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HIV infections spike among youth

Dec 2 (TM) National Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) and AIDS Control Programme has pointed out the need for the provision of proper sex education, citing the significant increase in the infection of HIV among youth between the ages of 15 and 24 years over the past five years. National STD and AIDS Control Programme Director Dr. Rasanjalee Hettiarachchi, said: “According to our statistics, infection of HIV among the youths between the ages of 15 & 24 years has increased in last 5 yrs. more..

Australia grants Rs 135M for mine clearance

Dec 2 (CT) The Australian High Commission has granted additional A$ 1 million (Rs 135 million) for the landmine clearance, the Mine Advisory Group (MAG), until December 2022. Australia has been a consistent supporter of mine clearance in Sri Lanka since the end of the 30-year conflict in 2009 and has spent more than A$ 20 million (Rs 2.7 billion), on mine clearance. Since 2002, MAG has cleared over 43 sq km of land and recovered over 92,000 landmines and other unexploded items. more..

Sri Lanka has accurate understanding on spread of Omicron: Health officials

Dec 2 (AD) Health officials have noted that SL has an accurate understanding regarding the spread of the new Omicron variant and that laboratory facilities are available to identify the virus through genetic analysis if it enters the country. These views were expressed at a media briefing organized by the Presidential Media Center, today under the theme The country is ready to eliminate Omicron variant. The press conference was attended by more..

Finance Minister, CB Governor to open Economic Summit

Dec 2 (EN) Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa and Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal will inaugurate the Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2021, organized by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. The theme for the 21st Sri Lanka Economic Summit is based on creating an environment that will be a Springboard for Revival, leveraging on the Opportunity to Reset. Governor Cabraal will deliver the keynote address. Chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, more..

Donations to enrol students: Underprivileged parents struggling to raise money: Stalin

Dec 2 (CT) Ceylon Teachers’ Union (CTU) General Secretary, Joseph Stalin, yesterday (1) said underprivileged parents are struggling to raise money to pay donations when enrolling their children to popular schools. Due to this, many underprivileged parents lose the opportunity to enrol their children to popular schools in their area. Stalin added that this situation must change. It is only then that talented underprivileged children can reap the benefits of the free education system, more..

Sri Lanka faces blackouts after CEB official resisting unsolicited deals removed

Dec 2 (EN) Sri Lanka’s power sector has plunged into a crisis with a trade union warning of blackouts after a senior official who resisted unsolicited power deals was sent on compulsory leave and alleged attempts are in motion to undermine the independence of the general manager. CEB Engineers Union had earlier resisted attempts to give a liquefied natural gas supply monopoly to US-based New Fortress Energy on an unsolicited more..

Don’t focus on variants, but on general pandemic control: Dr. Hemantha Herath

Dec 2 (TM) The Health Ministry has stated that in the current situation, it is more important to take necessary steps to protect against the Covid-19 pandemic in general than to look out for each Covid-19 variant. The Health Ministry’s Communications Director, Dr. Hemantha Herath said: “The most important thing in this situation is to take the necessary steps to prevent the Covid-19 pandemic in general, rather than to find out whether it is the Omicron variant or not.” more..

More information about Omicron needs to be available to get clearer picture: SLMA

Dec 2 (DM) While stating that it's premature to draw conclusions about the new COVID variant, the Sri Lanka Medical Association said the theories and opinions put forward by experts, are yet to be proven. SLMA President Dr Padma Gunaratne said that in every pandemic situation, things tend to change from time to time. "Experts are of the opinion that the new variant is more transmissible than previous versions of the virus, and that it may be able to bypass certain levels of immunity. more..

Azath Salley demands compensation upon acquittal: Three MPs noticed for making...

Dec 2 (DM) Three MPs who made complaints against former Western Province Governor Azath Salley were noticed to appear in court on Feb 21 by Colombo High Court for allegedly causing Salley's arrest without sufficient grounds. The Court made this order pursuant to a request made by counsel for Azath Salley in terms of section 17 of the Code of Criminal Procedure Act. President's Counsel Maithri Gunaratne appearing for more..

