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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..

CID was aware of possible attacks after detection of explosives at W’willuwa

Nov 21 (Island) The CID was aware of the possibility of a terrorist attack following the detection of explosives at the Wanathawilluwa Jihadist Training Camp and had promptly informed former IGP Pujith Jayasundara about it, former SDIG of the CID, Ravi Seneviratne told the PCoI. Seneviratne said the CID had begun investigating the attacks on the Buddha statues at Mawanella in December 2018 and the detection of explosives in Wanathawilluwa more..

Private sector gives Budget thumbs-up

Nov 21 (FT) Top business leaders yesterday welcomed Budget 2021 and commended the Government for employing a light touch with taxes while encouraging investment in several key sectors but also called for strong implementation and more policies to underpin the proposals. Speaking at the Daily FT-Colombo University MBA Alumni Association organised Budget 2021 Forum, Hayleys PLC Co-Chairman Dhammika Perera, John Keells Holdings (JKH) Chairman Krishan Balendra, more..

Open and shut

Nov 21 (FT) Economies and businesses follow certain realities and rhythms. One is, that if you inhibit or frighten their customers away, give them no reliability or predictability re when and how they can viably operate, then they either bleed so much cash as to have to shut down outright, or have to seriously compromise their quality or capabilities, or let their customers down, not have necessary supplies or inventory, or lose crucial talent. The recent isolation of certain parts of Colombo, more..

අපි ලෙඩ හොද කරනවට දොස්තරලා කැමති නෑ

Ashok Abeysinghe says ministers with slave mindset are praising a failed budget

Nov 21 (Island) Kurunegala District SJB MP Ashok Abyesinghe on Wednesday (18) described the budget 2021 as a failed budget that could not provide any immediate relief to COVID-19 hit people and it contained only proposals to help govt leaders’ businessmen friends to launder their black money. Participating in the second reading debate on Budget 2021, MP Abeysinghe said: “This is the first budget of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. I describe this as a failed budget. more..

Preparation of a shadow constitution

Nov 21 (FT) Govt has appointed a nine-member Expert Committee to prepare the preliminary draft for a new constitution. The last regime has done a lot in preparation of a new constitution. Their approach was a democratic one and therefore it took a long time to complete. The two leaders of the previous regime did not have a political will to bring it to an end. Initially there was a report of the Public Representations Committee headed by Lal Wijenayake. more..

Total COVID-19 count exceeds 19,000

Nov 21 (FT) The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases identified in the island yesterday exceeded 19,000, with the detection of 439 more patients. 435 patients are contacts of the Peliyagoda COVID-19 cluster while four patients were overseas arrivals. This brings the total count of the dual cluster that emerged from Divulapitiya and Peliyagoda to 15,765. While the case count of the Welisara Navy cluster is 950 and more..

Peliyagoda Manning Market declared open

Nov 21 (DN) Govt will give priority to remove the inconveniences faced by the public despite the obstacles coming its way, PM Mahinda Rajapaksa said. He was speaking at the opening ceremony of the newly constructed Peliyagoda Market. Pettah Manning Market that was relocated in Peliyagoda was opened for business activities by PM yesterday. Addressing the ceremony, the PM said the re-location of the market in Peliyagoda was aimed at providing solutions for the prevailing more..

Video: Reopening schools in high-risk areas of NW Province pushed back

Nov 21 (AD) Schools in high-risk areas for Covid-19 within the North-Western Province will not be reopened on the 23rd of November, says Governor Raja Collure. The government announced yesterday that schools, except those in the Western Province and isolated areas, are expected to resume academic activities from next Monday (23). Mr Collure, however, said a decision was taken to push back reopening of schools in high-risk areas of Kurunegala and Puttalam districts by a week. more..

Video: HC dismisses petitions challenging prevention of LTTE commemoration events

Nov 21 (AD) Jaffna High Court today (20) dismissed four petitions challenging the efforts of the police to prevent LTTE commemoration events in the north. The magistrate’s courts in Vavuniya and Mannar had issued injunction orders yesterday, preventing the organizing of commemoration events. However, 4 petitioners had been put forward seeking a writ order to derogate the police’s actions, DIG Ajith Rohana said, more..

