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Court temporarily releases Champika’s passport

Dec 14 (DM) Former Minister Champika Ranawaka whose passport was impounded in connection with the Rajagiriya accident case was today temporally permitted to travel abroad by the Colombo High Court. Filing a motion before Colombo High Judge Damith Thotawatta, defence counsel who appeared on behalf Champika Ranawaka informed court that his client is expecting to go abroad in the month of February next year. Defence Counsel sought court's permission to release his client's passport for the purpose of obtaining visa. more..

Opposition to offer free legal assistance to victims of LP gas-related incidents

Dec 14 (AD) Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa says SJB is ready to offer legal assistance free of charge to all those who were affected by the domestic gas-related incidents. In a video statement, Premadasa asked people who were victimized by such incidents to submit their details to SJB’s party headquarters in order to receive legal advice to get compensated for the damages caused to them. Speaking further, the Opposition Leader slammed the govt for failing to provide a solution for the ongoing issue. more..

India’s Exim Bank eyes more lending to Sri Lanka amid diplomatic tussle with China

Dec 14 (EN) India’s Exim Bank has discussed possible future infrastructure projects with SL after channelling over US$ 440 million into water supply projects in the country. India, as the regional power, is looking to increase its clout over SL amid a worsening debt crisis in the island nation and a diplomatic tussle with easy-loan provider China. Last week’s visit of a three-member team from the Exim Bank of India came days after India pledged a US$ 400 million swap, more..

Litro to brief court on possibility to display LPG composition on cylinders

Dec 14 (AD) The Court of Appeal has ordered Litro Gas Lanka Limited to brief the judge bench of the potential to display the composition on domestic gas cylinders by tomorrow. A writ application filed by public interest litigation activist Nagananda Kodituwakku seeking a court order directing Litro Gas Lanka and Laugfs Gas PLC, the two largest LP gas suppliers in SL, to recall domestic gas cylinders released to the market was taken up earlier today. It was called before Appeals Court Judges more..

Sri Lanka in bid to draw domestic dollar notes to banks, 10% surrender rule

Dec 14 (EN) Central Bank has said it will give 10 rupees above the 200 to the US dollar non-credible peg to persons who have dollar notes at home, who will convert or deposit them in their dollar accounts. Banks will have to surrender 10% to the central bank. “The general public is encouraged to deposit, covert or invest foreign currency not with them immediately,” central bank said in a letter licensed banks. SL public who have foreign currency notes of up to 15,000 dollars bought from licensed banks more..

World body wants HRCSL downgraded

Dec 14 (TM) The world’s leading organisation of national human rights bodies has recommended that the Human Rights Commission of SL (HRCSL) be downgraded to a “B” status, primarily due to its appointment process and its failure to adequately address human rights violations. The recommendation was made last week by the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI), a partner of the UN, and is contained in the report and recommendations of the virtual session more..

Liquor at hotels on Christmas despite Cardinal’s criticism

Dec 14 (TM) While no liquor store will be allowed to remain open on Christmas Day on 25 Dec, liquor will be available for guests occupying rooms of hotels approved by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA), within the premises of these hotels. Archbishop of Colombo His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith last Sunday (12) strongly criticised the Ministry of Tourism for reportedly seeking permission from the Govt to sell liquor at hotels on Christmas Day. more..

Abide by health guidelines wherever you go, expert tells public

Dec 14 (Island) People should abide by health guidelines if they want to protect their lives, Medical Technical Services Director of the Health Ministry Dr. Anwar Hamdani told the media yesterday. “In the coming weeks people will celebrate Christmas and New Year. Most people are on leave. People will travel and meet with friends and family. This is hard to avoid. However, no matter who you are, you must try to adhere to health guidelines,” he reminded the country. more..

Public urged to seek up to Rs 100M compensation

Dec 14 (CT) Senior Adviser to the Ministry of Justice, U.R. de Silva said if certain gas companies had behaved in a manner jeorpadising the lives of consumers, then the public could institute legal action against such companies and seek compensation for losses suffered as per provisions in the Public Utilities Commission Act. He said as per the provisions in the Act, a fine of Rs 1 million up to Rs 10 million could be imposed if an individual commits an offence and is proved in Court. more..