Withdraw controversial gas cylinders to prevent further disasters: Vijitha

Dec 2 (DM) Claiming that immediate intervention of the Govt was needed to resolve the incidents of gas explosions, NPP MP Vijitha Herath said steps should be taken to withdraw the controversial gas cylinders from the market preventing further disasters. He told Parliament that the President had called for a report within two weeks and said immediate action was needed for this issue without waiting for more time to address this issue. “If we wait for two more weeks, more damage would be caused by then. more..

Attanayake takes on Ranil in Parliament over Hambantota port

Dec 2 (DM) Heated arguments erupted with regard to the Hambantota Port in Parliament today. The initial argument arose between SJB MP Tissa Attanayake and Former PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. Mr. Attanayake said the port was sold to China while Mr. Wickremesinghe said it was given only on a 70-year lease. “When an asset is leased for a period more than 33 years, it is considered sold,” Mr. Attanayake argued. Minister Rohitha Abeygunawardene who joined the cross talk more..

මාධ්‍යට ආණ්ඩු හදන්න පුළුවන් රකින්න බෑ: අගමැති

Seeds of economic decay

Dec 3 (CT) Never in the history of independent SL has the economy recached such a low point as it is now. Will this be its nadir or is it yet to arrive? With just $1.5 billion foreign reserves in stock of which $300 million is gold, the country without any fresh injections into that stock, would go financially bankrupt after paying for four weeks of imports. With no funds to pay for fuel imports, the price of which is on the rise, home cooking would soon become a luxury for many, and with unavoidable and more..

Why elect rejected people?

Dec 3 (DM) Some three weeks ago Prez Rajapaksa put a very valid question to the people summarising the whole history since Independence. Being appropriate to the occasion, the President while speaking at an event to mark the World Science Day, at Temple Trees, on November 10 why the people re-elect the politicians they had rejected before for failure to live up to their expectations. And he urged them to reject such elements once and for all, and elect a new set of representatives. more..

Peak Ridge corridor: Protecting the leopards of Sri Lanka’s highlands

Dec 3 (Roar) When you think about the SL highlands, wildlife is not often the first thought that springs to mind. But while this area is most famous for its tea plantations, it is also home to a diverse array of wildlife and a range of important ecosystems. Due to the increased amount of threats both animals and habitats face in the highlands, conservationists and local wildlife authorities have stepped up conservation efforts — more..

When religious devotion dwarfs health concerns

Dec 3 (DM) Pilgrimage to the holy mountain Adam’s Peak (Sri Pada) is expected to commence on Dec 18 (Saturday). And the good news is that the authorities are expecting restrictions to be relaxed as much as possible when the season begins. A pilgrimage of the nature of climbing Adam’s Peak calls for support and encouragement for devotees. But Covid regulations put a stop to all that and discouraged travel to the summit of the mountain last year. But pilgrims defied state warning more..

Television President: Visuals and symbols of two years of Gotabaya Rajapaksa

Dec 3 (GV) Prez Rajapaksa marked the completion of his second year in office much like how he started his term in Nov 2019, playing one of his greatest hits for the Sinhala Buddhist voter. He and brother, PM Rajapaksa, elevated themselves to the place of the old Anuradhapura kings after unveiling the 282 foot Sanda Hiru Seya in the sacred city of Anuradhapura. Stupa as proclaimed by army was dedicated to the Maha Sangha to immortalise memories of Ranaviru sacrifices. Noble in deed. more..

Will medical cannabis exports heal SL’s dollar starved economy?

Dec 3 (TM) Dollar-starved SL is poised to shed an entrenched inhibition about allowing the commercial cultivation of cannabis. As of now, cultivation of the weed is banned, except for use in indigenous medicine, and that too, under strict state control. But cannabis cultivation and export could be a money spinner given the burgeoning global market for the weed. Cannabis export could rake in millions if not billions of more..

Revitalising MSMEs, Key

Dec 3 (CT) Studies instituted by multilateral development agencies such as the World Bank (WB) recently have identified that of all those employed in SL, 70% of them were employed in the informal sector. This, taken together by an ADB Report released yesterday titled Asia Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise Monitor 2021, which said that micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) comprise 99% of all enterprises and employ 75% of Sri Lanka’s labour force, more..

