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HNB Finance acquires 87% stake of Prime Finance for Rs. 2.1 b

Dec 21 (FT) HNB Finance PLC is set to buy a 87% stake of Prime Finance PLC for Rs. 2.1 billion in a deal worth Rs. 20.10 per share, inclusive of a mandatory offer to remaining shareholders. The deal was at a premium to the market as Prime Finance closed on Friday at Rs. 17 per share. Net asset per share as at 30 September 2021 was Rs. 19.26, up from Rs. 18.71 as at end FY21. Acuity Stockbrokers was the broker to the deal done via a crossing. Post announcement Prime Finance gained more..

මුරුත්තෙට්ටුවේ එක්ක හුරතල් වීම...

Hela Apparel Holdings set for landmark IPO

Dec 21 (FT) Colombo Stock Exchange has formally approved the Initial Public Offering (IPO) of Hela Apparel Holdings Ltd. (the holding company of the Hela Clothing Group), with the offer set to open on 12 Jan 2022. This highly anticipated IPO by one of SL’s leading social-capital focused apparel supply chain solution providers, will see 267,108,998 new ordinary voting shares offered to the public at a per-share price of Rs. 15. The issue, which is being jointly managed by CT CLSA and CAL, more..

19 more COVID-19 fatalities confirmed

Dec 21 (FT) Nineteen more COVID-19 fatalities were confirmed on Sunday and the country’s death toll has risen to 14,771. The fatalities confirmed on Sunday include 12 persons over 60 years and seven persons between 30 and 59 years. Zero deaths were confirmed from the under-30 age category. 76.48% of the total fatalities are over 60 years, 22.35% of the fatalities are between 30 and 59 years, and 1.17% of the fatalities are below 30 years. Of the total fatalities, 8,279 are male more..

SDIG Tennakoon’s report reveals: 7 killed in gas cylinder related accidents

Dec 21 (CT) Seven people have been killed due to gas cylinder related accidents across the country this year and five of the deaths were reported from September to December, a report prepared by SDIG, Deshabandu Tennakoon on recent gas related explosions said. These 7 deaths were recorded from Thalathuoya on 20 March, Maradana on 24 March, Welikada on 24 Sept, Kottawa on 15 Sept, Kandapola on 21 Oct, more..

JKH on course to become a ‘modern and premium’ conglomerate: Krishan Balendra

Dec 21 (FT) John Keells Holdings Plc (JKH) is one of the largest diversified conglomerates in Sri Lanka with over 70 companies in seven diverse industry sectors. It remains the darling of and a proxy for foreign institutional portfolio investors into Sri Lanka. With a history of over 150 years, John Keells Group provides employment to over 14,000 persons whilst it is a full member of the World Economic Forum and a Participant of the UN Global Compact. The Market Pulse, a joint initiative of more..

Planters’ Association condemns politically-connected land encroachments at...

Dec 21 (FT) Planters’ Association of Ceylon (PA) in a statement yesterday strongly condemned a recent incident of forceful and illegal encroachments of estates managed by the Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs) and called on the Government and law enforcement officials to uphold the rule of law in RPC estates. The statement was a response to an incident on 6 Dec, during which a gang of around 200 individuals forcefully encroached on an extent of 8.5 hectares, at Madampe estate, more..

Nearly 2 million people have received booster shots

Dec 21 (Island) Dr. Hemantha Herath said that those between 16 and 20 years would be given the second as well as the booster in due course. He said that an announcement would be made in that regard soon. Top official said so when questioned the rationale in denying the 18-20 category, that included the student community, at least two doses at a time people 20 and above were being administered the third jab. more..

LPL: Kings face Giants test to revive campaign in qualifier 2

Dec 21 (CT) Seeking a return to winning ways, Thisara Perera led Jaffna Kings will have their work cut out when they take on high riding Dambulla Giants in Qualifier 2 of the LPL 2021 at the Mahinda Rajapaksa Int'l Stadium, Hambantota today. Jaffna Kings are heading towards the big picture after a disappointing performance against Galle Gladiators, to whom they lost by a massive margin of 64 runs in Qualifier 1. Despite back-to-back losses against Colombo Stars and Galle Gladiators, more..