Changes to Criminal Procedure Code to not impose death penalty on minors

Dec 14 (AD) The Cabinet of Ministers has given the approval to amend Section 281 of the Code of Criminal Procedure which refers to punishment of detention in lieu of death for persons under eighteen years of age. Section 281 states; “Where any person convicted of an offence punishable with death, appears to the court to be under the age of sixteen years, the court shall pronounce on that person in lieu of the sentence of death the sentence provided by section 53 of the Penal Code.” more..

Sri Lanka-Nepal should enjoy bigger market share in the region: NATTA Secretary

Dec 14 (Island) The Nepal Tour and Travel Agents Association members who visited Sri Lanka recently on a promotional visit were quite optimistic that the two countries could market its tourism product with aggressive and innovative campaigns. Acting secretary of the Association Jiswan Thuladhar Shreshta said: “Though, initially our mission was to promote Nepal as a destination in Sri Lanka, however on seeing the positive response and the overwhelming enthusiasm shown by the travel agents more..

Vegetable prices skyrocket as supply plummets

Dec 14 (TM) Despite the ban on the importation of chemical fertiliser and agrochemicals having been lifted by the Govt, traders and consumers have pointed out that vegetable prices are continuing to rise abnormally in the market, as the supply to economic centres has dropped drastically. Traders at economic centres said: “The average supply of vegetables to economic centres has reduced by about 85% so far, but it is not possible to sell even that more..

Planters counter UN Rapporteur’s worker living conditions assessment

Dec 14 (TM) Planters’ Association of Ceylon (PA) has expressed concerns over comments made following the recent visit by UN Rapporteur Tomoya Obokata on the living conditions of estate workers, and stated that regional plantation companies (RPCs) have ensured that facilities like housing, water and sanitation, childcare, etc. are being provided without considering the cost incurred to relevant companies while continuously engaging with stakeholders to ensure these facilities are provided uninterrupted. more..

Third COVID wave claims lives of 60 pregnant women, 89 children

Dec 14 (CT) The third wave of COVID -19 claimed the lives of a total 60 pregnant women, Director of the Family Health Bureau (FHB) Dr. Chitramalee de Silva said. Dr. De Silva yesterday said since the first COVID-19 wave last year till the third wave this year, 10,500 pregnant women and breast-feeding mothers contracted the virus. It was only with the Delta variant that 60 mothers succumbed. However, the Epidemiology Unit in collaboration with the FHB has vaccinated 95 per cent of them. more..

On-arrival PCRs for all only if Committee recommends

Dec 14 (TM) In response to requests made by certain parties to conduct on-arrival PCR tests on all those entering the country from abroad, the Health Ministry said that it can only be implemented if the Advisory Committee on Covid-19 makes a recommendation to the effect. College of Medical Laboratory Science (CMLS) on Sunday (12) pointed out that instead of imposing restrictions on people coming to SL from specific countries, the authorities should instead take steps to conduct more..

Bimal decries President proroguing Parliament

Dec 14 (CT) President Gotabaya Rajapaksa proroguing Parliament from Sunday (12) is a childish act just to show his power over Parliament, JVP politburo member Bimal Ratnayake alleged. He said proroguing Parliament will dismantle 90% of existing committees with only selected committees continuing to function. “Dismantling the committees such as COPE and Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) will have a huge impact on Parliament and the petitions which were filed will be cancelled automatically. more..

Sri Lanka to reject latest LP gas shipment?

Dec 14 (AD) The latest ship that arrived in Colombo with liquefied petroleum (LP) gas for Litro does not comply with the required level of ethyl mercaptan, Ada Derana learns. According to sources, SL may reject this LP gas shipment. A final decision in this regard is expected to be taken by the technical committee later this morning. Ethanethiol, commonly known as ethyl mercaptan, is added to natural gas as an odorant, usually in mixtures containing methane. It is what makes propane gas smell more..

ගඳ නැති ගෑස් නැව නවතයි...

Ten days to Christmas

Dec 15 (DM) Christmas - one of the most popular events in the Christian calender is just ten days away. In our cities, Christmas has become symbolic with brightly decorated shops, large crowds of especially young children accompanied by their parents, shreiking excitedly as they choose gifts from malls. Children from the lesser affluent or poorer sections of society select their ware from the pavement vendors who crowd the main streets of the capital and big cities elsewhere more..

