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Anura Kumara Dissanayake

Tourist arrivals exceed 100,000 this year

Nov 29 (DM) More than 100,000 tourists have visited the country from January up to date. Accordingly, 101,872 tourists arrived from Jan 1 to Nov 28 this year and 41,177 tourists have arrived in the country from Nov 1 to yesterday. Highest number of tourists have arrived from India this month. A total of 13,368 tourists have arrived in the country from India in November this year while the second highest number of tourist arrival of 3,449 reported from Russia in the last 28 days after India. more..

'Sri Lanka doesn’t have a LP gas cylinder testing facility'

Nov 29 (TM) SL does not have a gas cylinder testing facility or laboratory says Minister Lasantha Aligiyawanna. “Since the 1960’s when LP gas cylinders came into the market, we had no testing facility for the gas cylinders. We have received gas cylinder samples from various areas in SL, and these samples have been sent to the CEYPETCO and the Moratuwa Uni for testing. Moratuwa uni has reported back stating that they cannot guarantee the safety of the cylinders and cannot give a valid report on the samples,” more..

THASL, SLAITO warn hit to reviving tourism if health protocols are changed

Nov 29 (FT) Tourist Hotel Association of SL (THASL) & SL Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO) insisted that current health protocols should continue without any change even though a new Omicron variant of COVID has caused fresh concerns globally. “Any change to the current health protocols will be detrimental to the tourism industry and it will have a negative impact on the overall economy more..

No power cuts despite foreign exchange crisis: Govt

Nov 29 (DM) SL will not experience power cuts although there is a foreign exchange crisis, the govt assured today. Minister of Petroleum Udaya Gammanpila was responding to a question raised by UNP MP Ranil Wickremeisnghe in Parliament. He said the country is in for power cuts because of the foreign exchange shortage crisis as there are no dollars to make payments for coal and oil. “Nearly 55% of the country's electricity is generated through hydro power at the moment. more..

ADB honours ComBank as Leading Partner Bank for Trade & Supply Chain Finance

Nov 29 (AD) Commercial Bank of Ceylon has been adjudged the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB’s) Leading Partner Bank in Sri Lanka at the 2021 edition of its Trade and Supply Chain Finance Programme (TSCFP) Awards that recognise banks that support trade in Asia and the Pacific. The award was conferred upon Commercial Bank for recording the highest number of transactions in the trade and supply chain finance sphere between 1st July 2020 and 30th June 2021. more..

Johnston urges Catholic priests to beware of Opposition’s sinister plans

Nov 29 (Island) Minister Johnston Fernando says some Opposition politicians have misled the Catholic Church. “I call on all reverend fathers and other members of the clergy not to fall for the opposition conspirators’ tactics and thereby become their cat’s paws. We have seen that they capitalise on the summoning of Rev Fr Cyril Gamini to the CID to spread hate against this govt. Fr Cyril Gamini’s visit to CID was more..

Three bodies washed ashore in last two days at Valvettithurai, Delft coasts

Nov 29 (DM) Three unidentified bodies have washed ashore on the Valvettithurai and the Delft coasts in Jaffna during the past two days raising doubts whether there was a boat disaster, Police said. Two bodies had washed ashore on the Valvettithurai coast yesterday while another on the shore along the Delft isle coast today. The Delft police have initiated an investigation into the incident. Moreover, the Police suspect that a boat carrying illegal migrants which might have attempted more..

Over 200 issues with LP gas cylinders reported since 2015: Alagiyawanna

Nov 29 (TM) A report which was compiled by a private investigation company has revealed that since 2015, there has been 233 LP Gas cylinder related destructive incidents to date, revealed State Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna. He made this statement while speaking in Parliament. “I am not trying to justify that we have had a few explosions in the last 6 years, and I have to admit that there has been an unusual amount of Gas cylinder relation explosions with a period of a few days. more..

