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Intermediate option for crisis management: Indian backstop

Dec 16 (FT) The Govt is in a tight time-crunch. That’s not only because of repayment of debt. That’s because the more explosive time-bomb is the harvest. If the inevitable peasant unrest which will spill-over by Sinhala-Tamil New Year is suppressed by sending in the STF or 1 Corps by the President or Security Chiefs, there will be no social and political comeback for the Rajapaksas from that. The SLPP and the ruling coalition, starting with the PM, must beseech all the deities of their acquaintance more..

Four trends that indicate Sri Lanka’s digital evolution is underway: Perspectives by BCG

Dec 16 (FT) Sri Lanka has been relatively slow to adopt digital platforms and next-gen technologies, be it corporates, individuals, or public sector entities. However, trends are changing as a consequence of rising incomes, exposure to new ideas and technologies, and the influx of innovative start-ups. People are spending more time and resources on becoming tech-savvy and using the digital products at their disposal. These shifts are underscored in our consumer study. more..

අවුරුදු 73 ක විනාශකාරීත්වයේ මාවත වෙනුවට...

Video: Probe launched after body of American national found in Tangalle

Dec 16 (DM) The Tangalle Police have launched an investigation into the death of an American man who was living alone in a two-storey house at Seeni Modara in Tangalle. The body of the 54-year old American national was found in the backyard next to the house. Police said a woman who had brought food to the deceased American, had seen the body and informed the police. Police said there were a number of suspicious signs of burns on the victim's body. Investigations revealed that, more..

Chinese Amb. visits Northern Province

Dec 16 (AD) Chinese Ambassador to SL Qi Zhenhong engaged in a tour of the Northern Province of SL today, Chinese Embassy in Colombo said. The Ambassador started his first visit to the Northern Province from the Jaffna Public Library. Laptops and books were donated to enhance the capacity building and enlarge the collection of this well-known library in Asia, it said. The Embassy said that Amb. Qi Zhenhong also held a discussion with the Northern Province Governor more..

SL confirms 3 more cases of Omicron variant

Dec 16 (AD) SL has confirmed three more cases of Omicron variant of Covid-19 (B.1.1.529), says Dr. Chandima Jeewandara. The new development brings the total number of Omicron cases detected in the country to four. SL confirmed its first Omicron case on Dec 3 in a SL national who recently returned from Nigeria. South Africa alerted the WHO about a new highly mutated SARS-CoV-2 variant on 24 Nov. more..

Navy-manufactured thalassemia infusion systems handed over to Ministry of Health

Dec 16 (SLN) Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Nishantha Ulugetenne handed over Navy-manufactured thalassemia infusion systems to the Ministry of Health, during a simple ceremony held at the Navy Headquarters today (15). The infusion system is very essential for thalassemia patients for the removal of excessive iron deposits gathered in vital organs as a result of frequent blood transfusions. As part of a Naval Social Responsibility initiative, Navy Research & Development Unit more..

Rejuvenation of SL-US dialogue initiated by SL expatriates; Amb counters US resolution

Dec 16 (Island) With the active participation of the new Sri Lanka ambassador to Washington Mahinda Samasasinghe and the United States Congresswoman Susie Lee, a group of SL expatriates in the U.S. activated a zoom meeting on Dec 14 which proved effective toward the rejuvenation of relations between the two nations. The SL expatriates who were conscious of the importance of the two nations establishing a greater understanding of issues initiated more..

Health Ministry reinstates Dr. Shafi Shihabdeen

Dec 16 (EN) Ministry of health has decided to reinstate Dr Shafi Sihabdeen of the Kurunegla Teaching Hospital who was sent on compulsory leave over unproven allegations of forced sterilisation, reports said. A ministry communiqué sent to the Kurunegala teaching hospital director seen by EconomyNext has also advised that Dr Sihabdeen’s salary arrears going back over two years are also paid. more..

Sri Lanka cuts tea export tax, abolishes regulation on promotions

Dec 16 (EN) SL has cut an export tax on tea to 3 rupees a kilogram and abolished a regulation issued in 2010 dealing with the collection and use of the money for promotions, according a govt notice. A gazette notice issued under the hand of the chairman of the agency said SL Tea Board (Collection of Levy for Tea Promotion and Marketing Strategy) Regulations, No. 1 of 2010 have been rescinded with effect from December 14. The regulations set an export cess of 3.50 rupees more..