A collective of morons denied of the truth

Dec 15 (DM) I was recently talking to a very young girl, just past her 10th birthday. She asked me a very blunt question, Did you have the Avengers, when you were my age? I said no. She was quite disappointed. She was even more disappointed when I told her that I vaguely remember a time when there were only two television channels available, each would start at six in the evening and cartoons were half an hour per day. She looked at me as if I had walked off another planet. more..

'The UNP must find a suitable leader with a proven track record'

Dec 15 (DM) UNP General Secretary Palitha Range Bandara spoke on the party’s current standing on mainstream politics, its future and the preparation the greens have for the forthcoming elections. Q: As a frontliner of the Grand Old Party did you ever expect the UNP’s electoral annihilation at the 2020 Parliamentary polls? A: No, we never expected an electoral setback like this in our wildest dreams, but yes, we were aware that more..

Black hand behind power sabotage

Dec 15 (CT) Everybody says that the all-island power-cut last week during the CEB trade-union work-to-rule was sabotage. The unions say it, the General Manager issued a statement to this effect, the Minister said it was so and that if he catches the culprit his going to cut off his you-know-what. Since sabotage is the unanimous view it must have been the work of conspirators with unusual motives. The trade unions lost momentum due to public confusion and the govt has been tethered because more..

Finance minister to export human cargo

Dec 15 (CT) What is the difference between a poor family in economic hardship selling its children to pimps and human traffickers to earn money and a finance minister planning to export 300,000 citizens to Japan, Korea, Rumania & UK to receive $8 bil remittance to replenish the depleting stock of foreign exchange, to pay for imports and settle national debt? Why should one condemn the first as inhuman and morally indefensible while tolerating (if not praising) 2nd as rational economic policy? more..

An oral history of the Polim Yugaya

Dec 15 (TM) “At dawn, hundreds of people wait in bread lines. Elderly men and women pick through garbage. Thieves harvest vegetables and rice in the countryside. Although the Earth is bountiful in SL, the nation of 13 million has a critical food shortage. Moreover, it is going broke, jolted by inflation, torn by internal dissension, and plainly alarmed about the future.” This is how the food and economic crisis in the 1970s had been more..

Make LPG report public

Dec 15 (CT) Ceylon Today in an article published in its issue of 30 November under the heading President appoints committee to probe LP gas issue said, “Prez Rajapaksa has appointed a committee to inquire into and address the issue of LP gas explosions being reported from across the country. It is chaired by Professor Shantha Walpolage of the University of Moratuwa. Other members of the committee are Senior DIG Deshabandu Tennakoon, Professor Ajith de Silva, more..

The opportunity in the HRCSL downgrade

Dec 15 (TM) SL’s national human rights body, the Human Rights Commission of SL (HRCSL) has been recommended to be downgraded by the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI), a leading global organisation of national human rights bodies that is also a partner of the United Nations (UN), with effect from next year. The reasons GANHRI has mentioned for its decision include concerns regarding the appointment process of the HRCSL, including those with more..

රාජ්‍ය සේවයෙන් එළවූ, කවුද මේ පීබී?

Editorial: Democracy and Hellfire

Dec 15 (Island) A few days after the conclusion of US Prez Joe Biden’s virtual Summit for Democracy, where many leaders waxed eloquent on the need to preserve global democracy, some disturbing news has come from Washington. None of the US military personnel involved in a botched drone attack that killed 10 Afghan civilians, including seven children, in Kabul, on 29 Aug, will be punished, the Pentagon has decided, according to media reports. In fact, nobody expected the US to take any action more..

NMSJ proposals for new constitution – Part II

Dec 15 (Island) National Movement for Social Justice (NMSJ) has proposed that SL reverts to a parliamentary form of govt. The NMSJ’s founder, Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera, who was a strong opponent of the Executive Presidency, frequently referred to the warnings of Madam Sirimavo Bandaranaike, Dr N. M. Perera and Dr Colvin R. De Silva against adopting a Presidential form of govt. Madam Bandaranaike said, in 1978: “The effect of this amendment is to place the President more..

Tilting towards India

Dec 15 (CT) India believes it has reclaimed its place in SL after Basil Rajapaksa became the Finance Minister this July. The country's foreign policy has shifted towards India, the US, and its allies such as Japan and Australia, among others. China, sensing Sri Lanka's sudden shift towards India, tweeted the hybrid solar energy power project in the three Northern Province islands was cancelled due to a third party intervention, referring to India. more..

