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Malaria making a comeback?

Dec 27 (CT) There is a possibility of malaria making a comeback in Sri Lanka along with people entering the country from African countries, the Anti-Malaria Campaign in Sri Lanka warned. Dr. Prasad Ranaweera, Campaign Director said all but one of the 25 malaria patients diagnosed in the country this year were those who came to the island from African countries. As a result, he said, a decision has been made to test every person arriving in the country from African countries for malaria. more..

Two youths murdered in separate incidents

Dec 27 (AD) A youth has been attacked with a sharp object and murdered over a dispute at the end of a party in the Pokunuwatta area in Mattakkuliya. The victim is identified as a 22-year-old resident of Church Road in Mattakkuliya. The incident had occurred yesterday after the victim had consumed alcohol along with several other individuals at a party. The murder had been committed based on an incident which had taken place at the end of the said party. The suspect responsible for the murder more..

Govt ready to deal with departure of any allied party: Johnston

Dec 27 (TM) The Govt is ready to engage in political horse-trading to replenish its numbers in Parliament if any allied party deserts it, stated Minister Johnston Fernando recently. “Our doors are open. Anyone can leave. We are not going to stop anyone because we can at any time take more than the required number of heads from the Opposition. We are ready to face any desertions of allied MPs. more..

Two leading airlines to boost Sri Lanka Tourism in post-COVID revival

Dec 27 (FT) Sri Lanka Tourism will roll out a fresh joint industry effort with two leading airlines from January to promote the destination and attract more tourists. The initiative will reach out to airlines that are keen on supporting Sri Lanka in its post-pandemic tourism revival in a cost-effective manner. The first airline which has come forward to support is Emirates and the second is Singapore Airlines. “We are signing a MoU with Emirates on 4 January in Dubai. more..

Four police officers killed in Thirukkovil shooting posthumously promoted

Dec 27 (AD) SL Police says that the four police officers who were killed in the shooting incident at Thirukkovil police station have been posthumously promoted to their next rank. IGP C.D. Wickramaratne has promoted the officers to their next rank effective from Dec 24, 2021. Four police officers attached to the Thirukkovil police station died while another three including the OIC of the station were injured and hospitalized, after a fellow policeman opened fire on them on Christmas more..

'Sri Lanka economic tsunami disproportionately hitting poor'

Dec 27 (EN) Sri Lanka is caught in an economic tsunami which is disproportionately hitting the poor, opposition legislator and former state minister Eran Wickramaratne said. “Seventeen years ago, tens of thousands of people lost their lives to the Indian Ocean tsunami,” he said. “Today we are hit by an economic tsunami.” Sri Lanka is now seeing the first wave of the tsunami and unless corrective action is taken, more..

All CEB TUs to come under one roof

Dec 27 (DM) In the midst of various controversies and conflicts in the power and energy sector, almost all the trade unions of the CEB that represent nearly 25,000 employees have come together to form a trade union collective under one roof, by the name, CEB Employees’ Association (CEBEA) a top official of the new association said. President-elect of the CEBEA, Mr. Noel Priyantha, Deputy General Manager, Business and Operational Strategy of the CEB said that 13 trade unions representing more..

Large-scale sand mining in Trinco: Activist

Dec 27 (CT) National Coordinator of the Centre for the Study of the Environment and Nature, Ravindra Kariyawasam said a private sand-mining Company in Ahangama has been permitted to conduct large-scale sand mining using heavy machinery in the Sapi Nagar area of the Mahaweli River, which is a natural delta. He said if the GSMB issues licences to large-scale excavations, an environmental impact assessment should be carried out to investigate the sensitivity of the ecosystem. more..

Defence Ministry responds to reports on foreign vessel anchored off Batticaloa

Dec 27 (CT) Ministry of Defence (MoD) has denied claims, seen on social media and in certain media, regarding alleged mining in the seas off Batticaloa by a barge and said the vessel had anchored a few days ago due to an emergency caused by a fuel shortage, during the ship’s voyage from the UAE to Bangladesh. After refuelling at the local shipping agent, Victory Agencies in Trincomalee, the barge is scheduled to sail more..