Video: Come out of hiding places and tell the truth: Johnston to Gas Company heads

Dec 16 (DM) Minister Johnston Fernando today urged the chairmen and top officials of the gas companies to come out of their hiding places and tell the people the truth about the prevailing crisis. Speaking to the media during a ceremony at Werahera to lay the foundation stone for the construction of Werahera bridge in Colombo-Horana Road, minister said that the top officials and chairmen of gas companies have a responsibility to come up with solutions for issues related to more..

Sri Lankans who caught COVID-19 after two jabs advised to delay booster

Dec 16 (EN) Any COVID-19 patients in SL who tested positive even after getting two doses of a vaccine are advised to wait six months before getting a booster dose. The protection provided by the two initial jabs and the natural immunity from the infection should be enough for the body to fight the virus. “So, there is no point in getting a booster at that time since it will not increase the patient’s immunity any further,” more..

STF recovers large cache of ammunition from Kilinochchi

Dec 16 (TM) The STF has recovered a huge cache of ammunition from Ramya Road in the area of Kilinochchi. 84 boxes in total, each containing 750 rounds of ammunition used for T-56 firearms, were unearthed from a plot of land where concrete structures are made. In addition, 46,000 more rounds of T-56 ammunition, 800 bullets used for M-60 machine guns, and 400 rounds of MPMG ammunition were also unearthed by the STF personnel. It is believed that this cache more..

Civil society appreciate release of 10 persons held under PTA, condemns continuing...

Dec 16 (Island) SL Collective for Consensus (SLCC) says following talks with the govt over the detention of 10 persons in terms of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), they have been granted bail on the instructions of the Attorney General. The SLCC is engaged in discussions with Prez Rajapaksa’s govt to explore ways and means to reach consensus on post-war national reconciliation. The following is the text of statement issued by the SLCC: In recent days, the govt has sent mixed signals with more..

හර්ෂ ද සිල්වා

On assurances of solutions to demands: Postal TUs call off strike

Dec 16 (CT) Postal trade unions ended a 32-hour strike at midnight on Tuesday, and said they would engage in more trade union action if the authorities fail to give favourable solutions to their demands. Lanka Postal Services Union President, Jagath Mahinda said, “On 13 Dec, representatives of several postal unions met the Secretary to the Ministry of Mass Media to discuss our demands and concerns. However, the discussion was limited for two hours and only eight major concerns more..

Money printing increases by Rs 16B

Dec 16 (CT) Govt of SL's face value money printing (FVMP) debt established two records yesterday due to a sustained lack of revenue. They were hitting the highest FVMP debt figure of Rs 1,841,772.24 million (Rs 1.8418 T) and such debt entering the one hundredth (100th) consecutive market day to yesterday. The previous highest FVMP debt figure was Rs 1.8356 trillion established two days ago on Monday. Yesterday over the previous day Tuesday, GoSL’s FVMP debt increased by 0.86% more..

Fertiliser Secretariat defends smelly fertiliser

Dec 16 (TM) Following complaints by farmers that locally produced liquid fertiliser distributed through Agrarian Service Centres in several areas had a foul smell, National Fertiliser Secretariat (NFS) has stated that it is not fair to spread misinformation about such fertiliser based on minor issues. NFS Director Chandana Lokuhewage said: “Solid fertiliser is also produced using animal waste and they also have a foul smell. more..

10,000 unqualified plumbers in our country: PUCSL Chairman

Dec 16 (DM) About 10,000 plumbers are providing services in the country and most of them do not hold any qualifications, Public Utilities Commission of SL (PUCSL) Chairman Janaka Ratnayake said. While participating in the launch of the first programme of awarding the NVQ3 qualification to plumbers in Kalutara District yesterday, he said that it empowers plumbing technicians engaged in the water supply industry to achieve the NVQ3 under the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) system. more..

