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Yevan David: SL future hope for Formula 1

Nov 22 (ST) It’s a cold February winter morning in Valencia, Spain. Amongst 55 European drivers stands a young Asian driver representing his motherland at the finals of the IAME Winter Cup 2020. Reaching the finals in Europe was an achievement as only the top 36 drivers make it through. Against all odds Yevan David would start seventh of 36 drivers. The start sees Yevan rocket into fourth position in a phenomenal first lap. more..

‘Phoenix-like rise from the Ashes’

Nov 22 (ST) Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) president Rizly Illyas is gung-ho about the sport rising Phoenix-like from the Ashes during the COVID-19 pandemic after what he described as a productive meeting with Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa and leading Sports Ministry officials. A former national rugby captain, Rajapaksa has impressed on SLR officials the need to restructure the administration of sport in the country with professional management of players by forming an elite pool and more..

A dignified retirement?

Nov 23 (ST) My dear Maco, I thought I must write to you when I heard that you had retired after nearly four decades of working with elections in this country and doing one of the most difficult jobs while dealing with some of the most difficult people, politicians of all colours - and not complaining but doing your job with a smile. Usually, you are very much in the news, telling us about elections – why they are being held, why some elections are not being held, how to vote, and what we should be doing and not doing. more..

Vaccines coming; but rituals also continue; in Jaffna even Asuran wears mask

Nov 22 (ST) At least two of the world’s pharmaceutical giants – Pfizer and Moderna – have come up with good news over the COVID–19 global pandemic. They have both produced vaccines and after approval by the US FDA people in the US will receive the vaccines by next month. That no doubt is a giant leap in the battle against the global curse. Small SL is waiting for the day when such vaccines reach the country’s shores. more..

Sri Lanka’s true cricketing sons stand up for a country at odds

Nov 22 (SO) SL may be some kind of a country with restricted movements and high anxiety tackling the global coronavirus pandemic, but its jaded people might just have something positive to wake up for in the form of a maiden sporting spectacle called the Lanka Premier League (LPL), a piece of cricketing pride that local organisers say is just what the nation needs. The venue in Hambantota where the LPL will be showcased has already been polished, spruced up as well as sanitized for the big day on more..

A budget presented amid celebrations and acquittals

Nov 22 (Island) Over the last few weeks there has been a concerted campaign in social media attacking Prez Rajapaksa. Gota Fail Campaign, as it was, promoted a strong response questioning the success of the Prez’s detractors. The campaign was clearly targeting the Prez’s first anniversary celebrations and the impending reading of the budget. The campaign failed or rather, now that the moment has passed, the campaigners have taken a break. It was a week marked by celebrations. more..


Budget blues

Nov 23 (ST) It was good to see the Prez seated in Parliament to listen to the Budget debate this week. One of the drawbacks of an Exec Presidency is that the holder loses touch with Parliament isolated as he is in an ivory tower of a Secretariat, far removed from the parry and thrust of Parliamentary discourse. Unfortunately, the less said about the quality of the debate in the House, the better. Govts MPs given 10 minutes to have their names entered in Hansard, squandered their time singing hosannas more..

Climbing out of the pit

Nov 23 (TM) Until quite recently, the annual budget presentation in Sri Lanka was a much-looked-forward-to event, not only among political circles and the business community, but among society itself. However, in the recent past, the hype associated with the budget presentation has died down and is now almost a non-event, relegated to being something that happens, just because it is supposed to by law. In the not-too-distant past, budget presented in Nov each year had a direct more..

'Budget prepared with optimism'

Nov 23 (CT) The Budget proposals are very important. They were prepared amidst a lot of challenges and were designed so to make the country move forward, says, State Minister and Former Governor of the Central Bank Ajith Nivard Cabraal. Q: What is your view of the budget proposals? A: These budget proposals are very important. I can say that they were prepared amidst a lot of challenges. more..

