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SL’s import restrictions impact negative: EU

Nov 19 (DM) The govt’s current import restrictions in place are having a negative impact on SL and European businesses, and on Foreign Direct Investment, Delegation of the European Union (EU) said. Issuing a statement together with the Embassies of France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands and Romania, the EU said that such measures impair SL’s efforts to become a regional hub & negatively impact SL exports more..

243 Covid-19 positive; total cases at 18,645

Nov 19 (NR) 243 individuals have tested positive for the coronavirus thus far today. Number of COVID-19 infections in the country reported thus far has increased to 18,645. All 243 were linked to the Minuwangoda-Peliyagoda COVID-19 cluster that, saw the cases reported in the cloister rise to 15,136. Earlier today 316 individuals were discharged increasing coronavirus recoveries to 12,903. 5,673 individuals, including 12 foreign nationals, are currently being treated for the virus at more..

Video: Jasinghe on his appointment to Ministry of Environment

Nov 19 (AD) Specialist Dr. Anil Jasinghe says that his appointment as Secretary to Ministry of Environment was a promotion. Former Director-General of Health Services who pioneered in the battle against COVID-19 first wave mentioned this on Talk with Chathura program. However, referral of Dr. Anil Jasinghe to the Ministry of Environment, despite him and the entire health staff being able to successfully control the first wave of COVID-19 in SL, had stirred controversy with several more..

Frontline cops charge negligence by high-ups worsened police cluster

Nov 19 (DM) The police have done an invaluable service in the frontlines to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, foregoing their off-days and staying away from their loved ones while on duty. Their dedication to raise public awareness and protect the people must be appreciated. Often when attending to the safety of the people, police officers have no time to take care of themselves or their families. more..

Sri Lanka to manufacture surgical masks; import halted

Nov 19 (AD) Steps have been taken to manufacture surgical masks, which have been in high demand due to the COVID-19 epidemic, within the country. The import of surgical masks has also been halted accordingly. This was revealed at a meeting held at the Health Ministry chaired by State Minister Prof. Channa Jayasumana. The meeting was held with the participation of face mask producers and importers. Nearly 1.5 million surgical masks are in daily use within the country. more..

Sri Lanka to open Rs6.9bn Peliyagoda Manning vegetable market

Nov 19 (EN) Sri Lanka is opening a 6.9 billion rupee vegetable wholesale market in Peliyagoda, in the periphery of Colombo which will reduce congestion in the city and provide more space. Construction of the complex began in 2013, when current Prez Rajapaksa was in charge of the UDA, and it has space for 600 trucks. The market will be opened by PM Rajapaksa. It is spread over a 13.5 acre are compared to 2 acres in the former Manning Market complex in Pettah. more..

Mayor Rosie appeals to donors to provide dry rations to the poor in Colombo

Nov 19 (EN) Colombo Mayor Rosie Senanayake is appealing to donors to contribute towards providing dry rations to at least 30,000 families in the commercial capital as her Municipality is running out of resources to provide for the poor. Senanayake issued a plea for the govt to shut down the capital but was turned down by the Army Chief Lt Gen. Shavendra Silva yesterday. To clarify her position Senanayake said that more..

Maveerar Commemorations: Writ filed seeking prevention of ban

Nov 19 (CT) A Writ Petition was filed in the Jaffna High Court seeking an Order preventing the Northern Province Senior DIG and the Provincial Director of Health Services (PDHS) from attempting to ban the Maveerar Commemorations from 25 to 27 Nov, by citing provisions of the Prevention of Terrorism Act or the Quarantine and Prevention of Diseases Ordinance due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Attorney-at-Law Vishwalingam Manivannan, representing parents who lost more..

Govt encourages exports and local manufacture: Bandula

Nov 19 (CT) Trade Minister Dr. Bandula Gunawardena said in Parliament that through the Appropriation Bill 2021, the Govt encourages exports and local manufacturing and that the Bill stands with the hard- working people of the country. Participating in the Second Reading on the Appropriation Bill 2021, Dr. Gunawardena said that the Govt has granted concessions on loan repayments and tax repayments for those who had to endure many difficulties due to more..

