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Massive digitalization project to transform Lankan television launched today

Dec 28 (DN) A massive digitalization project to transform SL television into the world’s most advanced technology will be launched in Colombo today. There is an urgent need to launch the Digital Broadcasting Project, a major revolution in the transformation of the current television broadcasting system (Analog) in SL through outdated technology into the world’s most advanced technology. Minister Dullas Alahapperuma will be the Chief Guest at the launch of this digitalization project at 7 p.m. more..

Power cuts from next month; CEB told to find its own dollars to import furnace oil

Dec 28 (ST) Sri Lanka is lurching towards serious power shortages next year–entailing scheduled power cuts–with the CEB alerting the Govt this week to its latest crisis: The critical fuel situation for thermal power generation has been exacerbated by the shortage of dollars to import furnace oil. Over the past few weeks, the CEB has also been battling with several breakdowns that have impacted prevailing power supply. more..

Nearly 70,000 tourists from Dec. 1 to 26

Dec 28 (DM) SL has welcomed a total of 69,941 tourists in the first 26 days of December, bringing the total number of arrivals to 174,930 for the year so far. The Tourism Ministry said the hike in arrival numbers is due to increased tourist traffic from India, Russia, UK, Germany, Australia, US, France, Maldives, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. In recent months, SLTDA along with the industry stakeholders rolled out promotional efforts in Russia, UK, Germany, France, Ukraine for winter season. more..

SJB slams new marriage regulation

Dec 28 (CT) SJB criticised the recent circular that called for Sri Lankans, who are marrying foreigners, to obtain clearance from the Ministry of Defence, claiming that it is a violation of a person’s fundamental rights and freedom. SJB MP Tissa Attanayake said marriage is a fundamental human right, adding that they oppose the move of the Registrar General to issue such a circular. “Defence Ministry clearance was required to ensure the foreigner who is marrying a Sri Lankan is not more..

Better if ministers resign before criticising collective Cabinet decisions: Prez

Dec 28 (Island) Prez Rajapaksa said it would have been better if ministers Wimal Weerawansa, Udaya Gammanpila and Vasudeva Nanayakkara had resigned as ministers before challenging a collective Cabinet decision on the Yugadanavi power plant agreement. Prez Rajapaksa said so during his meeting with newspaper editors at the Prez’s House in response to a question by an editor for his comments on Ministers more..

CAA suspends flight operations of Sakurai Aviation

Dec 28 (FT) CAA suspended all flight operations of the Sakurai Aviation Ltd, with immediate effect until further notice. The move comes following the two incidents reported on 22 and 27 Dec involving 4R-ASJ Piper PA 38 and 4R - GAF Cessna 172 aircraft. “By virtue of the powers vested in me under the Section 38 of the Civil Aviation Act No. 14 of 2010, operations of the entire fleet of aircraft under your organisation are hereby suspended with immediate effect until further notice,” more..

Colombo's Port City, city of the future rising from the sea

Dec 28 (Xinhua) On the golden artificial beach in Colombo's Port City, the Sri Lankan Sanjeewa Alwis was earnestly building a sandcastle model similar to the financial center building that will be built in Port City. Noticing Alwis' masterpiece on the beach, three Sri Lankan kids playing by the sea rushed to him to jointly build the sandcastle. While listening to Alwis, who talked about the sandcastle that was "piled up" from the sea, one curious girl asked: "Can a city be piled in the sea? more..

Supreme Court observes vaccination not mandatory but voluntary

Dec 28 (FT) After hearing parties on the Fundamental Right petition, the Supreme Court has observed, that for the purpose of clarification, vaccination is not mandatory but voluntary. Bench, comprising of Justices S. Thurairaja, Shiran Gooneratne and Achala Wengappuli, also observed and requested that to avoid confusion among the public it will be preferable that Director-General of Health Services make all communications more..

Devil dancing before an abyss

Dec 28 (FT) Theo-militarism refers to the current political experiment undertaken by the GR presidency that combines Buddhist demagoguery with military threat to remain in power. Tisaranee Gunasekera brilliantly captioned it as weaponising Buddhism. When the President after entrenching his position with the 20th Amendment circumscribed his dreamy Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour with virtuosity and discipline, what he meant was Buddhist virtuosity to the exclusion of other more..