132,639 COVID-19 vaccines administered

Dec 15 (FT) COVID-19 vaccines were administered to 132,639 persons on Monday and 74.23% of the country’s population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to date. Our World in Data states that 64.15% of the population has received the second dose as well. 15,958,080 persons have received the first COVID-19 vaccine dose and 13,793,217 persons have received the second dose. Third dose has been administered to 1,440,705 persons. more..

762 persons test positive for COVID-19

Dec 15 (FT) COVID-19 detections rose to 576,194 with 762 persons testing positive for COVID-19 yesterday and the addition of over 1,500 delayed cases to the total. 1,783 COVID-19 cases detected between 12 November and 30 November were added to the total case count yesterday following verification. Health officials also stated that 760 persons from the New Year cluster and two overseas arrivals tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday. more..

Govt forges ahead with tourism revival despite COVID challenges

Dec 15 (FT) Govt is set to declare 2022 as Visit Sri Lanka Year in line with the integrated five-year Global Communication Campaign (GCC), as its aims for six million tourists and $ 10 billion in earnings by 2025 despite COVID-related challenges. “As per our pre-COVID plan, it is critical to embark on an effective and holistic destination marketing campaign. This targeted program will not be altered even amidst the pandemic challenges,” more..

Seekku rekindles memories of Sharjah and Killer Miller

Dec 15 (Island) The memories David Miller (aka Killer Miller) smashing two successive sixes off Lahiru Kumara in Sharjah to derail SL’s T-20 World Cup campaign are still fresh in memories of SL cricket fans. There was indication yesterday that Kumara has learned little from the ordeal as he was entrusted by Kandy Warriors skipper Angelo Perera to bowl the last over of the Colombo Stars innings with 16 needed in the final over. A single off the first ball brought Sekkuge Prasanna to the strike more..

Scenic Gregory Lake in a sad state; dredging operations begin

Dec 15 (ST) Around 147 years ago the Gregory Lake project in Nuwara Eliya was initiated at a cost of 1200 sterling pounds. Since then it has remained a tourist hub, and there are four parks surrounding the picturesque Lake. There is a boat service operating for tourists, and there are different avenues of employment at the site. The Nuwara Eliya municipality gets revenue from the project, which needs many staff for maintenance work. The lake is fed by adjacent waterways more..

Thushan Gunawardena & Nimal De Silva

Stock market remains bullish ignoring political and economic concerns

Dec 15 (FT) The Colombo stock market sustained its bullishness disregarding political and economic concerns with both indices up over 1% and above average turnover. The All Share Price Index gained by 1.15% or over 134 points and the S&P SL20 improved by 1.3% or over 55 points. Turnover improved to Rs. 8.5 billion involving 533.7 million shares. Expolanka gathered momentum with share price up over 7% to Rs. 375.50 with market capitalisation crossing Rs. 737 billion. more..

SLT divests SLT Campus for Rs. 410 m to consortium of private investors

Dec 15 (FT) Sri Lanka Telecom PLC is to divest 100% control of SLT Campus Ltd. for Rs. 410 million to Tempest Two Ltd., promoters of which are private investors linked to listed and unlisted corporates. Daily FT learns that Tempest secured the deal competing with a listed and unlisted bidder in a three-corner transparent contest. The two firms have entered into a Share Sale and Purchase Agreement (SSPA) and the transaction is subject to terms and conditions set forth in the SSPA. more..

AG advises Chinese fertiliser trade issue resolution

Dec 15 (TM) Attorney General (AG) President’s Counsel Sanjay Rajaratnam has instructed to resolve the dispute that has arisen between China-based Qingdao Seawin Biotech Group and two SL fertiliser companies – Ceylon Fertiliser Company and Colombo Commercial Fertilisers – regarding the purchase of organic fertiliser, on trade terms that can be agreed upon by both parties, according to Agriculture Ministry. more..

Bar Association files petition against CBSL Gazette on repatriation of export proceeds...

Dec 15 (FT) The Bar Association of SL (BASL) yesterday filed a writ petition in the Court of Appeal seeking the issuance of a writ order nullifying the Extraordinary Gazette Notification issued by the Governor of the Central Bank mandating the conversion of foreign currency received through bank accounts into rupees. The petition was filed by BASL President Saliya Peiris PC, and Association Deputy President Anura Maddegoda PC. Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal, more..