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SriLankan IT bags Silver award at FITIS Digital Excellence Awards

Dec 15 (FT) SriLankan Airlines won the Silver award in the ‘Corporate IT Awards’ category at the Digital Excellence Awards organised by FITIS (Federation of Information Technology Industry in SL) which was held recently. The Corporate IT Awards recognises and rewards companies that deliver outstanding operational excellence, measurable business advantage, tangible customer experience or outstanding impact through leading-edge implementation & usage of info. technology. more..

Disgruntled ruling party MP concerned over path to anarchy

Dec 15 (EN) President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s ongoing private visit to Singapore preceded by his decision to prorogue parliament seemingly came to be questioned by a govt MP on Tuesday (14). MP Anura Priyadarshan Yapa, who was chairman of the Committee on Public Finance which now stands dissolved as a consequence of the prorogation of parliament, told reporters that now was not the time to be away. more..

Joes take honours in drawn game

Dec 15 (CT) The 87th Battle of the Saints annual cricket encounter between St. Joseph’s College Colombo and St. Peter’s College Bambalapitiya for the Rev. Fr. Maurice Le Goc Challenge Trophy ended in a draw at the SSC yesterday. Continuing their overnight score of 233 for 6 in 55.3 overs due to rain, St. Joseph’s declared their inning at 261 for 6 in 60 overs. St. Peter’s were bowled out for 138 runs in 56.3 overs. Left hand opener Shenal Botheju scored 62 in 149 balls with 4 boundaries. more..

rāgā elevates Sri Lankan kithul industry

Dec 15 (CT) Agri Deshiya (Pvt.) Ltd. a local company committed to elevate Sri Lanka through value-added agricultural products of SL origin, to international fame, has elevated rāgā, an innovative line of organic, kithul-based products. The launch took place on 14 Dec at the opening of Agri Deshiya Factory which was inaugurated by Minister Wimal Weerawansa in the presence of Minister of Coconut, Kithul and Palmyrah Cultivation, Arundika Fernando & Agri Deshiya management. more..

Talk with Sudaththa

Indian poaching: Devananda meets American envoy

Dec 15 (Island) Fisheries Minister Douglas Devananda has discussed continuing Indian poaching in Northern and Eastern waters of SL with Martin K. Kelly of the US Embassy in Colombo. A statement issued by the Fisheries Ministry on Monday quoted Kelly as having asked EPDP leader Devananda whether the issue had been raised with TN Chief Minister M. K. Stalin. Devananda said he had taken it up with CM Stalin and the Tamil Nadu fisheries minister. more..

I haven’t been in Singapore in over two years, says Nadesan

Dec 15 (TM) Thirukumar Nadesan, who was named in the recent revelations in the Pandora Papers files leak, said that he had not been in Singapore for the past two-and-a-half years, following allegations by JVP Politburo Member Wasantha Samarasinghe that Nadesan had been in Singapore recently to transfer cash. Nadesan said: “I have not been in Singapore at any time in the past two-and-a-half years.” CIABOC has confirmed that Rajapaksa had given her statement to CIABOC on 1 Dec, more..

Gas companies instructed to display composition

Dec 15 (Island) Additional Solicitor General, Farzana Jameel, PC said that the CAA had been directed to recall the old cylinders of gas from the market and to introduce new cylinders with a new colour wrap in future. Nagananda Kodituwakku told the Court of Appeal that the day before yesterday a mother of four children had died. Public safety should be taken into account. AG should not be allowed to abuse his office. more..

Nod for 5G spectrum auction in 1Q -2022

Dec 15 (DN) The much awaited and long overdue SL’s 5G spectrum auction is billed to be carried out in the first quarter of 2022. According to ICTA Chairman Oshada Senanayake, the annual budget for 2022 has given approval to go for a 5G spectrum auction in the first quarter of 2022. “Connectivity is not only about coverage and I think it’s all about unlocking spectrum & looking at new paradigms of what 5G bring on to the table. We cannot just focus on today’s connectivity piece. more..

Opposition to Yugadanavi deal not staged

Dec 15 (CT) Minister Wimal Weerawansa, said they are criticising some of the Govt’s arbitrary decisions because they do not want the Govt to act in a way that contradicts Prez Rajapaksa’s manifesto, and that the public should not be subjected to further crisis as a result of the Govt’s immature actions. He also said various groups and persons are trying to portray the endeavour of the 11 coalition parties in the Govt to criticise its arbitrary actions surrounding the Yugadanavi agreement as staged. more..