Chris Gayle & Lasith Malinga pull out of LPL

Nov 19 (CI) Foreign players, franchise staff and tournament organisers continue to arrive in the Sooriyawewa area ahead of the start of the Lanka Premier League, but the tournament has been hit by two further high-profile player withdrawals. Chris Gayle has told the Kandy Tuskers franchise that he will not be traveling to Sri Lanka on account of an injury. Lasith Malinga - SL's most recognisable T20 player - has also pulled out more..

EP Governor suspends sand mining permits

Nov 19 (CT) Eastern Province Governor, Anuradha Yahampath, suspended the issuance of sand mining permits in the Batticaloa District with immediate effect. Public representatives as well as State officials stated that illegal sand mining taking place in the District caused great damage to the environment. “All illegal sand miners should be taken into custody without considering their social or political status. I will appoint a special committee headed by the District Secretary to issue more..

Replanting trees in Kallaru to cost Rs 500M

Nov 19 (CT) Director of the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) W.A.C. Weragoda said replanting trees in the Kallaru Forest Reserve adjoining the Wilpattu National Park would cost Rs 200,000 per acre. He said according to calculations, some 2,500 acres had been deforested while illegal constructions had also taken place. Former Minister Rishad Bathiudeen will have to bear the cost of replanting. It is said the cost of replanting would amount to Rs 500 million. more..

Prez tells new Chinese envoy that he is seeking investments rather than loans

Nov 19 (AD) The newly appointed Ambassador of China to SL Qi Zhenhong presented his credentials to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the President’s House today. During the brief cordial discussion with the Chinese Ambassador following the ceremony, Prez Rajapaksa expressed his satisfaction over the long-standing and lasting cooperation and friendship with mutual benefits between Sri Lanka and China. more..

Pathfinder Foundation successfully concludes Indian Ocean Security Conference

Nov 19 (FT) Pathfinder Foundation’s Indian Ocean Security Conference was successfully concluded after three days of deliberations. The virtual event focusing on Maritime Security and Maritime Governance in the Indian Ocean saw participation of over 36 countries and an average of 100 participants from around the world. Indian Ocean littoral countries including those members of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), its dialogue partners, Govt officials from many countries more..

Weekly auction goes undersubscribed for a fourth consecutive week

Nov 19 (FT) The demand for Treasury bills at the weekly auction decreased further yesterday, as only an amount of Rs. 7.65 billion was accepted in comparison to its previous week’s total accepted amount of Rs. 9.19 billion and against a total offered amount of Rs.40 billion. The weighted average rates on the 182 day and 364 day maturities were recorded at its stipulated cut off rates of 4.73% and 4.98% respectively. However, weighted average rate of 91 day maturity was registered at 4.61% more..

Govt to pay compensation to families of deceased migrant workers

Nov 19 (EN) Sri Lanka will pay LKR 500,000 as compensation to the families of each migrant workers who died due to COVID-19 overseas, Minister of Labour Nimal Siripala de Silva told Parliament today. He said that as of 13 Nov 2020, a total of 68 Sri Lankan migrant workers had died due to COVID-19, while of them 24 had appealed for compensation valuing Rs 12 million from the Sri Lanka Insurance through SLFEA. more..

GSMB dispatches team to look into Kandy tremor

Nov 19 (NR) Geological Survey and Mines Bureau says a team of geologists have been deployed to probe the minor tremor reported in Ambakota, Kandy last morning. Chairman of the Bureau Anura Walpola said the team’s findings are likely to be announced today. Walpola said the minor tremor gives rise to many questions, adding experts have expressed their opinion on the matter and a special team has also been deployed to the scene to conduct an investigation alongside the Peradeniya Uni. more..

COVID-19 exacerbates inequalities in education

Nov 19 (Island) COVID-19 had exacerbated inequalities in education because for many low-income students online courses were a poor substitute for in-person learning, Parliament was told. SJB MP Gayantha Karunathilake said that not all students had access to online education that had being introduced by the govt as a solution to disruptions to education caused by the pandemic control measures. “During the times of our govt we tried to give every student a tablet computer, more..