Indian players Rahul and Savitha top the table

Dec 21 (CT) V.S. Rahul (2387) of India continued to lead with 5 ½ points out of possible 6 games when he drew against his colleague Int'l Master Srihari Raghunandan (2448) in the 6th round of the Asian Junior Chess Championship 2021 held at Citrus Hotel Waskaduwa. Earlier, he beat International Master GB Harshavardhana in the 4th round and the top seed, International Master Mitrabha Guha (both from India) in the 5th round convincingly. He will meet SL’s National Chess Champion more..

අපි වේගයෙන් ලෙබනනයට දිහාවට..

Essential food containers worth $ 25 m stuck in Port due to forex crisis

Dec 21 (FT) The Essential Food Importers Association claimed that over 1,000 containers worth $ 25 million were stuck at the Colombo port as banks refused to release foreign exchange to clear the goods. “We have around 1,200 to 1,300 boxes containing essential food items, and another 500 containers of small importers are stuck at Colombo port. Banks continue to say they do not have sufficient foreign exchange to issue,” Essential Food Importers Association said. more..

CBSL governor, Finance Secretary summoned to next Cabinet meeting

Dec 21 (AD) Governor of Central Bank of SL, Ajith Nivard Cabraal and Secretary to the Finance Ministry, S. R. Attygalle will be summoned to the next meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers. Reportedly, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has given directives at the Cabinet meeting held today (20) to inform the CBSL governor and the Finance Secretary to attend the next meeting. It was also reported last week that the duo would be summoned to the Cabinet meeting held on Dec. 13. more..

X-Press Pearl toxic waste to be buried in Puttalam?

Dec 21 (TM) FSP General Secretary Pubudu Jayagoda alleged that there are plans underway to bring hazardous waste from the MV X-Press Pearl wreck into the country and bury it in limestone quarries in the Puttalam District. “An international tender by MV X-Press Pearl’s owners has permitted the private company Resolve Marine to remove the containers embedded in the seabed, following the disaster earlier this year. more..

Govt assures uninterrupted fuel supply

Dec 21 (FT) Govt yesterday assured to take all possible steps to ensure uninterrupted fuel supply, amidst an escalating foreign exchange crisis in the country. “Our exports earnings per month on an average is around $ 1 billion and we have noticed that a large amount of foreign income that is generated via exports are not remitted back to the economy. This situation, which was brewing since May, has now reached a critical stage,” Energy Minister Udaya Gammanpila told journalists. more..

2022 uni intake to be increased by 10,000

Dec 21 (Island) Minister of Education Dinesh Gunawardena revealed that the university intake would be increased by 10,000 in 2022. He said that Prez Rajapaksa had decided that more students should be entrolled for university education. Minister Gunawardena made the announcement during a visit to the Uni of Peradeniya. Minister said that increased opportunities would also be provided for students who wished to pursue external degrees programmes. more..

Expert committee recommends regulatory body for LPG

Dec 21 (FT) Presidential expert committee has recommended a separate organisation to regulate the distribution of Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) in the country. The 8-member expert committee prepared the final report which was handed over to Prez Rajapaksa after investigations carried out in 11 institutions, including the on-site inspections and inquiries conducted on country’s two LPG companies — Litro Gas Ltd., and more..

JVP calls doing away with MPs’ pensions, maintenance of retired presidents,...

Dec 21 (Island) Country’s economy cannot be shored up without plugging the holes such as MPs pensions, mansions for ministers and maintenance of former presidents, security and other provisions for politicos, JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake says. Addressing the national convention of the JVP-led NPP, he said politics should be rid of parasites. “It should be public service and the politicians should be made to serve people without enjoying special privileges. more..

Last 6 mo.: 38 animals die at Dehiwela zoo

Dec 21 (CT) 38 animals, mostly zebras and rabbits, in the Dehiwala Zoological Gardens have died due to various reasons within a span of just six months. Director General Sharmila Rajapaksa said 18 mammals, 17 birds, and three reptiles died in the last six months. She said that they researched the deaths of these animals, specifically observing that the lifespan of zebras is extremely short. She stated that the cause of zebra fatalities is because they breed in the same blood line due to more..

SL hikes petrol to Rs177, diesel Rs121 litre

Dec 21 (EN) State-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation has hiked petrol by 20 rupees to 177 rupees a litre and auto diesel by 10 rupees to 121 rupees, as money printing depreciated the rupee and global commodity prices also went up due to Federal Reserve loose policy. Petrol 95 Octane was raised up by 23 rupees to 203 rupees a litre. Super diesel was raised by 15 rupees a litre to 159 rupees. more..