Govt denies prorogation of Parliament aimed at dissolving watchdog committees

Dec 15 (Island) Foreign Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris has denied accusations that the sudden prorogation of Parliament was meant to terminate investigations undertaken by parliamentary watchdog committees, COPE, COPA and COPF. The media asked whether President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s decision to prorogue Parliament had been influenced by high profile inquiries conducted particularly by COPE more..

Father and daughter killed, 3 injured in car crash on expressway

Dec 15 (AD) Two persons including a child have died while three others have been injured following an accident on the Southern Expressway between Milleniya and Dodangoda this morning. A car traveling towards Colombo had skidded off the expressway and collided against the railings near the 18km post in Milleniya. The accident had occurred at around 1.30 a.m. today as the car was traveling from Matara towards Colombo on the expressway, while it was reportedly caused more..

President returns from Singapore, Basil leaves for US

Dec 15 (EN) Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa returned home from Singapore ahead of schedule while his younger brother, Finance minister Basil, left for the US on a previously unannounced visit, official sources said. The president was earlier expected to spend about five days in Singapore undergoing medical checks at Mount Elizabeth hospital, but it was not immediately clear why he returned in just two days. Rajapaksa had undergone heart bypass surgery at Mount Elizabeth in May 2019. more..

Same witness signed on behalf of Govt and US Company: JVP

Dec 15 (DM) The person, who signed the controversial Yugadanavi Power Plant agreement as the witness for Finance Ministry Secretary S.R. Attygalle, has also signed as the witness for the US firm, JVP politburo member Sunil Handunnetti revealed yesterday (14). Addressing a media briefing, Handunnetti queried as to how a person could appear as a witness for both, the Sri Lankan Government and the US firm. more..

Sri Lanka’s path to recovery: Restoring human capital in a post-pandemic world

Dec 15 (WB) “2021 has been the hardest year of my life,” says 38-year-old Abirami. Abirami is a domestic aide. Daily wage earners like her have been hit hard by the pandemic. Abirami has been out of work since April 2020, barring a few odd jobs that came her way. Her husband Kumar used to operate a food cart, but that too ended abruptly during lockdown. Unable to make ends meet, the couple was compelled to sell the cart, the only asset they had in their name. more..

Omicron could be ominous for Sri Lanka’s economic revival

Dec 15 (FT) SL’s dependency on export earnings, foreign remittances and tourist earnings for its survival has made it very seriously vulnerable to the effects of the latest COVID mutant, Omicron. If it spreads and international travel restrictions become widespread, foreign remittances and tourism earnings will take a hit, and it could be a mortal hit for SL which is already on the brink of bankruptcy. The Govt appears to continue with its show of confidence that the economic situation more..

මහාචාර්ය සභාපතිවරු කමිටුවලින් පන්නයිද?

CAA directs Litro not to unload latest shipment of LP gas

Dec 15 (AD) The CAA has directed Litro Gas not to unload the latest shipment of LP gas as it does not comply with the SLSI standards. Ada Derana had reported yesterday that the latest shipment of liquefied petroleum (LP) gas that had arrived in Colombo Port for Litro Gas Lanka Limited (LGLL), one of the main suppliers of LPG in SL, does not comply with the required level of ethyl mercaptan. Ethanethiol, commonly known as ethyl mercaptan, is added to natural gas as an odorant, more..

Finance Minister and the forex challenge

Dec 15 (FT) 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 and UK to receive $ 8 billion 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) the second as rational more..

Cabinet objects to Dr. P.B. Jayasundara

Dec 15 (DM) Severe objections against Dr. P.B. Jayasundara have been rising with almost all the minister’s calling for him to step down as the Secretary to Prez Rajapaksa over various concerns, Daily Mirror learns. At Monday’s cabinet meeting the matter had been raised by the ministers briefly and almost all the ministers present had raised concerns and were of the view that Dr. P.B. Jayasundara should resign from the post and more..

'Any eligible person can get booster dose from ang centre across the country'

Dec 15 (DM) Responding to false reports that the booster dose of COVID-19 should be obtained from where the previous shots were obtained, Chief Epidemiologist Dr. Samitha Ginige said the booster shots can be obtained from any centre set up island-wide. He said there was no necessity either to receive the booster shot from the centre where previous doses were obtained or from a centre where the recipient lives closer to. “All eligible individuals above 20 years of age can now more..