Lalith Weeratunga and Anusha Palpita acquitted from ‘Sil Cloth’ case

Nov 19 (AD) Former Secretary to the Prez Lalith Weeratunga and former Director-General of the TRC Anusha Palpita have been acquitted from the Sil Cloth case. The verdict was given when the case was taken up before the Court of Appeal Justices Kumuduni Wickramasinghe and Devika Abeyratne today. Announcing the verdict, Judge Kumuduni Wickramasinghe said that the decision was taken after a detailed analysis of the submissions more..

Rishad testifies before PCoI on Easter attacks via video chat

Nov 19 (AD) MP Rishad Bathiudeen has connected through the Skype technology to testify before the PCoI probing the Easter Sunday terror attacks. The MP is currently under remand custody for allegedly misappropriating public funds to the tune of Rs. 9.5 million during the 2019 Presidential Election. He had previously recorded statements with the PCoI pertaining to the coordinated suicide bombings which shook the country on the 21st of April last year, on several occasions. more..

CSE welcomes Budget proposals directed at developing capital market

Nov 19 (FT) Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) said it welcomed the progressive capital market related proposals presented to Parliament by PM Rajapaksa in the 2021 Budget proposals speech made on Tuesday. In a statement the CSE said long-term sustainable measures had been proposed by the SL Govt to encourage companies to list on the CSE, encourage savings and investments among SL citizens & improve the attractiveness of Real Estate Investment Trust through tax concessions. more..

Nuwan Zoysa found guilty under ICC Anti-Corruption Code

Nov 19 (CI) Two years after being charged under the ICC anti-corruption code, former Sri Lanka player Nuwan Zoysa has been found guilty of three offences. Zoysa came under the scanner after his stint as bowling coach of Team Sri Lanka in a T10 tournament organised in the UAE in 2017. Zoysa now remains suspended and sanctions will be announced by the ICC soon. Zoysa has been found guilty of breaching more..

Gotabaya Rajapaksa Presidency: Year One

Nov 19 (FT) In its first year the Gotabaya Rajapaksa Presidency has made avoidable strategic blunders, tracing a trajectory which when extrapolated, indicate that it will wind up a one-term wonder, like the otherwise widely-disparate administrations of the Trump Presidency (2016-2020), Yahapalana (2015-2019), and Samagi Peramuna (1970-1977). The Trump template should not be underestimated. Back in June, GR insider, author of the inaccurately titled Gota’s War (2012) and SL’s new ambassador more..

Let the people meme

Nov 19 (EN) A year is a long time. This year has been longer than most. While that is not an indictment of the incumbent govt or of its leadership per se, few would disagree that 2020 has cast the powers that be in a less than flattering light. A historic parliamentary election victory notwithstanding, the ruling SLPP has been at the receiving end of some unexpectedly harsh criticism, not from opposition lawmakers or partisan pundits, but from ordinary citizens of different political more..

Video: Schools to reopen on Nov 23, except in Western Province and lockdown areas

Nov 19 (AD) Schools will reopen for Grades 6 and above from the 23rd of November as previously scheduled, said Minister of Education Prof. G. L. Peiris. However, this will not apply to the schools in the Western Province and areas currently under lockdown. In addition, students in the Western Province are not allowed to attend schools outside province boundaries while students outside Western Province may not more..

SJB appeals to Speaker to allow ACMC Leader Bathiudeen to attend Parliament

Nov 19 (Island) Chief Opposition Whip Lakshman Kiriella in Parliament yesterday requested Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena to allow ACMC leader and Vanni District SJB MP Rishad Bathiudeen to participate in parliamentary proceedings. “MP Bathiudeen is now among COVID-19 infected persons. He is not allowed to come to Parliament. We have brought this matter to the notice of the Speaker several times. Speaker is duty bound to protect the rights of MPs. more..

President arrives in Parliament during Budget debate

Nov 19 (AD) Prez Rajapaksa has arrived at the parliament complex during the ongoing debate of the Second Reading of the 2021 Budget. The President arrived at the Parliament premises at around 11.30 and remained in his office at the parliament before attending the Budget debate at 11.40 am. This marks the first time that the Prez has entered the Chamber of Parliament after the ceremonial opening of the first session of 9th Parliament. He entered the chamber amidst a warm welcome from MPs, more..