Another four explosions reported due to gas leaks from several areas

Nov 29 (DM) Four more explosions suspected to be from gas leaks have been reported from Padukka, Hanwella, Hatton and Ja-Ela areas today. A woman from Diddeniya has lodged a complaint this morning with the Hanwella Police claiming that a gas cylinder she had brought to her house had connected to the gas stove and exploded shortly afterwards. She claimed that she connected the recently brought gas cylinder more..

Sri Lanka telecom regulator in talks with Elon Musk’s Starlink over satellite internet

Nov 29 (AD) Sri Lanka’s telecommunications regulator on Monday said that it has initiated preliminary engagement with Elon Musk’s Starlink exploring possibility of introducing the satellite-based internet services in the island nation. The Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL) said the first round of discussions focused on the regulatory aspects and prerequisites of initiating the service in the near future for Sri Lanka. more..

Petitions against Yugadanavi deal fixed for consideration

Nov 29 (AD) The Fundamental Rights (FR) petitions filed against the Yugadanavi Power Plant deal have been fixed for consideration on December 16 by the Supreme Court. The petitions had been filed by several parties seeking a court order revoking the the decision taken by the Cabinet of Ministers to transfer shares in West Coast Power Limited (WCP) - the owner of the 310 MW Yugadanavi Power Plant to the US-based New Fortress Energy. The petitions were taken up before a bench more..

Video: Whistleblower to make further revelations

Nov 29 (DM) The former Executive Director at the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA), Thushan Gunawardena is preparing to make more startling revelations even as the heat remains over the garlic scam and gas cylinder issue. Speaking during a live discussion on social media, Gunawardena said that he resigned from the CAA to spill the beans over alleged illegal activities taking place at a number of Ministries. more..

Health laws in public transport very poor: PHI Union

Nov 29 (DM) Adherence to health guidelines in the public transport system which was commendable in the beginning, has become very poor now, Public Health Inspectors (PHI) Union Head Upul Rohana said. He said both state and private public transport systems were taking the maximum number of passengers with more passengers standing than being seated. If this practice continues there will be a definite chance of COVID positive cases increasing in the country very soon. more..

New Personal Data Protection Bill in Parliament soon

Nov 29 (DN) Govt has presented a new Personal Data Protection Bill to regulate the processing of personal data and to provide for the designation of a Data Protection Authority (DPA). The Bill states that it has been introduced to facilitate the growth and innovation in the digital economy of SL whilst protecting personal data rights. “It has become necessary to improve interoperability among personal data protection frameworks as well as to strengthen cross-border cooperation among more..

රක්ෂණය ගන්න වැදගෙන ආවට කෝටි 8ක වන්දිය...

Reflecting on responsible science: Reality through research in focus

Nov 29 (FT) Has science gone wrong? Are we not using it properly? Why does science matter in relation to data-driven decisions? Sri Lanka is baffling with many challenges in its socio-economic front and a scientific approach with needed pragmatism should provide answers. Yet are our egos ready to accept them? Today’s column reflects on such pertinent aspects with special reference to responsible science. It was heartening to be the co-chairperson of PIMARC 2021, more..

A child’s guide to cryptos, crypto mining, and blockchain: Part V

Nov 29 (FT) Aseni, whiz kid of economics, and her grandfather Sarath Mahatthaya who knows one or two things about economics, are in conversation on the latest hype in the money world known as cryptocurrencies, how they are mined and the technological innovation its pioneer, Bitcoin, has introduced to the global tech landscape called the Blockchain. They had found that Bitcoin was introduced in 2009 as a protest payment method to the traditional payments done through banks more..

Sirisena, other SLFP MPs asked to leave Govt

Nov 29 (Island) SLPP heavyweight and Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga has asked the SLFP to leave the govt as the SLPP could do without its support. Minister Ranatunga asked former President and SLFP leader Maithripala Sirisena, MP, and members of his parliamentary group to quit the government. Minister Ranatunga recalled how he urged the electorate in the run-up to the last parliamentary election in Aug 2020 more..