The new normal budget

Nov 23 (Island) The run-up to the 2021 budget which PM Mahinda Rajapaksa, wearing his finance minister’s hat, presented to parliament last week was obviously new normal as the post-covid minted cliché goes. There was no dramatic build-up to it with people rushing to buy vehicles, electronics, appliances or whatever as was often the rumor-fuelled case in the past. As has been inevitable in every past budget in the medium, if not the long term, the price of arrack and cigarettes more..

Towards a prosperous future

Nov 23 (SO) On the first anniversary of his ascension to the Presidency, Prez Rajapaksa made an impassioned appeal to all Sri Lankans to join together to defeat their enemy number one – the Coronavirus. During his wide-ranging address to the Nation on Wednesday, President Rajapaksa said that the pandemic can be contained only if the public cooperates fully with the health measures and guidelines in place. This is a moot point that he has stressed several times previously. more..

'Budget 2021 aims at a steady economy'

Nov 23 (SO) State Minister of Production, Supply and Regulation of Pharmaceuticals Prof. Channa Jayasumana said the main aim of Budget 2021 is to maintain a steady economy in the next year as all income avenues are almost blocked due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This is a reasonable and strategically enhanced Budget. He said the second wave of Covid-19 is not confined to SL but a common phenomenon the world over. more..

High School never ends – Yes, even in SL

Nov 23 (CT) Being a junior school prefect, during my O/L’s, was one of the most satisfying and dissatisfying periods of my life. Satisfying, because it gave me a chance to lead differently, live by example, demonstrate that even children could be motivated to follow anyone’s lead without fear and violence. Most dissatisfying, because I had to stay quiet about injustices carried out by my fellow prefects and even face injustices myself by senior prefects and teachers. more..

(Mis)understanding of the budgets!

Nov 23 (CT) Budgets are presented by every government and every year except under unavoidable special circumstances. Normally, Sri Lanka had chosen November 5th as the day for presenting the budget to Parliament. However, 2019 was an exception due to several reasons. Commissioner of Elections issued the gazette notification on 18th September 2019 calling for Nominations for the Prez election closing on the 7th of Oct and Prez election on 16th Nov 2019. more..

Lock down CMC areas to prevent COVID-19 surge: SJB

Nov 21 (FT) The SJB yesterday urged the Govt to enforce quarantine curfew for the Colombo municipality area and reconsider reopening of schools given the rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus within the district. Speaking at a press conference yesterday, SJB MP Harshana Rajakaruna called on the Govt to listen to concerns expressed by medical professionals and take action to prevent loss of life. more..

'Govt failed to explain how current challenges will be addressed'

Nov 21 (DM) Budget 2021 comprises some good proposals but at the same time it had failed to explain how the Govt is planning to meet the economic challenges that the country is currently facing, UNP Deputy Leader Ruwan Wijewardene said. He said that the Govt had failed to reveal the correct situation of the country’s economy and had failed to come up with how it is going to tackle the current challenges. “We have been made to understand that some enterprises are more..

Sri Lankan elected as Lead position of the Royal Commonwealth Society

Nov 21 (Island) Sustainability activist and social entrepreneur Anoka Abeyratne has been elected as the Environmental Lead for the Royal Commonwealth Society. She is the first Sri Lankan to have been so elected. A Forbes under 30, the first female World Economic Forum New Champion of Sri Lanka and the youngest Commonwealth Youth Awardee, Anoka is the co-founder of Growin Money and Ignited. With over a decade of experience in environmental conservation and more..

Video: Second Reading of Budget 2021 passed in Parliament

Nov 21 (AD) The Second Reading of the Appropriation Bill for the fiscal year 2021 has been approved in the Parliament with a majority of 99 votes. The House passed the Second Reading with 151 votes in favour and 52 against. Notably, MPs Diana Gamage, A.A.S.M. Raheem and Ishak Rahuman, who raised eyebrows last month after backing the govt in the vote on 20th Amendment to the Constitution while more..