දිලිප් වෙදආරච්චි අමු මාළු කාල...

Corporate Sri Lanka: Next COVID-19 debacle can be your company!

Nov 19 (FT) Let’s face reality in the backdrop of Budget 2021 being presented. Corporate SL faced a blow when the first COVID-19 wave swept past SL even though many of us were not directly affected. The economy crashed in Q1 to -1.6% and most companies had a negative growth other than for the very aggressive companies that took the gaps in the market place. In the backdrop of Q-2 data not being released speculation is that Sri Lanka has registered a -17% GDP growth with exports and more..

State funeral of Mahanayake of Ramanna Nikaya on Sunday afternoon

Nov 19 (Island) The state funeral of the late Mahanayake of Ramanna Mahanikaya most Venerable Aggamaha Pandith Napana Pemasiri Thera will take place on Sunday afternoon at the S.W.R.D. Banadaranaike Vidyalaya Grounds at Pallekele. The remains of the late prelate are lying at the Vidyasagara Maha Pirivena of Hurikaduwa in Menikhinna in Kundasala. People of all walks of life in large numbers have been paying their last respects to the late prelate from Wednesday. more..

Guts lead to glory, says Gotabaya

Nov 19 (FT) Marking his first year Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday pledged to unremittingly continue his efforts to serve SL by taking forward protection of national security, deliver on development goals and uphold law and order, and expressed confidence that SL would be able to overcome COVID-19 challenges through citizen cooperation. Recapping in detail steps taken by him and the Govt during the past 12 months, more..

Three COVID-19 deaths bring total to 69

Nov 19 (FT) Three COVID-19 deaths were confirmed by health authorities yesterday, bringing the total number of COVID-19-related deaths to 69. Two individuals from Colombo as well as one individual from Kandana passed away due to COVID-19. Individual from Kandana was 70-yr-old and passed away at home. He died of diabetes complications that arose with COVID-19. An individual from Colombo-13 also died of diabetes complications that worsened due to Covid-19. more..

Consuming raw fish not good for human body: GMOA

Nov 19 (DM) Referring to the incident where MP Dilip Wedaarachchi consumed a raw fish during a news briefing, the GMOA Editor said eating raw fish could be harmful to the human body. He said that there are parasites on and inside of the skin of the fish, despite they being in fresh or salt water. “There are also bacteria in fish's skin. These parasites and bacteria are not good for the human body,” he said. “Therefore, we are not recommending the consumption of raw fish and more..

Video: COVID-19 rapid antigen testing commences from today

Nov 19 (AD) The Ministry of Health today (18) released a set of guidelines for conducting rapid antigen tests for the detection of COVID-19 infection. Directions have been issued to use the rapid antigen test kits donated by the WHO from today onwards. The test can be carried out at all govt hospitals including the National Hospitals, Teaching Hospitals, General Hospitals, District Hospitals, and Regional Hospitals. more..

Kiriella flays govt over using Bogambara as a quarantine facility

Nov 19 (Island) Having COVID-19 infected prisoners in the old Bogambara prison premises in Kandy was like keeping a ticking time bomb in the city, Kandy District MP Lakshman Kiriella told Parliament. At the time for Notices of Motions and Orders of the Day, MP Kiriella, with the permission of the Chair, said that he had warned Bogambara prisons now used as a quarantine centre that it would lead to the transmission the virus but the authorities had not heeded his warning. more..

Covid probe: CID receives instructions from AG

Nov 19 (Island) Attorney General Dappula de Livera advised the CID bigwigs on the inquiry into what he called the Brandix covid cluster. Among those present at a meeting summoned by the AG were DIG, CID and Director of CID. Acting IGP C.D. Wickremaratne named a team of CID officers to probe the eruption of the second corona wave. AG’s Coordinating Officer, Nishara Jayaratne said that Acting IGP had been informed of the need to conduct a high-level investigation more..