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X-Press Pearl salvage operation to get underway

Dec 8 (DM) X-Press Feeders, operators of the container ship X-Press Pearl, has signed a contract with Shanghai Salvage Company (SCC)for the removal of the wreck, which is lying off the west coast of Sri Lanka. Meanwhile, Resolve Marine has commenced the recovery of the containers and debris that were lost overboard during the vessel fire and subsequent sinking. The debris has been identified through side-scan sonar operations, undertaken during July and August. more..

Video: PM commits to making Sri Lanka a global marine sustainability hub

Dec 8 (AD) Delivering a keynote address at the first World Ocean Summit Asia-Pacific, organized by The Economist group, PM Mahinda Rajapaksa committed to working towards making Sri Lanka a global marine sustainability hub in the region. “As an island nation surrounded by the Indian Ocean, SL holds a great responsibility in protecting the Indian Ocean, which starts with respecting the ocean and its inhabitants,” PM said. The virtual summit, taking place this week (from Dec. 6 - 10), more..

Video: Committee of senior MPs appointed to probe recent unruly behaviour in parliament

Dec 8 (AD) Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena today announced the appointment of a committee to submit a report on the recent unruly behaviour of MPs inside the Chambers. The 11-member committee is chaired by Deputy Speaker Ranjith Siyambalapitiya. Meanwhile, Ministers Bandula Gunawardena, Chamal Rajapaksa and Vasudeva Nanayakkara, State Minister Susil Premajayantha and MPs Gayantha more..

Diana embarrassed by SJB boycotting Parliament

Dec 8 (CT) MP Diana Gamage yesterday, said in Parliament that she is ashamed of the conduct of the SJB. She made this remark while joining the discussion initiated by ITAK MP Charles Nirmalanathan complained that he was continuously overlooked in the list of Opposition MPs speaking in the House. Chief Government Whip Johnston Fernando and SLPP National List MP Dr. Suren Raghavan also spoke in favour of Nirmalanathan’s request. “This is how the SJB treats more..

No Tamil-speaking official at Eastern Pre-School Edu Bureau

Dec 8 (CT) SJB Trincomalee District MP M. Imran claimed that pre-school teachers and the employees attached to the Pre-School Education Bureau of Eastern Provincial Council, who are not fluent in Sinhala, are struggling to work with the officials who don’t speak Tamil. Imran added that nearly 75% of pre-schools in the Province function in the Tamil medium. “Govt should recruit Tamil-speaking officials to this Bureau considering the issue of Tamil-speaking people in the Province who don’t more..

Anura Dissanayake

Elephant attack reportedly kills two SLC groundstaff

Dec 8 (CI) Two Sri Lanka Cricket groundstaff at the Sooriyawewa Stadium in Hambantota have died in what is believed to have been an elephant attack, the board confirmed. Not many details have been released with regard to the attacks, though it is being speculated the attack may have been as a result of a sole elephant. The bodies of the two staff members, who were cycling home after work around 9pm local time, are understood to have been found several hundred metres apart. more..

'Largest gemstone found in Ratnapura confirmed to be star sapphire cluster'

Dec 8 (DM) The gemstone weighing 510 kg unearthed in Ratnapura a few months ago, was confirmed to be a star sapphire cluster following tests conducted by the Gübelin Gem Lab in Switzerland, State Minister Lohan Ratwatte said today. He told Parliament that the Gübelin Gem Lab in Switzerland confirmed yesterday (7) evening that it was a star sapphire cluster. In his reply speech at the committee stage debate of the State Minister of Gem and Jewellery related Industries, more..

Chinese firm sues Sri Lanka in dispute over $49.7m fertilizer deal

Dec 8 (GT) A ship loaded with 20,000 tons of fertilizer from Shandong-based producer Seawin Biotech meant for export to Sri Lanka is on its way back after failing to reach any constructive agreement with SL, despite relentless efforts to solve the dispute, sources close to the matter told the Global Times. The ship is to arrive in Singapore, where the company has launched an international arbitration procedure to settle a growing dispute over more..

Cardinal condoles with grieving family

Dec 8 (CT) Archbishop of Colombo Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, issuing a condolence message on the brutal murder of SL migrant worker Priyantha Kumara Diyawadana by a lynch mob in Pakistan on 3 Dec, says that while he conveys his deepest commiserations to the victim’s family members he is hoping that the perpetrators behind the heinous act will be dealt with in keeping with the law. Cardinal has also most unreservedly and unequivocally condemned the merciless act by a lynch mob more..

