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JVP press conference

H’tota Port launches services on East-West Maritime Route

Mar 1 (DN) Hambantota International Port (HIP) achieved another milestone in their multi services portfolio when they launched the wholesale supply of Marine Bunker fuels, together with their strategic partner Sinopec Fuel Oil Lanka Limited (SFOL). Local company Lanka Marine Services (LMS), market leader in the SL bunker supply industry, was SOFL’s first buyer, carrying out an offshore bunkering operation with the support of HIP. LMS supplied IMO 2020 compliant Very Low more..

Editorial: Covid vaccination reflections

Mar 1 (Island) We are running several stories in today’s issue of this newspaper on a matter that is of great moment not only to this country but the whole wide world. Yes, you guessed right. These reports are about the vaccination roll-out against the Covid virus which which is now ongoing and is a matter of highest national priority. What clearly emerges is that there is no unity among particularly the various medical experts, both in the health bureaucracy and health professionals outside it, more..

SLC condemns another legend into a traitor

Mar 1 (ST) Chaminda Vaas isn’t the type to give up. His non-controversial career defines his character. Committed, self-disciplined and patriotic — they are the hallmarks of Vaas who has taken 761 international wickets in over 15 years. But, suddenly, he is not disciplined, not committed and not even patriotic. Such is the public vilification he is facing from his own employer Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) after he pulled out from the WI tour more..

Will there be a blackout?: West Indies’ TV rights still not sold for Asia!

Mar 1 (TM) Cricket West Indies (CWI) announced last week a major broadcasting agreement with Super Sport. But so far CWI has not reportedly gone for any agreement with a broadcaster in the Asian market indicating that there will be no live coverage of the SL-West Indies series starting on Wednesday (3). CWI on Thursday (25) confirmed officially its third new multi-year broadcast rights agreement with Super Sport. Super Sport has thus secured exclusive rights for airing live coverage more..

Cricket: Never stop dreaming Imran Khan tells young people

Mar 1 (ST) Pakistan PM Imran Khan reminisced his life as a cricketer and politician in a speech he delivered at a lunch hosted by Speaker of the Parliament Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena and Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Namal Rajapaksa in Colombo. The lunch was attended by several former Sri Lanka cricketers including World Cup winning skipper Arjuna Ranatunga and his team, Olympic medallist Susanthika Jayasingha and many other sports personalities. more..

Avant Garde repatriation Mafia revealed as Prez allows buddy to rake in big bucks

Mar 1 (CT) CT is now in possession of proof positive that Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa has authorized his close buddy and criminal accused by the Attorney General to monetize the process that allows desperate Sri Lankans to return home during a raging pandemic. Former Army Major Nissanka Senadhipathi, gun-runner, weapons smuggler and once fugitive from justice in SL has won exclusive rights to organize air tickets and more..

All round performance helps Lankan CC claim title

Mar 1 (CT) Kasun Abeyrathne’s brilliant half century, and Dunith Wellalage’s 3 scalps help Lankan CC to get the better of in-form SSC by 59 runs to clinch the SLC’s Major Club Youth U-23 title at the SSC. Lankan CC were put in to bat first and scored a defendable 223 runs before they were bowled out in 49.2 over. Kasun Abeyrathne scored a match winning knock of 51 runs off 66 balls including 4 boundaries and 1 six. Kasun along with Kevin Perera put on a 76 runs partnership for more..

Govt finally unlocks Muslims’ doorway to Heaven

Mar 1 (ST) The Govt on Thursday night finally bowed down to local and international pressure and lifted the ban on burials for the COVID dead, thus ending months of protests and anguish amongst the nation’s 2 million strong Muslim community. It did so by simply adding two little words to the original gazette text which had made cremation mandatory to those who succumb to the coronavirus, namely, the words or burial to follow cremation. Ever since the COVID crisis began, more..