No self-quarantine for Lankans arriving in UK

Nov 21 (CT) Travellers from Sri Lanka will no longer be required to self-isolate on arrival in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the British High Commission said in a statement. Accordingly, decisions on exempted countries are informed by a number of factors, including the latest epidemiological assessments. The UK reviews the list of exempted countries on a regular basis. Border measures could be reintroduced should the epidemiological situation deteriorate. more..

Digital Solution to combat COVID-19

Nov 21 (CT) Govt has introduced a digital solution to combat COVID-19, which was implemented by the Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA). The Strategic Communications Specialist of the ICTA, T.M.G. Chandrasekara said that stay safe is a web based solution which is implemented under the direction of the President and all the heads of Government organisations, to manage the citizen movements digitally in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. more..

Video: Weligama heroin bust: Details of main drug trafficker linked uncovered

Nov 21 (AD) Information about the key drug trafficker linked to the heroin consignment seized from Weligama yesterday has come to light, Police said. Police media spokesperson DIG Ajith Rohana stated that the suspect, who hails from Rathgama area, had manoeuvred the racket from Italy. The officers of STF had taken nearly 100kg of heroin into custody from Polathumodara in Weligama last evening. more..

Sri Lanka vehicle import ban threatens 100,000 jobs, tax revenues: industry group

Nov 21 (EN) A vehicle import ban in SL is threatening 100,000 jobs and 350,000 dependants as well as a number of industries and services which need mobility and transport, Vehicle Importers Association of SL (VIASL) said. The import ban is also losing the govt revenue which is being raked in by assemblers through tax-arbitrage, VIASL said. “As per the calculation carried out by VIASL, around 100,000 direct and indirect employees will have to be made redundant if the ban is to continue more..

High Posts Committee reviews qualifications via Webex

Nov 21 (CT) Committee on High Posts of the Parliament met under the patronage of the Speaker of the Parliament on 19 Nov. For the first time in the history of Parliament, the Committee used video technology to discuss the qualifications of a Sri Lankan living abroad. The confab was held with Veluppillai Kananathan as SL’s newly appointed Ambassador to Kenya. The Committee looked into the qualifications of Kananathan who previously served as the SL’s Ambassador to Uganda more..

Procurement Commission key to stop large-scale tender irregularities: Karu

Nov 21 (FT) NMSJ Chairman Karu Jayasuriya has called for the activation of the Procurement Commission to stop large-scale tender irregularities. “We are deeply troubled to learn of many large-scale irregularities with regard to tenders that are being shown in the media on a daily basis. The mafia that dominates tender fraud in SL is formidable. If the Procurement Commission hadn’t been abolished, opportunities would not exist more..

Honorary Doctorate for Jagath Gunawardana

Nov 21 (CT) Senior environmentalist Jagath Gunawardana was awarded an Honorary Doctorate (PhD) from the Uni of Sri J'pura. Based on the approval of the University Senate and the Council, the award was conferred on 20 Nov by Senior Professor Sudantha Liyanage, Vice Chancellor, Univ of Sri J'pura, in the presence of K.G. Britto, Registrar, Prof. Laleen Karunanayake, Dean Faculty of Applied Sciences and Prof. Hiran Amarasekera, Professor in Department of Forestry and more..

SL’s COVID-19 tally increases to 19,537

Nov 21 (NR) Another 257 COVID-19 cases were identified today, increasing the number of infections confirmed in SL to 19,537. Today’s new cases have been identified as close contacts of the Peliyagoda Fish Market cluster. Accordingly, the Minuwangoda-Peliyagoda COVID-19 cluster has increased to 16,022. The Epidemiology Unit of the Ministry of Health said 5,873 persons including 12 foreign nationals are currently receiving treatment for COVID-19 at 56 facilities across the country. more..

Central Banker Coronavirus positive; operations to continue

Nov 21 (EN) SL’s central bank said it had taken action to maintain uninterrupted operations after a staff member tested positive for Coronavirus, who is now under treatment. After one employee tested positive on November 19, contacts were traced and tested but there were no positive cases. It usually takes over 5 days for a contact to develop the disease. “All other employees tested were found to be negative for the virus,” more..