Backbenchers request for floor time

Dec 8 (CT) A written request was submitted to Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena by 35 MPs, both Govt and the Opposition, yesterday, requesting to grant time for them to speak during the Committee Stage Debate on Appropriation Bill 2022. The letter signed by MPs of SLPP, SJB and ITAK, was handed over to Speaker Abeywardena by SLPP MP Pramitha Bandara Tennakoon, SJB MP Diana Gamage and ITAK MP Charles Nirmalanathan. The letter said: more..

CEBEU refutes claims made by the SEA about island wide power failure

Dec 8 (TM) CEB Engineers Union (CEBEU) has refuted claims made by the Senior Engineers Association (SEA) of the CEB pertaining to remote access to protection relays in the power system to instigate the island wide power collapse which occurred on the 3rd of Dec 2021. “The CEBEU wishes to reiterate to the public and media that such allegations are totally false and are not based on any scientific or engineering more..

Prez stresses on action to curb deforestation, use of fossil fuels at...

Dec 8 (TM) Prez Rajapaksa undertook an official visit to the UAE from 3 to 5 Dec 2021 to attend the 5th Indian Ocean Conference – IOC 2021 in Abu Dhabi where Chair of the IOC -2021, he highlighted the importance of the importance of taking global action for limiting deforestation, curbing use of fossil fuels, preventing over-exploitation of finite resources and increasing the use of renewable energy for a secure world tomorrow. This was made known via a media release from SL Embassy more..

Italian Ambassador pays courtesy call to Army Chief

Dec 8 (TM) HE Mrs Rita Giuliana Mannella, Ambassador of Italy for SL and the Maldives yesterday paid a courtesy call on the Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army, General Shavendra Silva at the Army Headquarters. This was made known through the SL Army official website yesterday. The cordial meet touched on general matters of mutual interest and gestures of cooperation and understanding that prevail between both nations and also the preventive more..

රටක් හඬවා අවසන් ගමන් ගිය ප්‍රියන්ත...

Friday’s darkness at noon

Dec 9 (DM) Hard on the heels of the ongoing COVID-19 viral infection, the fertilizer dilemma, the shipload of contaminated Chinese fertilizer, the controversy surrounding the mysterious gas-linked explosions reported from several parts of the country on a daily basis since November came the sudden five-hour Island-wide power outage. The govt alleged was sabotage while the CEB Engineers Union claimed it was a natural occurrence resulting from a transmission failure. more..

Thank goodness for Omicron!

Dec 9 (DM) Am I being flippant about something that is of serious concern to the health of the economy and the well-being of the citizens? No. It’s sarcasm. Unfortunately, it needs to be labelled for the benefit of those who spin doom’s day scenarios with the unabashed objective of living in political territories closer to their hearts. Pandemics are not for celebration. Covid-19 has taken an immense toll on one and all. It has crippled economies across the globe, a fact largely ignored by those who more..

The mirage of a military solution?

Dec 9 (FT) Call it a metaphorical warning shot. Several MPs, including a presidential nephew, were at a public meeting in Hakmana (Matara) when a monk invaded the stage and made a speech. “What did this Govt do for the country?” he asked in a purely rhetorical spirit. Commenting on the regime’s failure, he proffered his answer: “Not this nonsensical (bahubootha) democracy, but if (you) love the motherland, the people, more..

Dominances, hegemonies and diversities

Dec 9 (Island) What spaces exist for students and staff of ethnic and religious minorities, within the university? Do students and staff in these groups have the liberty and security to openly identify themselves, claim their identities, be visible? Do either university structures and policies or the culture and attitudes within the university community, ensure a lack of discrimination, with the same rights, privileges and opportunities, for such persons to live, work, study in an environment of acceptance, more..

Some observations on the current situation in Sri Lanka

Dec 9 (GV) I am currently living in the UK, which has its advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is one can keep a little distance from the dynamics of current events. This helps to get a different perspective. One can also get a different perspective on implications of global developments. For example, the debacle in Afghanistan has raised fundamental questions about what can liberalism alone can achieve in such in situations. This debate is taking place within mainstream policy more..