Colombo University: 2668 students to receive honours at graduation

Dec 16 (DM) The graduation of the Uni of Colombo for 2019 will be held from Dec 17-19 at the BMICH. A total of 2668 students are expected to receive certificates of graduation from the faculties, institutes, schools and campuses of uni. Chancellor Sasana Kirti Sri Buddha Sasana Shobhana Ven. Murutthettuwe Ananda Nayaka Thera, VC Senior Professor Chandrika N. Wijeyaratne, the Rector, Deans, Directors, Librarian, Academic staff members, the Registrar, and the Bursar will more..

Ministry instructs Police to prevent custodial deaths

Dec 16 (TM) With several incidents being reported this year and last year of deaths of persons while in police custody, Public Security Ministry has stated that the Police has been given very clear instructions to prevent such deaths. When questioned by The Morning as to whether the Public Security Ministry has any plans in place to prevent such incidents, Public Security Ministry Secretary Maj. Gen. (Retd.) Jagath Alwis said that more..

Thilina Gamage acquitted from elephant calf case

Dec 16 (TM) The Colombo High Court today ordered to acquit and release interdicted Magistrate Thilina Gamage from the case filed over the illegal possession of an elephant calf. Delivering the decision today, Colombo High Court Judge Damith Thotawatte stated that the prosecution has failed to prove the allegations against the defendant Thilina Gamage beyond a reasonable doubt. Therefore the court ordered to acquit and release him from the case, Ada Derana reporter said. more..

Sri Lankan CEO Vipula to retire

Dec 16 (TM) SriLankan Airlines Group Chief Operating (CEO) and Chief Finance Officer (CFO) Vipula Gunatilleka will be retiring at the end of the year upon the conclusion of his current contract with the company. Speaking to us yesterday (15), SriLankan Airlines Group Chairman Ashok Pathirage dismissed the rumours that are circulating, stating that the SriLankan Airlines CEO/CFO will be resigning over a dispute in relation to the reduction of salaries of SriLankan Airlines pilots. more..

GMOA slams health ministry

Dec 16 (CT) The GMOA slammed the Health Ministry for delaying appointment of medical administrators, alleging that even after six months the Ministry had been unable to appoint a committee inclusive of all stakeholders to submit recommendations in this regard. GMOA Secretary, Dr. Senal Fernando alleged that former Health Minister, Dr. Rajitha Senaratne had made changes to qualifications & postgraduate qualifications more..

Further hearing of FR petitions against Yugadanavi deal tomorrow

Dec 16 (AD) Supreme Court has postponed the hearing of Fundamental Rights (FR) petitions challenging the Yugadanavi Power Plant agreement until 10 a.m. tomorrow. The applications were called before a five-judge bench consisting of Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya and SC Justices Buwaneka Aluvihare, Priyantha Jayawardena, Vijith Malalgoda and L.T.B. Dehideniya is taking up the petitions this morning. President’s Counsel Manohara de Silva presented submissions on behalf of several more..

Digitalised health declaration for all inbound travellers

Dec 16 (TM) Director General of Health Services (DGHS) Dr. Asela Gunawardena said that the Ministry of Health will be requiring a digitalised health declaration form from all travellers to Sri Lanka, both locals and foreigners, in order to reduce the time taken at the airports after they arrive in the country. “All travellers will be able to download a Quick Response (QR) code from January and declare their health digitally. Prior to this, travellers could fill a form manually more..

Former NIC Chief will not be called in as witness – DSG

Dec 16 (TM) Attorney General Sanjay Rajaratnam, yesterday (15), informed the Colombo High Court Trial-at-Bar that former National Intelligence Chief (NIC), Sisira Mendis will not be called in as a witness in the case against former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando over the Easter Sunday terror attacks in 2019. Former Defence Secretary has been charged before the High Court with failing to prevent more..

SJB flays Prez for proroguing during worst-ever crisis

Dec 16 (Island) President should not have prorogued Parliament and left the country, which is faced with the biggest ever economic crisis since independence, the main opposition SJB says. Addressing the media, yesterday, Kandy District SJB MP Lakshman Kiriella said the President had been given powers by the Constitution to prorogue Parliament, but he should not have done so when the country was confronted with a crisis of this enormity. more..

Online system to receive deeds and extracts from today: Register General

Dec 16 (DM) An online system for the issuing of copies of deeds and extracts was launched today, Register General of the Register General's Department W.M.M.B. Weerasekara said. He said obtaining copies of birth, marriage, and death certificates had been made online from Aug 2 Accordingly, people can obtain a maximum of five extract copies and deed copies from all land registries in the country. He said the system was introduced to reduce the difficulties in more..