Enabling the disabled

Dec 3 (TM) Int'l Day of Persons with Disabilities falls today, in a context where the UN has identified that people with disabilities, who constitute around one billion of the world population, is one of the hardest-hit and most excluded communities as far as fatalities are concerned. How we view disability has a great deal to do with how we include persons with disabilities in the larger society, which ultimately affects the level of contribution we get and receive from them to build society and the country. more..

ගෑස් ටැංකි පිපිරීම සැලසුම් සහගත අපරාධයක්

Four swimmers in quagmire as officials act waterpolo

Dec 3 (ST) The weeks-old dilly-dallying swimming saga, is yet to get its go-ahead from the Sports Ministry’s National Sports Selection Committee (NSSC) with only 72 hours left for the FINA-set deadline. The Sunday Times learns that the NSSC had sent a letter to the Ministry of Sports on Tuesday (23), but since then, there has been no progress with the ministry causing a mystery. However, though, in complete contradiction, Sunday Times also found from a top Sports Ministry more..

No tolerance with crits; gas cylinder bombs

Dec 3 (Island) Bold black headline in Monday’s The Island: Sirisena, other SLFP MPs asked to leave govt. Cass pounced on the paper and read avidly to find the order was from a mere Cabinet Minister, large though he be in size. She had thought the order was a government decree from the combined forces of Prez and PM through the Presidential Secretariat via SLPP Secy. But then, Cass surmised, swallowing her disappointment, (yea – disappointed it was not a lawfully given order to quit) more..

738 persons test positive for COVID-19

Dec 3 (FT) Sri Lanka’s COVID-19 detections rose to 565,471 with 738 persons testing positive for COVID-19 yesterday. The patients detected yesterday include 735 persons from the New Year cluster and three overseas arrivals. According to the Health Promotion Bureau, 7,836 PCR tests were performed on Wednesday. The previous day, 8,815 PCR tests and 5,110 rapid antigen tests were conducted and 744 persons from more..

Muslim divorce law in Sri Lanka

Dec 3 (Island) Law is Light is a trilingual legal project to shed light on the law. The Latin maxim ignorantia legis neminem excusat translates to ignorance of the law is not an excuse. The Pro Bono Committee of the Law Students’ Association of Sri Lanka strives to educate the general public by simplifying the laws in our country. In the 5th discussion, the program focused on Divorce laws in Sri Lanka. The discussion featured Attorney-at-Law, Safana Gul Begum. more..

Editorial: Ranjan reduced to mere slogan?

Dec 3 (Island) The Opposition has embarked on a campaign to have former SJB MP Ranjan Ramanayake released from prison, we are told. Posters have appeared in some areas, calling him a political prisoner. One may have sympathy for the outspoken former MP although he brought his trouble on himself, but it defies comprehension why he is being called a political prisoner. Ramanayake cannot be considered a political prisoner by any stretch of the imagination, and those who use more..

PUCSL Chief says ready to regulate LPG

Dec 3 (FT) Public Utilities Commission of SL (PUCSL), the electricity sector regulator and the designated regulator for the petroleum industry, together with Sri Lanka Standards Institute (SLSI) has already formulated a standard for the much-talked LP gas in September this year and is ready to regulate LP Gas and other related industries. “The LPG Gas Standard, developed under the supervision of the SLSI, more..

Worst days are yet to come for SL: PBJ

Dec 3 (ST) While SL’s economy is getting from bad to worse with the US dollar crisis and import restrictions tightening up severely, the country is yet to witness days that are unimaginable. It’s not a good time for SL, several activities that kept the economy going have collapsed. Permanent, sustainable long term plans need to be implemented immediately, says Dr. P.B. Jayasundera, Secretary to the President. Delivering a very ‘worrying’ speech at the Top German Brands in SL event more..

Another milestone for Elephant House bottled water

Dec 3 (Island) Ceylon Cold Stores, iconic household consumer brand Elephant House that is associated with trust and reliability through many generations, has taken yet another step in the right direction, in an effort to expand its ongoing operations. Ceylon Cold Stores has acquired the water manufacturing plant located at Kotagala from their subcontracted partner Worldwide Enterprises Pvt. Ltd who was engaged in the production of premium quality Elephant House Bottled Water. more..