Surging money supply pulls inflation to double-digit mark

Dec 21 (FT) The annual inflation rate has reached the double-digit mark for the first time after a lapse of 12 years, aggravating SL’s multipronged economic crisis. The economy is already hit by external debt servicing problems, low inward remittances and tourist earnings, foreign exchange shortage, consumer goods scarcities, low savings and investment, and production downfall. While supply shortages, high production costs, rupee depreciation and increased import prices more..

Mahinda College former principal further remanded

Dec 21 (DN) The non-academic staff member and the former principal of Mahinda College, Galle, were further remanded until Jan 3, when they were produced before court from the remand prison yesterday. Both had been remanded for allegedly preparing fraudulent documents and embezzling Rs. 2,156,200 from funds of the School Development Society when they were produced before the Magistrate on Dec 2. Hasini Alahakoon, a Development Officer of non-academic staff more..

පඹයෝ වගේ ඉන්න ඇමතිවරුන්ගේ අසාධාරණ...

There’s a hole in the bucket, dear Lanka

Dec 21 (FT) Most people of my vintage or prior to that may be familiar with the song There’s a hole in the bucket, which was made extremely popular by Harry Belafonte and Odetta, aired through Radio Ceylon in the good olden times. In my own way I relate that bucket to my beloved country Sri Lanka and the hole to the political culture/system existing in the country. Because most natural treasures and almost all wealth accumulated through blood, grit and sweat of the working-class people more..

12 minority parties to sign a document on devolution of power

Dec 21 (DM) Around 12 minority parties are to sign a document which contains common proposals for devolution of power in Colombo today. This is to be handed over to the govt later. The signatories of the documents will be MP R. Sampanthan representing TNA, MP Mano Gansean representing TPA, mavai Senathirajah representing ITAK, C. V. Vigneswaran representing TMK, TELO President Selvam Adiakanathan, President DPLF Tharamalingam Sithartan, more..

Australia to assist Sri Lanka to become regional educational hub

Dec 21 (AD) Australia’s Minister of Home Affairs Karen Andrews, calling on Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Monday, has promised to render the assistance of her country to Sri Lanka to become an educational hub in the region. She pointed out that this will be enabled by establishing educational institutions in Sri Lanka which provide facilities to students from other countries who wish to pursue degrees in Australia, to study basic stages more..

Over 100,000 Lankans migrated for overseas employment in 2021

Dec 21 (DN) Nearly 110,000 Sri Lankans migrated for foreign employment as at the end of this year, said Additional General Manager (International Affairs) of the SLBFE Mangala Randeniya. He was speaking at a two-day programme held on Dec 16 and 17 at the JAIC Hilton organized by the Voice of Migrants, a coalition of 23 national and grassroots civil society organizations, trade unions, lawyers and international NGOs working on matters of labour migration. more..

Prez releases Ecological floating islands to purify Beira Lake

Dec 21 (TM) President Gotabaya Rajapaksa released a thousand ecological floating islands to the Beira Lake initiating the purifying process of the lake. The Beira Lake has been polluted due to unauthorized urbanization and improper upgrading of sewerage infrastructure in the city of Colombo. The Ecological floating islands method was implemented under the guidance of Chairman of the Land Development Corporation, Retired Major General M.R.W. de Soyza. more..

Cabinet debates IMF bailout for second week

Dec 21 (EN) Ministers had exchanged views on an IMF bailout for the second week in a row but no decision had been made, a minister said as the country continued to face an external amid money printing. He said different views (vividher adahas) were expressed by ministers. “Ministers expressed their individual views (thummer-tha-mun-gay muther) clearly at this cabinet and the last one,” co-cabinet more..

Paddy harvest to drop by 4M metric tonnes

Dec 21 (CT) The paddy harvest in the upcoming season will decline by 4 million metric tonnes as one-third of the farmers nationwide had given up farming, Chairman of the National Govijana Collective (NGC) Anurada Tennakoon warned. He emphasised that it was the responsibility of the subject Minister to provide an uninterrupted supply of organic or chemical fertiliser during the Yala Season. He stated that the subject Minister also has the responsibility to ensure food security, more..

