the absence of ministers in the House during important debates. The ordinary MPs are no better. Speaker, more often than not, has a hard time, trying to have quorate sittings. A budget debate without the presence of the Finance Minister in the House is like Sinhabahu more..

Diana Gamage

The gassy standard

Dec 1 (TM) The spate of explosions which are said to have been caused by liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders leaking gas appears to be becoming an even bigger issue than the all-consuming Covid-19 pandemic, and different opinions expressed by various parties and the lack of action on the part of the authorities have pushed the people unto a state of uncertainty. Even though some have downplayed the seriousness of this issue, while some have exaggerated it, the people’s fear as to how to more..

When do people make constitutions?

Dec 1 (TM) Constitutions are made in different countries in different moments of history. They are mostly made at a point of time when significant change is taking place or significant change is envisaged. For example, the unwritten constitutional tradition of the UK was developed at a time when the monarchy was to be brought to an end, and the supremacy of Parliament was envisaged to be the body to determine the laws by which the country & the nation was to be governed for the future. more..

Quarter Bottles: Health & Envir. hazard

Dec 1 (CT) Most of us are familiar with the sight of empty quarter or 180ml bottles of alcohol heaped at various locations, including the Pettah Bus Station. Anyone who has witnessed a passenger drinking from a 180ml bottle and abandoning it at the bus stop would not be surprised. People nowadays do not hesitate to carry quarter bottles of alcohol in their pant pockets on their way to work. more..

LPG terror

Dec 1 (CT) National security and public safety are two different phrases, yet, having one and the same meaning. This Govt waxes eloquent about national security, one of the key pillars which pivoted it to power two years ago in Nov 2019, but if life, limb and property are unsafe or are being threatened due to a plethora of LPG (cooking gas) related accidents that have taken place during the past few days, in the backdrop where this selfsame Govt is taking little or no action to avert further such accidents, more..

Christmas blues stare people in the face

Dec 1 (DM) Well, December is upon us, we’ve made it through 2021. Another year is coming to an end and you can hardly miss it. Whether we open up a newspaper, listen to the radio, watch television, the advertisements of Christmas sales - stereo sets, multi-functional washing machines children’s toys- which are now beyond the reach of most ordinary citizens hit us in the eye. Christmas songs and music fill the air - singers croon of a White Christmas though most of us have never physically more..

Kinniya ferry tragedy: Blame game goes on

Dec 1 (SO) The blame game continues with politicians shamelessly passing the buck on each other over their failure to prevent the Kinniya ferry tragedy while an innocent six- year-old battles to live another day, fastened to a life machine at the Intensive Care Unit of the Trincomalee hospital. What crime have I committed to endure this pain, the little butterfly might ask if she is given chance to live. more..

SJB identifies women-centric development as key to a progressive future

Dec 1 (DM) In view of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on Nov 25, the UN declared the16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence initiative. A parallel programme was launched by the Samagi Vanitha Balawegaya, the women’s wing of the SJB since Nov 25. In addition to programmes such as demonstrations, street dramas and island-wide protests, SJB MPs wore stickers with slogans to end violence against women during more..

How news headlines make or break the public mind

Dec 1 (GV) The front page main headline is the focal point of a newspaper that grabs the attention of news consumers. A main headline goes beyond merely describing the facts of a news story in a few words. As its major selling point to offer a unique product, the lead news article’s headline and article content express the attitudinal slant of a newspaper. It is the slant – the angle or way in which the facts are woven in the article – that attempts to resonate with news audience attitudes more..

ලිප දල්වා බියෙන් සිටින ජනතාව...

Safety compromised due to broken or damaged hose, regulator or cooker: Litro

Nov 30 (DM) While advising consumers to refrain from resorting to unverified testing methods like soap test to determine leaks, the Litro Gas Lanka said in all instances where people complain about LPG leaks, safety has been compromised as a result of broken or damaged hose, regulator or cooker. In a statement, Hemachandra Gunathilake, Channel Safety Advisor of Litro Gas Lanka pointed out that the correct safety protocols must be followed at all times when using LPG. more..

SJB calls for criminal inquiry into gas cylinder explosions

Nov 30 (TM) The SJB has called for a criminal inquiry over the recent increase in gas explosions. Speaking in Parliament today, SJB leader Sajith Premadasa listed out several places where such gas explosions have been recorded and stated that there is now a growing fear amongst the people. “There is a growing fear amongst the public now, where no one is confident to use domestic gas anymore. There have been over 11 incidents within a span of 48 hours, and this is not to be taken lightly. more..

Sri Lanka inflation hits 12-year high in Nov 2021 amid money printing

Nov 30 (EN) SL’s inflation accelerated to 9.9% in the 12-months to November from 7.6% in October, in the wake of record money printing for over two years, while policy in reserve currency central banks also deteriorated. Colombo Consumer Price Index jumped 2.6% in the 30-day of November. Food prices jumped 5.3% in the month, driven by rice and vegetables. Vegetable prices rose to unusual levels in November more..

Stock index hits fresh peak on export firms

Nov 30 (EN) Stocks touched a fresh all-time high on Tuesday, led by shares of the companies which are expected to post strong earnings due to exports even if the rupee currency depreciates, brokers said. All Share Price Index gained 2.13% or 238.44 points higher at 11,440.53, a fresh record closing high. Both Expolanka and LOLC Holdings accounted for more than 80% of the ASPI’s gain. “We saw Western markets recovering after the initial sell off post the Omicron fears. more..

SLPP cautions SLFP as row escalates

Nov 30 (CT) Any Govt constituent party that is not in favour of implementing the policy framework of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa should leave, General Secretary of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), Sagara Kariyawasam said. Commenting on criticisms levelled against the Govt by the SLFP, Kariyawasam added if the criticisms are intended to gain the confidence of the public; it is unsuccessful as the public had repeatedly rejected the SLFP as a party that has betrayed their own policies. more..

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