LTTE’s Anton Balasingham: Up close & personal

Dec 9 (FT) LTTE Arasiyal Madhiuraignar (Political Adviser) Anton Stanislaus Balasingham passed away 15 years ago at his South London residence on 14 Dec 2006. Bala Annai (elder brother) as he was generally known among Tamils died of cancer at the age of 68 years. The funeral was held at the Alexandra Palace in London on 20 Dec 2006. LTTE supremo V Prabhakaran conferred the title Thesathin Kural (Voice of the Nation) more..

LP gas cylinder mystery

Dec 9 (CT) Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527), the Renaissance Italian best known for his political treatise The Prince (Il Principe) who has often been called the father of modern political philosophy and Political Science, justified evil means including murder to obtain, maintain and retain political power. Prof. G.H. Sabine in his magnum opus A History of Western Political Theory that was a must read for any university student in the subject, says that Machiavelli has been especially known for more..

The work hours-based productivity myth

Dec 9 (TM) In a landmark development, the UAE this week announced a shift to a four-and-a-half-day work week, i.e. from Monday morning to Friday afternoon, for the country’s federal entities, starting from January of next year. This plan also includes giving employees the opportunity to opt for flexible working hours and work-from-home options on Fridays. The aim of this initiative, as mentioned by that country’s authorities, is to boost productivity by strengthening the workers’ work-life balance, more..

Dayasiri Jayasekara

Editorial: O, Democracy!

Dec 9 (Island) US President Joe Biden’s much-advertised Summit for Democracy commences today with the participation of 110 nations. Sri Lanka is not among them. Some political commentators here have called the exclusion of SL an indictment of the Rajapaksa govt, which is undermining democracy. The incumbent SL govt may be hauled over the coals for attacks on democracy, but one should not make the mistake of recognising the US as the global standard-bearer of democracy. more..

Time has come to banish the Rajapaksa; it’s now

Dec 9 (CT) The morning dew has created a psychedelic design on the grass. Each drop is perfectly circular and varying in circumference; when sun rays are reflecting off its minuscule summit of the drop, the patterns that the dew generates are swaying to the morning breeze like an immaculately choreographed ensemble. The moist touch must be bringing heavenly feel to any rough-skinned under-feet. Pages of Grass for my Feet by Jinadasa Vijayatunga bring back fondest of memories, more..

A century of caregiving: Mallika Nivasa takes mission to the next level

Dec 9 (ST) Mallika Niwasa Samithiya (Society) marked its century celebration (Siyawasaka Jayagarahanaya) with the main celebrations held at the BMICH last Wednesday. The society was founded in 1920 by Mrs. Mallika Hewavitarne. It was a pioneering move to bring forth Colombo’s well-to-do ladies during British colonial rule to start a home for elderly and destitute women. She initiated the Mallika Home on more..

Sri Lanka's largest locally owned e-com giant, Kapruka reflects on upcoming IPO

Dec 9 (ST) Ahead of its upcoming initial public offering (IPO), Kapruka, the pioneering e-commerce platform that has evolved into Sri Lanka’s largest locally owned global e-com platform, has reflected on its journey thus far, and the large corporate footprint and client-base it has developed and served throughout the years. Launched in 2002 as a start-up by founder Dulith Herath, with a capital of less than $1,000, Kapruka has transformed into the largest locally-owned e-commerce company. more..

Man who swallowed ICE drugs dies in police custody

Dec 9 (DM) A 37-year-old man who was arrested by the Piliyandala Police on charges of possessing drugs has died after swallowing methamphetamine also known as ICE, police said. Police arrested four persons including the deceased Iresh Udayanga during a raid at Karadiyana on information that they were dealing in narcotics. During the search, the suspect was found in possession of 500 milligrams of ice, Rs. 70,000 cash and an electronic scale, police said. more..

Budget 2022 fails in critical outcomes: Verité Research

Dec 9 (FT) Budget 2022 has failed to achieve three critical outcomes of establishing fiscal stability, building credibility, and instilling confidence, Verite Research claimed. Its verdict, via a special public report, comes ahead of the third reading of Budget 2022 in Parliament tomorrow. “2022 will be a pivotal year in Sri Lanka’s external debt management and the economy as a whole. The Budget 2022, currently being more..