Kilo of rice might hit Rs 500, says farmers’ association leader

Dec 21 (Island) The price of a kilo of rice would exceed Rs 500 mark soon, National Organiser of the All Ceylon Agrarian Federation, Namal Karunaratne said. He said that paddy cultivation during the current Maha season had suffered huge blows and it would inevitably result in massive decreases in the harvest. “Currently the price of a kilo of rice varies but the average is between Rs 140 and 165. With a drop in the paddy yield, this will hit the Rs 500 mark sooner than expected. more..

Presidential committee reveals reason for recent LPG-related incidents

Dec 21 (AD) The root cause for the recent domestic liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinder-related incidents in the country was a result of the change in the composition, the presidential committee appointed on the matter says. Chairman of the said committee, Prof. Shantha Walpolage of the Uni of Moratuwa revealed this during a press conference held today. Upon making inspections where the incidents were reported, more..

President inspects Bandarawela Plant Tissue Culture Center

Dec 21 (PMD) Prez Rajapaksa inspected the Plant Tissue Culture Center and Mushroom Seed Production Unit at Bindunuwewa in Bandarawela which are managed by the Uva Provincial Department of Agriculture. The center grows tissues of flower plants and fruit plants including banana and mango. The Center also facilitates the educational research activities of university Faculties of Agriculture and school children. A Model Farm is also maintained at the site to train more..

Sri Lanka to allot state-owned land to singer Yohani De Silva

Dec 21 (EN) Cabinet of ministers has approved a proposal a to allot 9.68 perches of land to popular singer Yohani De Silva whose cover of Sinhala-language pop hit Manike Mage Hithe made waves in India and elsewhere. The proposal was made by PM Rajapaksa in his capacity as Minister of Buddha Sasana, Religious and Cultural Affairs. Various parties had proposed to the Prime Minister that a piece of land near Sri Lanka’s capital be awarded to De Silva in recognition of her achievement. more..

ගෑස් කොම්පැනි බේරා ගන්න ආණ්ඩුව කිතුලට නගියි

50% of bakeries shut down operations: ACBOA

Dec 21 (CT) Around 50% of bakeries islandwide have stopped operations due to gas related explosions and severe shortage of gas in the market, ACBOA claimed. ACBOA chairman N.K. Jayawardana claimed they will have to close bakeries completely if the Govt does not provide any effective solution for the current crises. “We have already spoken to all the related authorities and informed them about this situation. Unfortunately, none of the officials seem to be interested more..

Immediate action needed to prevent famine in 2022: Amaraweera

Dec 21 (CT) Govt should immediately establish a programme to improve cultivation to avoid a possible famine next year as some experts continue to warn, Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said. “Some of our experts and scientists have already predicted a famine in the country next year. Also a crisis situation particularly with regard to fertiliser has caused crop damage and the inability to cultivate in a timely manner due to floods,” he said. Speaking further, Amaraweera warned, more..

7 involved in major social media scam arrested at JAIC Hilton

Dec 21 (DM) Seven suspects involved in various scams through the social media, have been arrested during a raid at the JAIC Hilton in Colombo, Police said. SSP Nihal Thalduwa said that the suspects were arrested during a search operation conducted by the Walana Anti-Corruption Division on Monday night. It has been revealed that the suspects had been staying in the hotel and were using social media plat­forms to obtain more..

NGJA to host Colombo Gem and Jewellery Expo next year

Dec 21 (CT) There are over 25 top gem owners in SL, having nearly 100 varieties of large gems, who are unable to sell or expose their priceless stones, the National Gem and Jewellery Authority (NGJA) said. The NGJA hopes to host a mega int'l auction and exhibition platform known titled Colombo Gem and Jewellery Expo next year to expose those gems and take advantage of a unique opportunity for SL. They are millionaires of SL and they need a special platform to introduce their precious gems, more..

Sri Lanka’s Border Risk Assessment Centre inaugurated

Dec 21 (TM) Fulfilling a long-felt need in the country, Border Risk Assessment Centre (BRAC) in SL was ceremonially inaugurated on Monday (Dec 20) at the Suhurupaya building complex in Battaramulla. The event was graced by Australian Minister for Home Affairs Karen Andrews and SL’s Minister Chamal Rajapaksa. According to the Defence Ministry, BRAC was established as part of SL’s Integrated Border Management (IBM) strategy under Ministry of Defence with technical support more..