රතු ඉර කාලීන දේශපාලන සංවාදය

Carry on regardless

Mar 1 (CT) On 16 Dec 2019, BBC said: A SL employee of the Swiss Embassy in Colombo, who says she was kidnapped, sexually assaulted and forced to disclose information, has been arrested. On 26 Nov 2019, Palitha Range Bandara, an MP of former Yahapalana Govt said that within 8 days of coming to power the new Govt had abducted a Swiss Embassy employee in a white van. Thushara Indunil also of the former regime commented on how State terrorism was being enforced. more..

Judicial Corruption

Mar 1 (CT) I grew up, spending my childhood, adolescence and early adult life, in the home of a judge who ended his judicial career as head of the country’s highest court. I also had the enviable experience of serving as his private secretary sometime between my graduation and entry into the profession. The life of a judge of that time, as I observed it, is perhaps best described in the words of Justice Michael Kirby of the High Court of Australia. The regime imposed on a judge, more..

'Lands can be handed over to the labourers'

Mar 1 (DM) SJB MP and National Union of Workers Leader Palani Digambaram, who voiced his opinion on current politics pertaining to the estate worker community and national politics, in an interview came out with a proposal for a system change. Digambaram therefore called for a system where lands on which tea is cultivated should be handed over to the estate labourers while the companies retain the factories. more..

Sunny Side Up

Mar 1 (TM) Sri Lanka, at the ongoing UNHRC 46th Session in Geneva, had made statements in support of Nicaragua and Belarus despite concerns raised by the UNHRC High Commissioner on the human rights situation in the two countries. In its official statement on Enhanced Interactive Dialogue on the High Commissioner’s Report on the Human Rights situation in Nicaragua, the SL mission had noted: “We note the commitment stated by the Govt of Nicaragua to respect and promote more..

Walking the PCoI tightrope

Mar 1 (TM) The contents of the long-winded report of the PCoI into the Easter Sunday attacks reminded us of the old Greek proverb of how the mountain laboured to produce a mouse. Following almost daily sittings over a 15-month period where hundreds of witnesses were called upon to provide evidence, the final product seems to have only put in black and white what the public already knew. The report has gone to great lengths, covering thousands of pages on the security lapses that took place and more..

'The govt must get the budget deficit down'

Mar 1 (DM) A well-known economist, banker, and former State Minister of Finance, Eran Wickramaratne, a National List MP from the SJB speaks about the economic status in SL and persisting environmental issues in the country. Q: Do you think that the present Govt is successful in handling the Covid-19 pandemic in SL, especially the new variant? A: I wouldn’t like to comment on the variant itself because I am not a virologist or more..

The Easter Sunday commission and the indictment of a president

Mar 1 (ST) Can a President or a PM be indicted for gross criminal negligence in respect of his or her duties to the nation? A cynical wag may well remark that, on this same reasoning, virtually the entirety of SL’s political leadership since independence may be criminally liable. And therein hangs the difficult tale of the report of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into the Easter Sunday attacks, which has recommended (reportedly) that criminal proceedings be instituted against more..

Khaki fury at Peliyagoda Police rattles law fraternity

Mar 1 (DM) Torture and murder at police stations are nothing new in Sri Lankan history. Though many international human rights organizations have urged that the Sri Lanka police needs urgent reformations over the years little or nothing has constructive happened to clear the black marks on the police department. The latest incident of police torture is reported from the Peliyagoda Police Station where a final year law student who was allegedly assaulted has suffered grievous injuries. more..

Easter Sunday massacres: Sirisena acts fast to avert criminal action

Feb 28 (ST) Early this month, former Prez Maithripala Sirisena, learnt from his sources that he had come under the adverse notice in the Report of the PCoI that probed the Easter Sunday massacres in 2019. Yet, he was not sure what it said. So, he hurriedly sought appointments with Prez Rajapaksa, PM Rajapaksa, and Basil Rajapaksa, founder cum strategist of the SLPP, the main partner in the ruling alliance. more..