No guarantee of new Covid variant entering SL, says SLMA

Nov 29 (DM) The entry of the newly detected COVID-19 variant, Omicron could be inevitable, Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA) said today. SLMA President Dr. Padma Gunaratne said the authorities should take all precautionary measures as they had already taken, to ensure the new variant does not enter the country. “We are of the viewpoint that though the entry of the new variant could be delayed, there is no guarantee that it would never enter the country,” she highlighted. more..

Six-year-old’s death takes Kinniya death toll to seven

Nov 29 (TM) The death toll from the capsizing of a passenger ferry in the Kuringankerni Lagoon in Kinniya has increased to seven after another child injured in the accident succumbed to injuries. Kinniya Police said that a six-year-old girl who was being treated at the Trincomalee Hospital, after being injured in the ferry incident, had passed away Saturday night (27). Earlier, six people, including four schoolchildren, were reported dead after a ferry capsized in Kuringankerni Lagoon in Kinniya, more..

Chemical fertiliser price to be regulated but not fixed

Nov 29 (TM) Ministry of Agriculture does not expect to introduce a fixed price for chemical fertilisers and other agrochemicals, including pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides/weedicides, which would be imported by the private sector, but will soon formulate a mechanism to regulate their prices. When contacted, Agriculture Ministry Secretary Prof. Udith Jayasinghe-Mudalige said that this mechanism would be formulated with more..

Booster dose key as new COVID variant raises concerns: Medical expert

Nov 29 (DM) While elucidating ways to keep the newly detected COVID-19 variant, Omicron at bay, Dr Chandima Jeewandara said receiving the booster shot was of utmost importance at this moment and invited people to stick to basic health practices. He said they were keeping a close eye on the situation and had also increased genetic sequencing. “The Omicron, which is the fifth COVID variant detected in the world has been upgraded as a variant of concern due to its higher transmissibility,” he said. more..

UAE and Sri Lanka discuss enhancing bilateral trade and economic ties

Nov 29 (MFA) Chargé d'affaires of the UAE to SL called on Foreign Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris on 26 Nov 2021. In his opening remarks, the Chargé d'affaires extended greetings from the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the UAE Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed bin Al Nahyan and expressed the UAE govt's willingness to enhance bilateral trade and economic relations with the govt of SL. Further, he also recalled the recent bilateral meeting held between Minister G.L Peiris more..

Video: Price of bread increased

Nov 29 (AD) Bakery Owners’ Association says that the price of a 450g loaf of bread will be increased by Rs. 10 from midnight today (28). The association said that a decision was taken to increase bread prices in view of the increase in wheat flour prices. Bakery owners say that the price of Kottu and various short eats will also increase by Rs. 5 from midnight today. The price of wheat flour had been increased by relevant companies more..

1,461 persons test positive over the weekend

Nov 29 (FT) SL’s COVID-19 detections rose to 562,520 with 1,461 persons testing positive for COVID-19 over the weekend. Meanwhile, restrictions are being tightened across the globe following the detection of the Omicron variant, which the WHO has categorised as a Variant of Concern. According to SLMA President Dr. Padma Gunaratne, preventing the variant from entering SL is not entirely possible. “We can delay its arrival and we stress the importance of persons making more..

Suspension of raw material imports: Half a million jobs at stake in footwear industry

Nov 29 (Island) Jobs of around 500,000 locals involved in the footwear and leather products industry were at stake owing to a decision by ministry officials to suspend imports of essential raw materials, warns SL Footwear and Leather Products Manufacturers Association. Association’s Vice President Neville Priyanka said that the country’s political leadership was keen to promote the industry but some officials were determined to ruin the industry and have the country flooded with more..

Air traffic to Colombo soars with five more airlines from December

Nov 29 (FT) Following the aggressive promotions as well as participation in top-trade shows, the air traffic to Sri Lanka has risen sharply with multiple international airlines operating into Colombo. With five more new airlines starting from December, the total international airlines operating into SL will increase to 25. Flag carrier of Malaysia – Malaysian Airlines will commence operations from 1 Dec, Russia’s – Azur Airlines & Kazakhstan’s more..