Interpol assistance sought to find the mastermind behind Heroin smuggling: Police

Nov 21 (EN) Police have sought Interpol assistance to trace the alleged mastermind behind the smuggling of 100 Kg of Heroin into the country and is said to be currently in Italy, DIG Ajith Rohana said. The large haul of Heroin was discovered by a STF team in Polathumodera near Weligama last night and three persons were arrested, in this connection, Rohana said. “The arrests and the detection is the culmination of five months of hard work by by multiple police teams which conducted more..

'Distribute COVID-19 vaccine free to public'

Nov 21 (DN) Govt should make preparations to distribute the vaccine to cure COVID-19, when available, free of charge to the public, Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa said in Parliament. He also said that the got should discuss with foreign countries that are experimenting on a vaccine to cure COVID-19 virus so that when the time comes, it can import it. Premadasa observed, “We must first examine the extent to which these Govt policies are in line with the promises made in the Prez more..

Govt foregoes Rs.784Mn as tax revenue

Nov 21 (DM) Govt had to forego a staggering sum of Rs.784 million, in terms of tax revenue because the Department of Excise permitted thousands of litres of Ethanol to be sold to both the state and the private sector to manufacture Covid-19 disinfectants this year so far, as warranted by the global outbreak of the pandemic. A senior official of the monitoring body of the Department of Excise said that a sum of 1.2 million (1,277,652) litres of Ethanol more..

Rahman’s budget speech entirely devoted to condemning Prez’s speech as being...

Nov 21 (Island) SJB MP Mujibur Rahman told Parliament on Friday that reconciliation and inter-communal harmony would remain a distant dream as long as the govt from the top to bottom worried only about the interests of one particular race. Participating in the second reading debate on the budget 2021 on Thursday, MP Rahman said Prez Rajapaksa in his address to the nation on Wednesday commenced his speech by categorically excluding other communities focusing only more..

Video: Search operation to locate coronavirus-positive IDH escapee continues

Nov 21 (AD) Police teams are proceeding with the search operation to locate the woman who escaped from IDH while receiving treatment for Covid-19, says DIG Ajith Rohana. The 25-year-old had fled from the hospital at around 9.10 pm on Thursday along with her two-year-old son who was also under medical care for coronavirus infection. However, the police had later found the child from a house in Eheliyagoda. It was revealed that the escaped woman had handed him over to a relative more..

Video: Eight Grama Niladhari divisions in Atulugama isolated

Nov 21 (AD) Health officials announced that 08 Grama Niladhari divisions in Atulugama area have been isolated. The move comes after 17 individuals in Atulugama area were tested positive for Covid-19 in random PCR tests performed. Dr. Udaya Ratnayake, the Regional Director of Health Services of Kalutara District said random PCR test were carried out in Atulugama area of Bandaragama MOH division after more..

Budget proposals aimed to jump-start COVID-hit economy: ICCSL

Nov 21 (FT) International Chamber of Commerce SL (ICCSL) yesterday welcomed the proposals presented in Parliament by the PM and Finance Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa in the Budget 2021. ICCSL Chairman Dinesh Weerakkody noted that the Budget proposals could be viewed as progressive and business friendly. “The proposals are clearly aimed to promote local entrepreneurship, building the skills base while boosting exports and helping SMEs. Given the setbacks up to now and more..

Navy seizes 710kg of smuggled dried turmeric and over 03kg of Kerala cannabis at Erukkulampiddi

Nov 21 (SLN) A special search operation carried out by the Navy and Police in the beach area of Erukkulampiddi in Mannar, led to the apprehension of 02 suspects and seizure of 710kg of smuggled dried turmeric and over 03kg and 700g of Kerala cannabis on 20th November 2020. Accordingly, North Central Naval Command and Mannar Police were able to make this apprehension after searching a traditional ‘Wallam’ boat arrived in more..