Omicron-fuelled wave possible in Sri Lanka, Health authorities warn

Dec 27 (DM) Health authorities have predicted that a another wave, which would be triggered by the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus, could be witnessed in the country in future. President of SL Family Physicians Association, Dr. Malkanthi Galhena said that it was of utmost importance that people brace themselves to face such a wave and to avert it. “As far as the trends in the world is concerned, Omicron is likely to pose monumental threat on a number of countries. more..

No eyewitnesses, but suspects in remand for 3 years: defence counsel

Dec 27 (Island) The accused in the case pertaining to attacks on some Buddha statues at Mawanella are completing 3 years in state custody, though there is not a single eyewitness who had seen any of the accused in this case attacking any of the Buddha statues. They are in remand custody without the availability of any judicial recourse to bail under the draconian provisions of the PTA, in violation of the principles laid down in the 2006 SC case of Sumanadasa and 205 others vs AG. more..

පොහොර කෑන් විනාශ කරන්න එපා

Let the experts speak...

Dec 28 (DM) Govt’s desperation over the looming food scarcity owing to the prevailing fertilizer crisis was well manifested with the recent suggestion by Trade Minister Bandula Gunawardena to the people of this country to plant a few seedlings of chilly or any other essential vegetables in their home garden so that they can use them during the next Sinhala and Hindu New Year. This is not a bad idea and any such effort has to be encouraged, but it is sheer desperation on the part of more..

Militarizing the Marriage

Dec 28 (DM) Last week, the Registrar General issued a circular to all district registrars and additional registrars, requiring that any Sri Lanka citizen who wishes to marry a foreigner obtain a security clearance report from the Ministry of Defence, before proceeding to the registration of the marriage. Until now, under the existing procedure, only a valid passport, a certification of confirmation of civil status and a birth certificate are required to register a marriage. more..

Are the gas explosions a cover for underhand play?

Dec 28 (TM) Having built his hotel from scratch, making sure not to take any loans or go into debt for it, Akila wanted to slowly make a name for himself through sheer hard work. He had spent every cent of his money on it, to the point where he did not have any savings even to eat, and depended on his hotel to make him a daily wage for him and his family to survive on. Eventually over the years, with an astounding amount of support more..

End of another annus horribilis more horrible than any other

Dec 28 (ST) We are coming to the end of a year that was the worst since Independence. There have been other tragic and horrible years but none as horrible as this. Undoubtedly, it has been the worst year economically. We are on the brink of bankruptcy. It was a year of severe shortages. The year was punctuated by shortages of essential food. It was a year of soaring prices of basic necessities. There were shortages of rice, sugar, milk powder, wheat flour, bread, gas, kerosene and petrol. more..

Climate change poses a serious threat to food security in ten years

Dec 28 (DM) The vulnerability of the food-producing agricultural community to climate change will worsen over the next decade. Droughts are expected to have a significant impact on rice crop yields. Climate change is widely expected to have a negative impact on vegetable and fruit production. As a result, this will create a serious food shortage and also severely restrict farmer income generation. Consequently, a large number from the rural community will migrate from agricultural areas of Sri Lanka more..

X-Press Pearl disaster: Salvaging maritime life back to its pristine glory

Dec 28 (CT) A considerable time has elapsed since experiencing one of the worst maritime disasters that led to the fire which erupted from the MV X-Press Pearl ship, and the nation is yet to identify & address its real impact on ecosystem. Have we learnt lessons from this catastrophe or throwing caution to the wind in the aftermath and backdrop of MT New Diamond fire that broke out months before the major incident? more..

Symptoms of a failed state?

Dec 28 (CT) The politicians of every political party have pulled wool over the eyes of Sri Lankans so effectively during last seven decades and hence they are unable to recognize and stubbornly reject to accept that the country is heading towards to be a Failed state. The country won’t be alone as there are about 25 other failed states in the world. For Sri Lankans, the corruption has become an acceptable social/cultural phenomenon and the religious leaders have reinforced this aberrant more..