DDGHS urges pregnant women to get booster shot

Dec 15 (Island) Pregnant women should get the booster shot without any fear, Deputy Director General of Health Services, Dr. Hemantha Herath said yesterday. He said that during the third wave of the pandemic, 60 unvaccinated pregnant women and 89 children had died of Covid-19. “It is important for everyone to get the third dose of vaccine.” he said, noting that the Omicron variant was spreading rapidly across the world, and it was inevitable that it would spread in Sri Lanka too. more..

Sirisena instructed Intel officials not to attend: Ruwan

Dec 15 (CT) Former State Minister of Defence, Ruwan Wijewardene, testifying before the Colombo High Court Trial-at-Bar, stated yesterday (14), in the aftermath of the 2019 Easter Sunday terror attacks, former Prez Maithripala Sirisena had instructed all intelligence officials not to attend any Security Council meeting convened by then PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. He said in the wake of the blasts, the former PM, had more..

Rangana Herath tests Covid-19 positive in New Zealand

Dec 15 (DT) Bangladesh cricket team's spin bowling coach Rangana Herath, who is currently with the national side in New Zealand for two-match Test series, has tested Covid-19 positive. Bangladesh Cricket Board’s cricket operations committee chairman Akram Khan confirmed the news to media. "Our spin bowling coach Herath has tested Covid-19 positive. According to the rules, Herath may need to undergo more days in quarantine," said Akram. Bangladesh team have completed more..

World renowned scientist to help SL sort out environmental issues

Dec 15 (Island) A world-renowned scientist praised Sri Lanka for its efforts in respect of formulating environment polices. World Agro-forestry (ICRAF) Chief Dr. Fergus Sinclair yesterday agreed to support the environmental projects in the country. Head of the World Agro-forestry (ICRAF) Institute, a distinguished environmental organisation, based in Nairobi, Kenya, Dr. Sinclair had a meeting with Secretary to the Ministry of Environment Dr. Anil Jasinghe yesterday at the Ministry. more..

සිදුවෙන විනාශය ගැන චම්පිකගේ හෙළිදරව්ව

Proof of Covid-19 vaccination mandatory for Sri Pada pilgrimage

Dec 15 (AD) A Gazette Extraordinary has been published, specifying the regulations coming into effect during the Sri Pada pilgrimage season which commences on Dec 18, 2021, and ends on May 16, 2022. The communiqué, dated Dec 13, was issued by Ratnapura District Secretary. As per the regulations, the devotees are required to keep their Covid-19 vaccination card or a copy of the same with them during the pilgrimage. Further, they are advised to wear face masks, maintain more..

Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris hosts Year-end Christmas reception 2021

Dec 15 (MFA) Minister G.L. Peiris hosted a Christmas reception on 12 Dec 2021 at the Hilton Colombo, attended by Heads of Missions of the Diplomatic Corps based in Colombo, Cabinet Ministers, MPs, senior govt officials and representatives of the business sector. PM Rajapaksa and Madam Shiranthi Rajapaksa graced the occasion as Chief Guests. Minister Peris in his welcome address stated that Christmas was a time to celebrate our relationships, friendships and more..

Sri Lanka’s gas tragedy: the untold story

Dec 15 (Island) Recent explosions and gas leak accidents related to domestic LP gas cylinders have created an environment of fear, anxiety, and social unrest throughout the country. More than 400 explosions and gas leak incidents have been reported during the first week of December 2021. In addition, a large number of observations have been made with respect to leaking gas cylinder valves. The reported accidents and incidents more..

SDF starts trading

Dec 15 (EN) SL’s Sarvodaya Development Finance Ltd started trading at CSE following an initial public offer which raised a billion rupees. “Sarvodaya Development Finance Limited (SDF) which is part of the Sarvodaya Movement in SL is the first impact investment opportunity to come to the public market,” Chairman of Colombo Stock Exchange Dumith Fernando said at a bell ringing ceremony. “And we are confident that this will provide and investment opportunity for investors to more..

PHIs at BIA doubled to screen for Omicron

Dec 15 (TM) Health Ministry has doubled the number of public health inspectors (PHI) deployed at the BIA premises in Katunayake, in a bid to intensify the screening process in view of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus two (SARS-CoV-2) Omicron variant (B.1.1.529). Taking into account the possibility of the Omicron variant entering the country, the SL authorities, late last month, banned the arrival of foreign travellers who had been to six countries in the African Continent, more..