ක්‍රියාකාරකම් 48ක මෙරට ආර්ථිකය ඔසවන්නේ කෙසේද

Eswaran Brothers completes Sri Lanka’s first-ever electronic bill of lading

Dec 3 (FT) Eswaran Brothers Exports, one of SL’s premier tea suppliers for over five decades, became the first exporter out of the country to adopt eBL from TradeLens, a digital supply chain platform underpinned with blockchain technology that allows electronic issuance, transfer, and surrender of original bills of lading. Eswaran Brothers’ initiative to adopt TradeLens eBL comes at the time when the Digital Ministry of SL is building and implementing a holistic strategy to address all pillars of more..

Access Engineering-led JV gets Rs. 43 b deal to build East Container Terminal

Dec 3 (FT) Access Engineering PLC (AEL), in joint venture with its technical partner China Harbour Engineering (CHEC), has been awarded the contract to construct the East Container Terminal (ECT) of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA). The project was advertised for competitive bidding where a local company was required to be the majority shareholder of a proposed JV with the requirement of major marine construction experience being contributed by respective int'l partners. more..

Litro in limbo

Dec 3 (FT) State-run Litro Gas has stopped issuing Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) to the market to conduct an audit on the entire stock, following the fires and explosions recorded from countrywide. “The company stopped issuing cylinders to the distributors yesterday until the audit on their entire stock is covered,” LP Gas Distributors Association of Sri Lanka (LPGDASL) President Sathyendra Wijayapura said. more..

Jaffna Central meet Vidyaloka Galle in final

Dec 3 (Island) Two unbeaten teams, Jaffna Central and Vidyaloka College, Galle will battle it out for the title of the Inter School Under 19 Division III Tier ‘A’ tournament at Nalanda College ground, on Saturday. The two teams were the champions in their respective groups during the first round and they continued in the same vein in the knockout stage to secure their final berths. Jaffna Central will bank heavily on S. Sarangan, the batsman in form. Sarangan was the key to their success more..

71,301 persons vaccinated against COVID-19

Dec 3 (FT) COVID-19 vaccines were administered to 71,301 persons on Wednesday and 74.11% of the country’s population has received at least one vaccine dose. 63.96% of the population has received both vaccine doses. 15,933,967 persons have received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 13,753,715 persons have received two doses. Third dose has been administered to 727,370 persons, of which 66,272 persons were vaccinated on Wednesday. more..

'Omicron may already be in Sri Lanka'

Dec 3 (TM) Health Ministry has warned that the Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant of SARS-CoV-2 may have already entered Sri Lanka, while former WHO Covid-19 Technical Advisory Committee’s Member Prof. Neelika Malavige said that border controls would not stop the entry of Omicron to the island. Dr. Hemantha Herath said that the Omicron variant is not easily detectable. “The Omicron variant does not enter the country with a label. more..

Colombo High Court rejects Ranawaka and Asmadala’s objections

Dec 3 (CT) Colombo High Court Judge Damith Thotawatta yesterday dismissed the initial objections raised by the first accused, SJB MP Champika Ranawaka and third accused former Welikada Police OIC Sudath Asmadala, in connection with the case where they have been charged with causing grievous injury to youth Sandeep Sampath, submitting fake evidence, fleeing after causing a traffic accident and failing to report the accident which took place at Rajagiriya 5 years ago, more..

Anil Mohan reveals reason behind Dambulla Viiking termination

Dec 3 (CT) Anil Mohan, Founder and CEO, Innovative Production Group (Rights Holder of the LPL), says the reason behind Dambulla Viiking termination from this year’s Lanka Premier League (LPL), is because their owner’s name appeared in a money laundering case. “Telugu Warriors (the former owner of Dambulla Viiking franchise during the inaugural LPL 2020 season), there was a problem with the owner, where his name appeared in Indian newspapers and he was arrested. more..

කේ.ඩී. ලාල් කාන්ත

Experts point out measures to be taken to avert gas explosions

Dec 3 (DM) While highlighting the measures to be taken to prevent and minimise possible gas explosions, the Committee to Investigate LP gas explosions said a total of 131 such incidents had been reported across the country during the period from Jan 1, 2021 to Dec 01. The committee which had a thorough study on the issue requested people to be alert and careful when purchasing gas cylinders to see whether there is any leaks. "Besides, if people suspect the domestic LP more..