Record Rs 51.35B NFOs

Dec 28 (CT) Yesterday, the business pages of this newspaper reported that the 125-year-old Colombo Stock Market suffered a record Rs 51.35 billion worth of net foreign outflows (NFOs) in the calendar year to date, complemented by suffering an NFO of Rs 458.63 million on that day alone, its fourth consecutive market days of NFOs, due to sustained uncertainty. Such NFOs pressure the country’s Spartan foreign reserves. This is because despite pressure for the rupee to depreciate, led by more..

Face the Nation

Editorial: Ominous signs

Dec 28 (Island) Fear continues to be expressed in agricultural circles about an impending food shortage. Former Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture Prof. Uditha Jayasinghe, who was hounded out of his job recently for expressing dissent, is not alone in sounding this warning. Most experts are of the same view. The general consensus is that a food crisis is bound to result from a huge drop in the domestic agricultural output owing to the current fertiliser shortage, more..

Thirukkovil tragedy and police reforms

Dec 28 (TM) SL’s police force has been the centre of many controversies, and the Police’s conduct and discipline has been the reason for many of these controversies. However, in an unprecedented development in the SL context, during the Christmas weekend, it was reported that a police officer attached to the Thirukkovil Police Station had shot to death four police officers – i.e. one Police Sergeant, 2 Police Constables (PC) & a PC driver – over an alleged dispute over not being granted leave. more..

Santa Claus and Gasso Claws

Dec 28 (Island) Santa Claus did come all the way from the hugely snow-covered forest-mountains of Finland, bringing joy to the children of SL. The kids who slept light in the wait for Santa, would certainly have heard the bells of the sleigh drawn by the nine reindeers, led by Rudolph the red-nosed one. Santa brought Christmas joy to the kids who were going through most of the Covid worries their parents faced, and the gifts were more..

Former High Court registrar Zubair asks Prez Task Force to abolish Quasi courts

Dec 28 (FT) Mohamed Zubair, a former High Court Registrar, requested the Presidential Task Force for One Country, One Law to recommend the abolition of Quasi Courts. A statement from the President’s Media said that Zubair was making this request after witnessing the injustice caused to Muslim women. He made this request when the Presidential Task Force for One Country, One Law met at the Kandy District Secretariat on Sunday for public consultations. more..

Health authorities call on public to receive booster shots soon

Dec 28 (FT) Dr. Hemantha Herath yesterday said called on the public to receive the booster shot against COVID-19 to mitigate the spread of the virus. Pointing out that majority of the people are not inclined to receive the booster dose, he claimed this is due to certain misconceptions created by society and information published by media outlets. At a point where some countries are focusing to administer a fourth dose to eradicate COVID-19 from their economies, more..

Sri Lankan Christmases, past and present

Dec 28 (Roar) Christmas is a popular religious holiday, and even those who don’t belong to the faith look eagerly towards when the heavy rains of November give way to balmy weather that marks the beginning of the season. This time of year means different things to people; some look forward to celebrating Christmas at home, or spending time with family and friends, while others look forward to getting out of the city for a holiday more..

458 more persons test positive for COVID-19

Dec 28 (FT) A total of 458 more persons tested for COVID-19 yesterday, raising the country’s COVID-19 case count to 584,107. The patients detected yesterday include, 456 were from the New Year cluster and two were overseas arrivals. 5,488 PCR tests were conducted yesterday. 479,482 persons from the New Year cluster, 82,785 persons from the Peliyagoda cluster, 9,065 persons from the Prisons cluster and 3,059 persons from the Minuwangoda cluster have been detected. more..

New fitness bench marks for men's cricket teams

Dec 28 (DN) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) are expected to introduce new fitness benchmarks for all the men’s teams from January 2022. The tougher fitness benchmarks will be for the 2-km run and the skin-fold test. All 60 contracted players have been informed by Sri Lanka Cricket Physical Performance unit that the first of the four fitness tests for 2022 will be conducted on January 7. The 2-km run which was introduced in early 2021 had a previous benchmark of 8 minutes and 35 seconds. more..