Over 100 children drown annually

Dec 15 (CT) The number of children aged 1 to 14 years, who had died as a result of drowning, has been on the rise in the recent years. Annually, more than 100 children have drowned, President of the SL Life Saving (SLLS), Asanka Nanayakkara said. He added, the number of deaths by drowning in other age groups has also increased, with around 900 deaths in 2021. He attributed these deaths to lack of awareness. more..

Arimac innovates and Rredefines the Sri Lankan banking industry

Dec 15 (Island) Mobile payments have seen an increased development after the world faced the COVID-19 crisis in 2020. In the new socially distanced world, customers swiftly moved to digital solutions, whether it was for purchasing groceries or indulging in entertainment. Many businesses had to digitally transform themselves to keep up with the “no contact” way of functioning. “Within ten years, the objects used to make physical payments, be it plastic cards, paper cash, or metal coins more..

Sri Lankan Mission to help Lankans get healthcare jobs in UK

Dec 15 (CT) The UK introduced a Health and Care Worker visa recently which allows medical professionals from foreign countries to fill vacancies in the UK’s National Health System (NHS), an NHS supplier or in adult social care. Recently, based on a job order for nurses placed by a manpower company in the UK, Global Care Solutions Pvt Ltd in Sri Lanka signed a contract to recruit local nurses to work in the UK. Initially, 100 nurses will be recruited under this job order. more..

'Prez is not mastermind of Easter attack'

Dec 15 (EN) SL’s top defence official Wednesday announced that Prez Rajapaksa was not the mastermind of the Easter Sunday carnage that many claim was the catalyst for his ascendency. General Kamal Gunaratne told a press conference organised by Prez Media Division that there was no basis for the allegations against Rajapaksa, a political non-entity at the time, who announced his candidacy two days after more..

Seed imports for seven crops to be restricted

Dec 15 (TM) The Agriculture Ministry is to focus on restricting the importation of seeds of seven crops that can be produced locally, from next year. The Agriculture Ministry, in a media statement, has announced that the import of seeds for potato, big onion, red onion, chillie, undu, maize, and peanuts will be restricted from 2022 onwards. During a meeting held at the Agriculture Ministry yesterday, Agriculture Department Director General Dr. Ajantha de Silva has also stated that more..

GL meets UN Asst. Secretary General to discuss SDG goals

Dec 15 (TM) A meeting was held between the UN Assistant Secretary General and UNDP Assistant administrator Kanni Wignaraja and Foreign Minister G L Peiris today (15). This was made known through the Sustainable Development Council of SL official facebook page. According to the post, the discussion focused on a number of important areas relating to acceleration of SDGs including integrated planning and innovative financing tools for SDGs. Ms Wignaraja appreciated the efforts taken by more..

Retirement age revised to 57 years for Govt workers: Ministry of Finance

Dec 15 (TM) The retirement age of Govt workers has been revised and reduced to 57 years, along with conditions which have been announced by the Ministry of Finance. This announcement was made by the Secretary to the Ministry of Finance S R Attygalle today. The statement mentions that the retirement age that was previously 60 has now been brought down to 57 years, but individuals who would like to continue their service within more..

Foreign Minister Peiris hands over a financial grant to the family of late Priyantha Kumara

Dec 15 (MFA) Minister Prof. G.L Peiris at an event held at the Foreign Ministry today, handed over a financial grant to the family of late Priyantha Kumara who was brutally killed by a mob in Sialkot area, Pakistan recently. Minister Peiris, while expressing his deepest condolences to the family on the tragic death of Priyantha Kumara said that the prime concern at this moment is the future of the two children and the financial security of the family. In this regard, the Minister stated that more..

Korean language exam as part of university entrance examinations from 2023: Envoy

Dec 15 (DM) Korean language has been officially adopted as a foreign language for the A/L curricula from this year, and by 2023, students can choose to sit for a Korean language examination as part of the university entrance examinations, Korean Ambassador Santhush Woonjin JEONG said. He said this after a recent visit to Kandy and meeting with the Central Province Governor, Lalith U. Gamage, at the Governor’s office. The Ambassador mentioned that many Sri Lankans were keen more..