යුගදනවි ගිවිසුමට පෙත්සම් විභාගය ඇරඹේ...

Sri Lanka must slowly open up for sports

Dec 17 (DM) School sports have begun after a stoppage for Covid. This is a welcome move by the school authorities and more than anything else children have now got the opportunity again to express themselves in extracurricular activities. Sports are so important in character building and it’s essential that the youth turn out to be allround students. We saw the cricket big matches being played sans spectators. It must be hard for these children to get used to such an environment more..

No more excuses, scapegoats, blame games

Dec 17 (TM) Speculation is rife that President’s Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera is considering resigning from his post in the face of mounting pressure from a number of members of the Govt. Certain media reports claim that this situation is caused by various allegations against Dr. Jayasundera, including taking decisions that have caused governmental failures, and not being available for discussion, and that the current Irrigation Ministry Secy Anura Dissanayake more..

Constructive criticism from within

Dec 17 (CT) The 2nd session of the Mahajana Manthri Sabhawa was held on Tuesday at Eheliyagoda. Given below are extracts of the five Ministers who spoke at the gathering. Wimal Weerawansa said they were criticising the Govt’s arbitrary decisions because it contradicted Prez Rajapaksa’s manifesto and the public should not be affected anymore by their slapdash decisions. Various groups and individuals are attempting to stage more..

Karma is hunting

Dec 17 (DM) Before the Covid-19 pandemic, SL was infested by a pandemic of a different kind: An outbreak of borderline racism and boundless populist irrationality. The carriers and incubators of that pathogen are now the stakeholders of the current govt. Then in the opposition, they spread a mass hysteria laced with racist dog-whistling, conspiracy theories and promises to fix it all through the pie in the sky economic policies and an exclusivit restructuring of the state at the expense more..

Do people’s representatives represent the people?

Dec 17 (DM) Veteran Communist Party politician and the former Chairman of the COPE DEW Gunasekara on the eve of the last year’s parliamentary election listed four qualifications that the people’s representatives must possess. They must be able to contribute to make laws, make policies supervise public finance and represent the people, he argued. Do people’s representatives in our Parliament, leave alone those who are elected to provincial councils and local govt bodies, more..

How Colomboscope's artists stayed connected despite months of lockdown

Dec 17 (Roar) Colomboscope takes centre stage yet again in Jan 2022 under the theme Language is Migrant, bringing together artists from all corners of the world to showcase in Colombo’s leading contemporary arts festival and creative platform. To make the most of months spent in lockdown, the platform has been hosting online events to create safe, virtual spaces for artists to connect. more..

Editorial: Another tsunami?

Dec 17 (Island) Restrictions currently in place to prevent Covid-19 will not be ramped up in view of the upcoming festive season, Dr. Asela Gunawardena has said, urging the public to exercise caution. Whether Sri Lankans will do as the good doctor says is in doubt, for they are given to living dangerously. They however are not alone in doing so. Humans pride themselves on their intelligence, but it looks as though they had proved through their pandemic response that they are dumbest more..

Sri Lanka vs Ceylon

Dec 17 (ST) Hiran Cooray, chairman of Jetwing Symphony hotels and tourism industry veteran, raised an interesting point the other day, which should generate a lot of debate and discussion. He told a marketing seminar that the country is struggling with a brand identity. “This is a country that’s struggling with (a) brand image. We have two names Ceylon and SL,” he said, according to one newspaper report. He is right. There is Ceylon Tea, which has been positioned for over a century more..

ඩොලර් ඉපයීම සහ ණය ගෙවීම

Game of musical chairs at RTI commission, one leaves, who will come next?

Dec 17 (CT) SL civil society activists were scrambling on Thursday to nominate a replacement for Dr Athulasiri Samarakoon who resigned from the country’s Right to Information Commission just two days after sending his letter of acceptance to the Prez Secretariat. Dr Samarakoon had been nominated by the National Movement for Social Justice (NMSJ) and was one of four independent Commissioners who had provided the balance to Prez Rajapaksa’s appointment on Saturday more..