The pernicious pandemic blinders

Dec 28 (FT) A colleague of mine sent me the following from someone writing as independent_journalism: “Among all the vaccines I have known in my life (diphtheria, tetanus, measles, rubella, chickenpox, hepatitis, meningitis and tuberculosis), I have never seen a vaccine that forced me to wear a mask and maintain my social distance, even when you are fully vaccinated…I had never heard of a vaccine that spreads the virus even after vaccination. more..

ආචාර්ය ඩබ්ලිව්. ඒ. විජේවර්ධන

Discussion between Transport State Minister & station masters today

Dec 28 (AD) A discussion between the Sri Lanka Railway Station Masters’ Union and State Minister of Transport, Dilum Amunugama is scheduled to be held later today. The union’s chairman, Sumedha Somarathna said the station masters plan to resort to an uninterrupted strike action if their demands are not met. The railway station masters are engaged in union action based on 10 demands including the granting of coverage allowances if promotions cannot be given and the calculation of more..

Fuel price would have been cheaper had pricing formula remained: Ruwan

Dec 28 (DM) The price of petrol would have ranged from Rs. 130 to Rs. 140 currently, had the fuel pricing formula been in force, UNP Deputy Leader Ruwan Wijewardene said. “Those who jeered at the pricing formula at that time have accepted it now,” Mr. Wijewardena et old some party activists during a meeting. “The price of petrol is Rs. 171 today,” he noted. “Govt promised to set up a fuel price stabilisation fund to keep the prices stable. We would like to question as to what had become more..

Video: Ranil warns of an impending food shortage in Sri Lanka

Dec 28 (AD) Former PM Ranil Wickremesinghe says that the US dollar shortage has resulted in a serious situation in the country and that it has reached a point where the people are no longer able to bear this burden. He stated that businesses are collapsing, people are losing jobs, the middle class is deteriorating and the farmers are left stranded. “Solutions are urgently required for these,” he said, issuing a statement today. more..

Body of woman missing in Kilinochchi found under bridge

Dec 28 (AD) The body of the woman, who was reported missing from Udayanagar in Kilinochchi, has been recovered. The remains of the 67-year-old were found under a bridge in the area of Kandapuram. As the whereabouts of the woman in question were unknown since last evening, the neighbours had lodged a complaint with the police who later managed to recover her body 18 km from her home. It is reported that the deceased, who was a mother of five, had returned from England more..

Teenager arrives in Sri Lanka en route to flying world record

Dec 28 (DM) The teen pilot Zara Rutherford landed at the Colombo International Airport, Ratmalana (CIAR) today in her bid to become the youngest woman to fly solo around the world. The 19-year-old Belgian-British pilot Zara started a journey on August 18, 2021 to fly solo around the world and she hopes to complete 51,000-kilometre trip across five continents & 52 countries by mid-January 2022. Sri Lanka becomes her 56th stop. Zara Rutherford will be flying a Shark, more..

Private jet given free of charge for PM’s Tirupati visit: Yoshitha

Dec 28 (TM) Following the controversial images circulating on social media and several news websites of PM Rajapaksa disembarking from a blue Embraer Legacy 600 business jet at Tirupati Int'l Airport, in line with his private two day visit to the temple city for a pilgrimage on Dec 23, PM was provided with the jet for his use at no charge by the owner. PM’s Chief of Staff Yoshitha Rajapaksa said that more..

Lukewarm response to energy project advert: President

Dec 28 (CT) Although the Govt advertised for 800 small-scale energy projects, only a little over 150 applications were received in response. This was disclosed by Prez Rajapaksa during a meeting with newspaper editors at Prez’s House yesterday, where he reiterated his commitment to promote green energy and reduce the import of crude oil and coal. “We have signed int'l agreements to reduce dependency on crude oil and coal generated energy. To do that, we need to move towards more..

Bibile-Chenkaladi road declared open

Dec 28 (AD) The Bibile-Chenkaladi Road, stretching over 86.7 kilometers on the A5 Road, was vested with the public today (28) under the patronage of Highways Minister Johnston Fernando. This stretch of road is part of the Badulla-Chenkaladi Road Improvement Project (BCRIP). The BCRIP project will rehabilitate 151.3 km of the A-5 Peradeniya-Badulla-Chenkaladi Road, and is expected to improve road safety, facilitate access to markets, social services, and job opportunities. more..