Growing revenue signals record year ahead for Hela Clothing

Nov 29 (FT) Hela Clothing is eyeing a record year in FY22 on the strength of growing revenues month-on-month during the recent few months. “We had our best month in June with $ 21.2 million revenue and the performance of subsequent months bettered previous achievements. In October we did our best to date with $ 26.3 million revenue,” Hela Clothing Group CFO Moiz Rehmanjee said. Hela Clothing, which is primed for a listing on the CSE shortly with an IPO to raise approximately $ 20 million more..

MAS pays tribute to its teams as it bags Exporter of the Year award for 2020/21

Nov 29 (FT) MAS Intimates, the largest division of MAS Holdings, received three top accolades at the Presidential Export Awards, including the highly coveted Exporter of the Year Award for 2020/2021. MAS Intimates was also honoured as SL’s overall Best Exporter in Product diversification, while the company’s focus on ethical and sustainable manufacturing was recognised as the overall Contributor to Sustainable Development in Exports, making it a hat-trick of awards for SL’s more..

Rubber exports on track to reach $1b in 2021

Nov 29 (TM) SL’s rubber exports are on track to achieve $ 1 billion in export revenue this year, making it the first time the annual rubber exports will touch the $ 1 billion mark. During the budget debate last Saturday, Minister Dr. Ramesh Pathirana described 2021 as a historic year for SL’s plantation industry and stated that as per forecasts, export revenue from rubber products is expected to exceed $ 1 billion for the first time in history. more..

Torrential rains wreak havoc in 15 districts

Nov 29 (Island) Torrential rains have affected 15 districts, and one death has been reported in the Kandy District, according to the Disaster Management Centre (DMC). DMC Deputy Director Pradeep Kodippili yesterday said that three houses had been destroyed and 81 others damaged. Thirty-seven families were sheltered at welfare centres in Kandy and Kurunegala. The MDC yesterday said that showers or thundershowers would occur countrywide after 1.00 p.m. today. more..

SL national squash teams off to Malaysia

Nov 29 (Island) SL senior national squash teams took wing to Malaysia to participate in the 20th Asian Squash Team Championships to be held from Nov 30 to Dec 4. The women’s event will be taken part by eight teams while 13 teams will compete in the men’s event. The country’s men’s team will be represented by Ravindu Laksiri, Shamil Wakeel, Methmal Wood and Sheriff Hakeem while Fathoum Issadeen, Yeheni Kuruppu, Chanithma Sinaly and Dewmini Gallage form the women’s team. more..

$ 15 b hotel industry wants Govt. to check in

Nov 29 (FT) The $ 15 billion hotel industry is urging the Govt to give it due recognition and support to ensure that the socio-economically-critical tourism sector is revitalised sooner than later amidst multiple crises. The status quo of the hotel and tourism industry, and the challenges and opportunities it faces, were well articulated by M. Shanthikumar, new President of The Hotels Association of SL (THASL), more..

50,594 persons vaccinated against COVID-19

Nov 29 (FT) COVID-19 vaccines were administered to 50,594 persons on Saturday, including 37,756 persons who received the booster dose. A total of 15,926,273 persons have received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, 13,738,536 persons have received the second dose and 502,951 persons have received the third dose. On Saturday, the first dose of Sinopharm was administered to 1,386 persons and 8,201 persons received the second dose. In total, the first dose of Sinopharm more..

India, Maldives, SL conduct maritime drills

Nov 29 (PTI) India, the Maldives and Sri Lanka on Sunday (28), concluded a two-day maritime operation in the Indian Ocean region to keep it safe and secure including for international trade, officials said. Ships and aircraft of the navies of the three countries participated in the maiden Colombo Security Conclave (CSC) Focused Operation, the Indian Navy said. It said the three countries had participated in the fifth deputy national security advisors-level meeting of CSC on August 4 more..