Artificial reef off Galle coast to boost marine life

Feb 28 (SO) The Ministry of Fisheries with the assistance of the Sri Lanka Navy dumped a considerable quantity of scrapped buses and fishing vessels into the sea three kilometres off the coast of Galle yesterday to improve the breeding of marine life. State Minister Kanchana Wijesekera who was at the Galle harbour yesterday morning said that artificial reefs had been established off the Northern Coast a few weeks ago and the operation in Galle was the second phase of the project. more..

Concerns over Sri Lanka being able to get adequate COVID-19 vaccines

Feb 28 (ST) Several experts expressed worries whether SL would be able to secure adequate Covid-19 vaccines. Looking at the numbers, one source said on a rough calculation there are around 14.5 million people over 18 years of age and as such the country would need a total of around 30m doses (for both the first and second jabs). “We got 500,000 doses from India in Jan. as a donation & on Feb 25, we got another 500,000 doses from around 10m doses we are hoping to purchase. more..

Covid-19 vaccinations: Indecision places PHIs, public at risk

Feb 28 (TM) The Covid-19 vaccination programme to inoculate the general public hit several roadblocks last week, due to the indecisiveness of certain authorities, causing unrest among the groups that were gathering to be vaccinated, and thereby putting all parties including Public Health Inspectors (PHIs) in peril. State Minister Dr. Sudharshini Fernandopulle, said: “These incidents could have been avoided if more..

PC polls by June

Feb 28 (ST) Prez Rajapaksa is expected to announce that PC elections will be held by June this year. With this in mind, he will meet former PC members from parties that form the ruling alliance for a discussion on Wednesday. He is to tell them to prepare the election machinery while assisting in the Govt’s development activities. It is not immediately clear why the Govt has been prompted to go for the PC polls. At present all provinces are being run by the respective Governors. more..

Many attempts to contact CMC fail

Feb 28 (ST) PHI says people rushed to vaccination centres paying little heed to dates given. Numerous calls and messages to officials of the CMC this week to get clarification with regard to the chaos were futile. The Sunday Times tried to get the CMC’s side of the story but the calls were cut and the messages went unanswered. “The CMC is not directly under the Health Ministry. They have their own systems and are not bound to follow our directives. They also have their own organizational structure more..

Ministerial comm. on Easter Sunday PCoI report: Focusing on some recommendations

Feb 28 (TM) The six-member ministerial committee studying the PCoI report into the Easter Sunday attacks and the report of the Sectoral Oversight Committee (SOC) on National Security is looking at, among other aspects, how to implement recommendations to strengthen national security, push through related educational reforms, and to compensate the victims, committee member MP Dr. Ramesh Pathirana said. more..

Dilmah blends tea and kithul served with a treacle & jaggery scone

Feb 28 (Island) The well known Dilmah tea brand has crafted what it calls the next generation of Chai (Hindi for tea) blending Ceylon Tea and Kithul treacle, the company announced last week. The launch happened at the t-Lounge & Bar by Dilmah at One Galle Face Mall last Saturday serving a cuppa produced by blending the country’s most celebrated brew with its most celebrated treacle. “The chai that takes pride of place among this upscaled new lot is the Kithul Chai, which involves more..

Phase II of rollout more streamlined: Officials

Feb 28 (ST) Systems fell into place even though Friday was a poya and a public holiday, as 500,000 more doses of AstraZeneca’s COVISHIELD vaccine arrived from India on Thursday, with a mass rollout being launched on Friday itself in the high-risk districts of Colombo and Gampaha. The furore over the priority list which engulfed the first public rollout (Phase I) with part of the 500,000 doses donated by India settled, as a decision had been made by the Health Ministry to vaccinate people over 30 more..

Chaos reigns at vaccination centres

Feb 28 (ST) Some chaos reigned as a vaccination saga gripped mainly the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) area, with reports from other areas within the Western Province indicating a slightly more organized approach in Phase I of the community vaccination programme from around Feb 17 to 25. The preventive measures that the Health Ministry has been stressing on went unheeded with people thronging the vaccination centres, more..