පීබී නම් පව්කාරයා

Genome sequencing on COVID samples increased

Dec 28 (CT) Genome sequencing for over 90 samples obtained for COVID-19 testing would be carried out by the laboratory from today, Dr. Chandima Jeewandara said. He said a majority of the samples were of airport arrivals. “However, it is not a special genomic sequencing test to detect the omicron variant. It will only enable the Uni lab facility to detect the variant if it is present in the samples. Currently, 96 samples obtained for testing had been sent to the University laboratory,” he said. more..

U19 Asia Cup: Bangladesh, Sri Lanka match called off after two COVID-19 cases

Dec 28 (CI) The U-19 Asia Cup match between Bangladesh and SL was called off after one of the umpires tested positive for Covid-19 in Sharjah. Bangladesh had moved to 130 for 4 in 32.4 overs when the players left the ground following the news. "Asian Cricket Council and Emirates Cricket Board can confirm that the final Group B match of ACC Under-19 Asia Cup scheduled for play today has been called off," ACC said. "It is confirmed that two officials have tested positive for Covid-19. more..

Bangladesh renews Sri Lanka forex loan by three months

Dec 28 (AD) The Bangladesh Bank has extended validity of the credit facility it extended to Sri Lanka by three months after the expiry of the first three-month tenure of the credit facility. The loan facility has been renewed following a request from the island nation, a senior official of the central bank told New Age on Sunday. Bangladesh extended the credit facility amounting to USD 200 million under a currency swap deal with Sri Lanka. more..

Maitri stresses need for new rule different to traditional govts

Dec 28 (DM) While launching a scathing attack on the present govt, former President Maitripala Sirisena stressed the need to form a new rule based on a new vision and a mission to resuscitate the country from the present mess. He said the proposed rule should be different to the traditional forms of govts that had existed so far. Addressing a meeting of his SLFP’s Kotte electoral organisation on Dec 26, Mr. Sirisena said the country had plunged into an unprecedented crisis, more..

PAFFREL takes President to task for manipulating electoral map

Dec 28 (Island) The manipulation of the electoral map of SL by the incumbent ruler was a blow to representative democracy and an insult to the voter, says election monitoring NGO, PAFFREL. “It amounts to depriving the voter, the citizen of his rights to vote particularly this year, the 90th anniversary of universal suffrage. It is also an avoidance of a legitimate opportunity that the govt has got to test the public opinion on the policies implemented by the govt and change those more..

Video: Railway station masters call off trade union action

Dec 28 (AD) SL Railway Station Masters’ Union has decided to call off their trade union action following a discussion with State Minister of Transport Dilum Amunugama today. The union’s chairman Sumedha Somarathna said favourable responses were received for 10 of their demands. Accordingly, the station masters are expected to resume their duties as per usual from tomorrow and recommence issuing train tickets. more..

Majority of child homicides go unresolved

Dec 28 (Island) SL Police have solved only 27% of child homicides in 2019 and 2020, according to the Performance Report of the Sri Lanka Police for the year 2020. However, the number of children killed has reduced in 2020 compared to 2019, from 26 to 22, the report said. The police have categorised rape of girls into three categories; rape with the consent of the victim who is below 16 years, without the consent of the victim who is below 16 years and rape of girls between 16 and 18 years. more..

Man gets swept away by a kite in Sri Lanka

Dec 28 (TI) A video on Twitter is spreading like wildfire. In the dramatic video, a man is being swept away by a kite. Yes, it’s true. While trying to fly a man-size kite that was tied to jute ropes, he lost control when unexpected heavy gusts of wind hit the scene. The kite unexpectedly picked up speed and next thing he knew, he was in the air. The event left everyone shocked. As the man holds on to the rope, dangling in the air, his friends on the ground shout for help and guide him more..

Sri Lanka to host Zimbabwe for three ODIs in January 2022

Dec 28 (CI) Zimbabwe and SL are set to begin 2022 with three ODIs as part of the ICC Super League, with SL hosting the series. The three games will be day-night fixtures scheduled for January 16, 18 and 21, and will be played at the Pallekele Int'l Cricket Stadium in Kandy. Zimbabwe are currently placed bottom of the Super League table with two wins from their nine games, while SL are sixth in the 13-team league, more..

Dimuth among ICC men’s Test Player of 2021 nominees

Dec 28 (CT) Sri Lanka skipper Dimuth Karunaratne is among the four nominees for ICC men’s Test player of 2021 award. The shortlist, announced today (28) by the International Cricket Council, consists of a batting stalwart, a spin wizard, an emerging fast-bowling superstar and a dogged opener. Other than Karunartne, others in the list are England’s Joe Root, India’s Ravichandran Ashwin and Kyle Jamieson of New Zealand. About Karunartne, the citation says, more..