Champion rally driver Feghani conducts Red Bull Drifting programme for 35 locals

Dec 9 (ST) Red Bull gave local drifting enthusiasts an unforgettable experience with SL’s first Red Bull Car Park Drift Clinic. Held on November 27, the event was a first for Sri Lanka with over 35 drivers participating and a master class in drifting conducted by Lebanese champion driver Abdo Feghali. Despite the challenge of hosting the event for the first time in SL in addition to health guidelines and challenges of hosting a public event amidst the backdrop of the pandemic the response was inspiring more..

Sri Lanka - England U19 Youth ODI series: All-rounder SL to series win

Dec 9 (CT) Sri Lanka beat England by 126 runs in the 4th Youth ODI at the SSC yesterday to clinch the 5-match series, as they took an unassailable 3-1 lead. Deputy skipper Raveen de Silva was the star as he scored 59 in 87 deliveries with 4 boundaries and a six and claimed 3 wickets for just 6 runs. Sri Lanka won the toss and electing to bat first scored 243 runs for 7 wickets. Pawan Pathiraja continued his good form with the bat to score 60 runs in 104 deliveries with 2 boundaries. more..

Talk with Sudhaththa

Dambulla Giants cruise to comfortable win

Dec 9 (Island) Dambulla Giants cruised to a comfortable 18 run win in their LPL fixture against Colombo Stars yesterday at R. Premadasa Stadium. Some big hitting by Giants batsmen powered them to a huge 195 for six and Stars in reply could only manage 177 all out in 18.5 overs. Stars needed a big knock from one of their top order batsmen to challenge Giants but their batting did not click. Tom Banton (23), Kusal Perera (20), Pathum Nissanka (12) and Sherfane Rutherford all got starts more..

40,347 persons vaccinated against COVID-19

Dec 9 (FT) Over one million persons have received the booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in SL and the first, second or third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine was administered to 40,347 persons on Tuesday. Third dose has been administered to 1,033,791 persons in total. This includes 37,578 persons vaccinated on Tuesday. Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is being administered as the booster dose. 15,948,495 persons have received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 13,771,693 persons more..

Himasha Eshan suspended for doping

Dec 9 (Island) Former national 100 metres record holder and South Asian Games medallist Himasha Eshan has been suspended from track and field activities after being found positive for a banned substance during a random test conducted by SL Anti-Doping Authority (SLADA). The sprinter, coached by Chaminda Perera, played a key role in SL Artillery’s victory at the recently concluded Army Athletics Championships. more..

28 more COVID-19 fatalities confirmed

Dec 9 (FT) 28 more COVID-19 fatalities on Tuesday and the country’s death toll has risen to 14,533. Among the fatalities confirmed on Tuesday were 21 persons over 60 years and seven persons between 30 and 59 years. Zero deaths were confirmed from the under-30 age group on Tuesday. 76.52% of the fatalities are over 60 years, 22.32% of the fatalities are between 30 and 59 years, and 1.17% of the fatalities are below 30 years. Fifteen fatalities confirmed on Tuesday were male and more..

Paradigm shift towards cryptocurrency urged

Dec 9 (DN) Central Banks or Govts have not regulated cryptocurrency. Therefore, a paradigm shift is required in order to adapt to it. These sentiments were expressed at the SL Economic Summit 2021, organised by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. Addressing a session titled, Charting a Path towards a Technology Hub at the SL Economic Summit 2021, key speakers at the session Srimathi Shivashankar -Corporate VP and Program Director -New Vistas, HCL & Dinesh Saparamadu, more..

Loan from India only in January

Dec 9 (TM) The financial assistance sought by Minister of Finance Basil Rajapaksa from India will only be received by January next year, contrary to reports that it has already been received during Rajapaksa’s recent visit to New Delhi. Speaking to us, Treasury Secretary S.R. Attygalle stated that the Govt will be seeking to acquire the discussed financial assistance from India as soon as possible, most likely by January. more..

Sri Lanka needs real depreciation World Bank economist claims

Dec 9 (EN) Sri Lanka will need a real depreciation of its currency in the longer term to stimulate its exports, World Bank’s chief economist for South Asia said articulating an oft-repeated claim by domestic Mercantilists. “Let me make a longer term view on the currency, looking at the circumstances in Sri Lanka,” Hans Timmer, the Chief Economist for the World Bank’s South Asian region told a business forum organized by Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. Ever since Latin America style more..