Defence Secy delves into CRD inventions

Feb 28 (MoD) Defence Secretary and National Security and Disaster Management State Ministry Secretary Gen. Kamal Gunaratne (Retd), arrived yesterday (22) at the Centre for Research and Development (CRD) in Pitipana to witness the progress of inventions. CRD’s Director General Maj. Gen. Renuka Rowel (Retd) received the visiting high official upon his arrival. An array of innovative products spearheaded by the CRD, being an institution pioneering in providing more..

Edwards, Gayle in WI squad for SL T20Is

Feb 28 (CB) Fidel Edwards has been named in the T20I squad for the series against Sri Lanka. The 14-man side also includes Chris Gayle while Akeal Hosein and Kevin Sinclair have received maiden call-ups. Edwards last played a T20I in 2012 - against Sri Lanka - and returns to the side to boost the pace-bowling unit. "A s we build towards the defence of the T20 World Cup, the opportunity is being taken to determine our best team and squad as we go forward. more..

Edmonton same-sex wedding video sparks conversation in Sri Lanka

Feb 28 (CBC) An Edmonton couple's wedding video is going viral in SL and sparking conversations about same-sex marriage in a country where it is still illegal. Sithara and Jenn Fernando were married in Oct 2019 in a hybrid ceremony of the western tradition and the Poruwa ceremony, a Singhalese ritual involving both families that takes place on a decorated, wooden platform. "One of the things that was really important more..

FINAP wins Gold at National Best Quality Software Awards – 2020

Feb 28 (Island) Fintechnology Asia Pacific Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, (FINAP), a leading software solutions company, won two coveted awards at National ICT Awards, NBQSA-2020, held at the BMICH recently. FINAP’s champion product ECOru- the leading Core Banking & Finance Solution was crowned the Gold Award Winner of the Finance & Accounting Solutions (Fintech) in Business Services Category and was further recognized as the Most Innovative & Best Solution in Cloud Computing. more..

'Forex inflows to be around $ 32 b this year'

Feb 28 (SO) The economy will generate Forex Inflows of around USD 32 billion this year and possibly about USD 2-3 billion more than that amount, each year thereafter, said State Minister Ajith Nivard Cabraal. He said as of now (Feb 2021), the total ISBs outstanding is USD 14 billion, which is only 16.7% of Sri Lanka’s total debt. None of the other creditors who hold 83.3% of Sri Lanka’s debt seem to show any sign of concern or stress about its repayment ability. more..

The need to treat legends with dignity

Feb 28 (Island) The scathing remarks of Prof Charitha Herath during a COPE hearing pertaining to SLC exposed severe deficiencies in our cricket administration and the public could get a firsthand experience of how poorly the sport has been run as SLC took on former great Chaminda Vaas earlier this week. Rather than sorting matters out behind closed doors, like it happens in professional environments, SLC opted to more..

'Swap deal with China to be finalised soon'

Feb 28 (SO) SL plans to repay Int'l Sovereign Bonds (ISB) amounting to around USD 14 billion or 17% of the debt repayment through non-debt foreign inflows such as exports and not through access to the IMF for funding, State Minister Ajith Nivard Cabraal said on the current status of debt repayment. Allaying fears and countering claims that the country is in a major debt crisis, Cabraal said the country has already repaid USD 1 billion of the USD 15 ISBs and is in a comfortable position to repay more..

Tennis: Vibuda turns tables on Atukorale

Feb 28 (Island) Vibuda Wijebandara turned tables on experienced Sankha Atukorale to make the men’s singles final a battle between emerging players as he triumphed over the 33-year-old in his semi-final at the SSC Open Ranking Tennis tournament in Colombo on Saturday. Atukorale, who was seeking his first title of the year, was the only senior player to compete in the men’s singles semi-finals and he was beaten 6-4, 0-6, 6-4 by the 20-year-old Wijebandara. more..