Sri Lanka records 74th death from Covid-19

Nov 21 (AD) Another Covid-19 related death is reported in Sri Lanka, the Director-General of Health Services confirmed a short while ago. According to reports, the deceased is a 70-year-old male from Colombo 02 area. He has succumbed to the virus while receiving treatment at the Colombo National Hospital. The immediate cause of death was cited as a heart attack induced by Covid-19 infection. This brings the country’s coronavirus death toll to 74, Govt Information Department said. more..

Bus plunges into parliament pond

Nov 21 (Island) A bus transporting parliament staff to Hanwella veered off into the pond opposite the parliament complex around 6.30 pm yesterday. It was raining heavily at the time of the accident. There were about 30 parliamentary staff members in the bus that belongs to the Thalangama Deport. The driver was new drove off and immediately after the conclusion of the parliamentary sittings. However those in the bus informed the driver that buses carrying Parliament staff leaf 30 minutes after more..

Sirisena, who claimed he was very sick on day of attack managed to return home...

Nov 21 (Island) Former Director of the State Intelligence Service (SIS) SDIG Nilantha Jayawardena had contacted the Personal Security Officer (PSO) of former Prez Maithripala Sirisena three times on the day of the Easter Sunday attacks, it was revealed, on Thursday night, at the PCoI. A Warrant Officer of the SL Air Force, Anura Nishantha, who had manned the phone exchange at Sirisena’s official residence at Paget Road on April 21, 2019 more..

PM gifted vintage car, the first vehicle he owned

Nov 21 (DM) PM Mahinda Rajapaksa was gifted his first vehicle, a FIAT 124 Sports Coopé, by the family which bought the vehicle from Rajapaksa years ago. S. A. Amarasiri who had purchased the vehicle from Mr. Rajapaksa had owned the vehicle until his demise. Mr. Amarasiri had also won a motor rally held in India, in which he participated with the FIAT, which is now a valuable 50 year old vintage motor car. Mr. Amarasiri’s son and family have returned the vehicle to it’s first owner, Premier Rajapakhsa more..

Dr. Ranga Kalansooriya among the top five shortlisted

Nov 21 (CT) Dr. Ranga Kalansooriya, one of SL’s pioneers in promoting the safety of journalists, Media freedom and the freedom of expression, was among those shortlisted for the Canada-UK Media Freedom Award. On 16 Nov, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, François-Philippe Champagne and the UK’s First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, Dominic Raab announced the winner of the inaugural Canada-UK Media Freedom Award more..

All measures to import WHO approved COVID-19 vaccine: Namal

Nov 21 (DN) Govt will take all measures to import a WHO approved vaccine against the new COVID-19 Coronavirus, when made available, Minister of Youth and Sports Namal Rajapaksa said in Parliament. However, Minister Rajapaksa pointed out that the Govt will not allow the people to be used as guinea pigs for a vaccine that has not yet received WHO approval. He made these observations in reply to concerns raised by more..

WHO assists Sri Lanka in strengthening emergency preparedness and response

Nov 21 (FT) The WHO is supporting SL’s disaster management sector to strengthen emergency preparedness and response, according to the Ministry of Defence. WHO Sri Lanka is supporting the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) with programs including technical and financial support in the adaptation of the International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG) training and the capacity building of district-level Emergency Operation Centres (EOCs) to strengthen more..

43rd anniversary of diplomatic relations between South Korea and Sri Lanka

Nov 21 (FT) Ayubowan, Vanakkam, Annyonghasimnikka (Korean greeting)! I am the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Sri Lanka, Santhush Woonjin Jeong. 14 November is the 43rd anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic ties between Korea and Sri Lanka. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1977, Korea and Sri Lanka have come a long way together to form a cordial bilateral partnership. Korea and Sri Lanka have been true friends to each other more..