අපේ ව්‍යාපාර විනාශ කරල ආණ්ඩුවේ ගජ මිතුරු කල්ලියට

Finance Ministry intervenes to settle payments to airlines

Dec 28 (FT) The CAA said the issue pertaining to the foreign currency remittances to airline principals abroad had been taken up by the Finance Ministry. “The airlines collectively informed the authority that the banks were not permitting wire transactions for foreign currency payments. Following a few rounds of discussions, the matter was then taken up with the Finance Ministry about two months ago. We were informed that the Treasury officials will speak to the airlines to resolve the situation,” more..

Asian Junior Blitz Chess C'ships: India’s Rahul and Iran’s Melika emerge champs

Dec 28 (CT) V.S. Rahul of India won Asian Junior Blitz Championship 2021 convincingly, scoring 6 ˝ points out of 7 games and remaining unbeaten and clinch the Gold medal. Earlier, he won the Asian Junior Championships as well. National Chess Champion Ranindu Liyanage of Ananda College and young talent Susal de Silva of Nalanda College tied for 2nd place with 6 points each, but Ranindu got the Silver medal on a higher tie breaker and Susal had to be content with Bronze medal. more..

Swimmers struggle to stay afloat

Dec 28 (ST) SL swimmers representing the country in international events have urged the sports minister and the authorities to bring the country’s swimming’s facilities on par with global standards. Both Akalanka Peiris and Ganga Seneviratne, the two backstroke swimmers, having participated at this week’s year-end meet of FINA World Championships, Abu Dhabi, had found it difficult to acclimatise and more..

Trinity become CP Cup Champions

Dec 28 (CT) Trinity College stamped their class at the sevens game when they outclassed Kingswood College 33-7 in the final of the U-19 Inter Schools Rugby Sevens 2021 (Central Province) conducted by SL Schools Rugby Football Association (SSRFA), which took place at Trinity Rugby Stadium in Pallekelle yesterday. Trinity did not have the perfect start as Kingswoodian Ishara Ekanayake covered nearly 70 meters untouched to score the first try. Trinity never panicked, but re-grouped and more..

Myland to debut on CSE today

Dec 28 (Island) Real Estate Developer, Myland Developments Limited (MDL) will begin trading on the Colombo Stock Exchange from today. Company opened its IPO on Dec 8, and was oversubscribed in a matter of hours receiving 2,884 applications which resulted in an oversubscription rate of 6.7 times. The company offered 6,250,000 ordinary voting shares to the general public via the IPO, which amounts to 17% of the company. The remaining 83% of shares are locked in for a period of 1 year from more..

SLSI to inspect imported LPG quality

Dec 28 (TM) State Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna said that a gazette will be issued in the near future to allow the Sri Lanka Standards Institute (SLSI) to inspect the quality of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) that is imported into the country. “Imports and Exports Control Department has already given the power of inspecting imported LPG to the SLSI. A gazette will also be issued about this soon. more..

Colombo entrepreneur gives workers full wages at Christmas

Dec 28 (AN) Shantha Herbert, a 58-year-old Catholic entrepreneur, heavily cut the salaries of his employees to cope with the economic crisis caused by COVID-19. But at Christmas he regretted this choice and paid his workers six months of back wages. Herbert lives in the Archdiocese of Colombo where he heads a company with a workforce of 75. Shortly before Christmas, he received an email from one of his employees. The latter described the hardships she has had to face as a result more..

China president wishes SL counterpart for New Year amid fertilizer hullabaloo

Dec 28 (EN) Chinese President Xi Jinping has sent his wishes to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the people of Sri Lanka for the New Year, Chinese embassy in SL said. The embassy tweeted Monday that Ambassador Qi Zhenhong conveyed the wishes Monday morning at the President’s House in Colombo. The New Year greetings come amid a raging controversy over a shipment of fertilizer from China that SL’s Plant Quarantine Service claimed were substandard. more..

හිටපු විගණකාධිපතිගෙන් 225ට සැර කතාවක්

‘SLFP has not decided to coalesce with any other party’

Dec 28 (Island) Senior Vice President of SLFP Professor Rohana Lakshman Piyadasa denied having taken any decision to act jointly with any other political party. Professor responded to the media in Kandy when asked whether the SLFP had taken a decision to coalesce with any other political party. Prof. Piyadasa said the SLFP Central Committee had decided to strengthen the party by re-activating the former groups under the party, namely, UPFA and People’s United Front. more..