Suresh Subramaniam re-elected National Olympic Committee president

Dec 28 (AD) Suresh Subramaniam has been re-elected as the President of the National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka (NOCSL) for the period of 2022 to 2026. The NOCSL election to select new office bearers was held at the Olympic House in Colombo today. Subramaniam and President of Sri Lanka Athletics Maj. Gen. Palitha Fernando vied for the top post of NOCSL, and received 28 and 12 votes, respectively. Subramaniam was first elected as the NOCSL president in the 2018 election. more..

Sri Lanka to investigate private domestic carrier after emergency landings

Dec 28 (EN) CAA is investigating back-to-back technical failures recorded by the domestic carrier Sakurai Aviation Limited whose services have since been suspended, officials said. A Sakurai-owned light aircraft made two emergency landings in one week owing to technical failures. Sakurai Enterprises Company Ltd in Japan is the parent company of the domestic carrier. “We were informed on Monday first about more..

Sri Lanka records 20 new COVID deaths and 479 cases today

Dec 28 (AD) Director-General of Health Services has confirmed 22 more coronavirus-related deaths for Dec 27, increasing the death toll in the country due to the virus pandemic to 14,923. The deaths reported today include 12 males and 10 females. Six of the patients are between the ages of 30-59 years. Fifteen others are in the age group of 60 years and above and the remaining victim is aged below 30 years. Meanwhile, the daily count of COVID-19 cases confirmed in SL moved to 479 today. more..

Wildlife Dept. bureaucracy standing in way of whale watching exposed

Dec 28 (Island) Whales were neither disturbed nor harmed by tourists, Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said. He called for the lifting of restrictions imposed by the Wildlife Department on boat owners who took tourists on whale watching at Mirissa. Wildlife Department has recently imposed restrictions on whale watching vessels off the coast of Mirissa, according to reports. Accordingly, Minister Ranatunga summoned the representatives of the Mirissa Tourist Hotel Owners’ Association more..

Govt needs to go beyond textbooks to solve economic crisis: MEP

Dec 28 (TM) While stating that the challenge for the Govt would be to solve the post Covid economic problems practically, going beyond the textbook theories, MEP Leader and Minister Dinesh Gunawardena says that the MEP will be committed to defend the mandate given by the people. Addressing the MEP Seethavaka Balamandalaya, Gunawardena stated that the challenge for the govt would be to solve more..

LP gas manufacturing process slow; LITRO assures prompt supply in future

Dec 28 (DM) Claiming that the new LP gas manufacturing process has been slow due to recalling and removing gas from previously released gas cylinders with blue and black seal to the market, Litro Gas Ltd said immediate actions were being taken to cater to the domestic and commercial daily needs. The Litro Gas said in a statement that two gas shipments have already unloaded to the Gas Terminal and Filling Plant by yesterday. It said that around 30,000 to 40,000 gas cylinders more..

Long wait by tourism industry for export status

Dec 28 (FT) Tourism stakeholders pointed out that the Govt should consider permitting dollarisation of the sector to reach its full potential, which will also be another bold step forward to acknowledge it as an export industry. Although tourism is widely regarded as a key sector for economic development, while in many countries tourism is not treated as an export industry. In SL, tourism was recognised as an export industry in Dec 2019. However, the guidelines to fully operate ‘export’ status more..

ප්‍රමිතිගත ගෑස් සිලින්ඩර තවමත් ලැබී නෑ

Declare Railway, Essential Service

Dec 29 (CT) Solving the country’s over a month-long railway stationmasters’ strike may be done by declaring the railway an essential service. However, the President is not doing that for reasons best known to him, but at a cost to the country’s coffers and inconvenience to the public. Meanwhile, the inaction in dealing with the stationmasters’ strike may be contrasted with how the previous Govt handled a similar rail strike held on the eve of the 2019 Presidential Election. more..

Modern era of power generation

Dec 29 (ST) It’s always pleasant to meet a friend for a meal; but this invite for dinner at Pradeep’s residence was a special one for me. Dr. Pradeep Perera is an Energy and Environmental Economist, working for the Asian Development Bank (ADB). His location of work has always been outside SL. Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, he has been confined to his residence in Colombo, while his work has shifted to online mode. Pradeep’s invite for the dinner was special to me, more..