Business-friendly Budget sets sights on investment: Cabraal

Nov 21 (FT) Budget 2021 encompasses the business-friendly outlook of the Govt and embeds stability, inclusivity and consistency in its myriad proposals, a top official said yesterday, insisting the key policy document anchored growth as the foundation of Sri Lanka’s future development. Speaking at the Daily FT-Colombo Uni MBA Alumni Association organised Budget 2021 Forum, State Minister Nivard Cabraal emphasised that more..

UNP wants govt to be transparent with public finances

Nov 21 (FT) The UNP charged that the Govt has failed to indicate a revenue enhancement model needed to fund debt repayment for 2021 in the Budget, pointing out that $ 5.2 billion worth of debt was due for repayment next year. “Govt’s Budget for 2021 has failed to indicate how they will raise the necessary revenue to meet these repayments,” the UNP stated. The UNP urged the Govt to be transparent with public finances and to ensure the timely and accurate release of official more..

Calgary-born entrepreneur Rahul Sood buys stake in SL cricket team

Nov 21 (TS) A millionaire at 19 after creating Voodoo PC, Calgary-born Rahul Sood says he went on to lose most of his bankroll. But there have been more hits than misses thanks to time spent with Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft as well as his own ventures. Now co-founder and CEO of Unikrn (pronounced Unicorn), an esports betting platform that operates in 43 countries, the 47-year-old Sood has added a SL cricket team to his portfolio with a stake in the Jaffna Stallions of the newly formed LPL. more..

Male dominance in Police Department robs women the chance of getting top positions

Nov 21 (ST) Sri Lanka’s first female DIG of Police was appointed in Sept–nearly 70 years after women were first recruited to the force. It was a cause for celebration. But the mood is sober amongst other senior policewomen who are now eligible for DIG promotion in five years. They point out that male-dominated Police Dept has still not created any cadre positions for women above the rank of SSP. more..

Tea industry experts willing to learn magic formula for running RPCs at a profit

Nov 21 (Island) We will be humble enough to learn the magic formula for running Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs) at a profit if anyone is capable of getting it done under the prevailing conditions, former chairman of the Planters Association, Dr. Roshan Rajadurai said. “This doesn’t mean that we are throwing down the gauntlet to the govt or anyone interested in running these companies; what we simply mean is; with the current wages, output and tea prices if anyone can take over and more..

Pelwatte Dairy embarks on yet another sustainable project

Nov 21 (FT) Pelwatte Dairy Industries, the industry leader in local dairy produce has been known for enriching lives – not just by providing nutrition through its dairy products but also through the consecutive training and support that it extends to farmers and their families, thereby empowering them, the economy and the country as a whole. Pelwatte is now taking steps to address issues pertaining to sustainable agriculture, food produce and waste management while also hoping more..

Nuwan Zoysa cries foul over ICC statement

Nov 21 (Island) At a press briefing on Friday former Sri Lanka cricketer and bowling coach Nuwan Zoysa claimed that the ICC has prematurely declared him guilty of charges he never committed and his lawyer Chrishmal Warnasuriya vowed to defend his innocence alleging that the ICC anti-corruption unit was hell-bent on tarnishing the reputation of SL cricketers. “It was a shock for me when I was made aware that ICC had more..

LPL Umpires and Match Referees announced

Nov 21 (CT) ICC Chief Match Referee Ranjan Madugalle and ICC Elite Umpire Kumar Dharmasena will lead an experienced panel of officials (Match Referee and Umpiring) for the inaugural Lanka Premier League (LPL) Tournament which begins later this month. Madugalle, a member of the ICC Elite Panel of Match Referees, has refereed seven ICC Cricket World Cups, including the finals of the 1999, 2003, 2015 and 2019 tournaments, and will be joined by more..

Sports hostel protocol breached by DSD

Nov 21 (CT) Despite strict protocols set by the Dept of Sports Development (DSD) under Sports Ministry that only athletes and coaches can occupy the sports hostel, they had permitted a Ministry employee to stay in the hostel and roam about freely. The employee, who had been occupying an upper floor room at the hostel, has returned to the hostel in a long-distance bus where the driver of the bus has subsequently tested positive for COVID-19. The employee has now been instructed more..