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Focus on Oddamavadi: Double trouble in city of burial

Dec 29 (DM) Gazette 2216/38 on Feb 25 revoked the forced cremations policy for COVID-19 deceased and allowed burials. It was in early March 2021 that the COVID-19 deceased were buried in Majma Nagar, Oddamavadi. Since then every COVID-19 deceased, who is to be buried, is taken to the Majma Nagar where 10 acres of land has been allocated for the purpose of burying those who have succumbed to COVID-19. more..

Problems, confusion and a difficult year ahead

Dec 29 (DM) As the year 2021 draws to a close, problems faced by Lankans are getting worse by the day. During this year wages have either remained static or have, in many instances been lowered. Costs of essential items on the other hand, have either risen steeply or are in extreme short supply. Unsurprisingly, workers are taking to Trade Union (TU) action. Today Railway Station Masters are not working quite to rule. They are not issuing tickets to commuters. more..

Early farewell or maturing plot?

Dec 29 (CT) There are two not necessarily opposing, may even be complementary assessments taking root among analysts regarding Prez Rajapaksa’s intentions and his frame of mind. One view is that the regime is weak, cornered has no way out of crisis, the Resigned to Defeat (RD) option. The other view is that the regime is going to pull a rabbit out of a military hat, the Authoritarian Option (AO). Both seem to be on the table in the minds of those who decide these things. more..

Tying the knot under watchful eyes

Dec 29 (TM) Recently, it was announced that a Security Clearance Report is mandated by the Defence Minister from any foreign citizen that wishes to marry a Sri Lankan. Foreigners are required to fill out a health declaration form as well as obtain clearance from the Ministry of Defence. This leaves one to wonder whether Sri Lanka will train into a scene from The Proposal with its absurd requirements for one to simply get married. more..

Covid-19’s impact on male fertility

Dec 29 (TM) Among other things, scientists have been discussing whether, and to what extent, Covid-19 and the Covid-19 vaccines can affect a person’s health in the long run, especially after recovering from Covid-19 and in the few months after vaccination. While a large number of these discussions have focused mainly on a person’s immune system, scientists are also evaluating the impact Covid-19 and Covid-19 vaccines can have on a person’s fertility. more..

Editorial: Cabinet jilmaat

Dec 29 (Island) Pressure is said to be mounting on the govt to sack Cabinet Ministers Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Udaya Gammanpila and Wimal Weerawansa for publicly opposing the questionable Yugadanavi deal. Some SLPP seniors are pushing for their ouster, we are told. But this is something the govt cannot afford to do at this juncture. SLFP has also turned against the govt to all intents and purposes, and is trying to form a new political alliance. more..

පාර්ලිමේන්තු මන්ත්‍රී එස්. බී. දිසානායක

When death hung over the coast like a vapour

Dec 29 (DM) It was a quiet morning. The main road was eerily silent. Then the phone rang like a thunderclap and life changed irrevocably. No, it is not hyperbole, this is how I got my first notice of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami. Not from journalists but from a relative who was at a temple near the coast. It was a Poya Day, but suddenly the monks at the temple got a phone call alerting them of waves crashing into the shoreline. There after the messages came flooding in. more..

Avishka wants improvement in every game

Dec 29 (ST) After SL’s epic win of 274 runs against Kuwait on Thursday at the ongoing Under-19 Asia Cup which is currently in progress in UAE, Head Coach Avishka Gunawardene stated that his side will continue to play the new-found brand of cricket they have adopted in the coming games. Ahead of Sunday’s game against Group ‘B’ rivals Nepal, Gunawardene is keen that his players will carry forward the same attitude they showed in the middle three days before, keeping in mind of more..

Condominium sales soaring to new heights

Dec 29 (FT) Condominium sales transactions during Q3 2021 have increased compared to a year ago as well as the previous quarter, as per the industry index compiled by the Central Bank. Even though the most preferred condominium units were in the single condominium project category and those below Rs. 25 million, a gradual increase could be observed in sales of condominiums priced between Rs 25 to 50 m more..

Navy conducts beach cleaning programme

Dec 29 (SLN) A beach cleaning programme, organized by SL Navy, was successfully conducted in the beach area from Urumalai to Talaimannar on 26th Dec. SL Navy often conducts beach cleaning programmes to remove plastic and solid litter collected on coastline. As per the directives of Commander North Central Naval Area, Rear Admiral Bandula Senarathna this beach cleaning programme was conducted with the attendance of Deputy Area Commander North Central Naval Area, more..

166,526 persons vaccinated against Covid-19

Dec 29 (FT) Over 24% of the country’s population over 20 years has received the booster dose, 166,526 persons were vaccinated against COVID-19 on Monday. 101.9% of the population over 20 years has received the first dose and 94.6% has received the second dose. Third dose has been administered to 24.3% of the population over 20 years Chief Epidemiologist Dr. Samitha Ginige said that interest in the booster dose is low in the country, despite a decision made by officials to administer more..

Chinese envoy’s Jaffna visit could strain SL-India relations further

Dec 29 (TM) Fresh hopes of a new turn in bilateral relations between India and Sri Lanka, kicked off by the positive Indian media reports on Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa’s recent visit to New Delhi, seem to have been dashed once again. The unprecedented visit by Ambassador Qi Zhenhong, China’s SL envoy, to the Jaffna Peninsula across Indian shores has flagged a greater Indian strategic concern than any in the past. more..

Peraliya villagers wait for tsunami museum but get only a scarecrow

Dec 29 (ST) In Peraliya, villagers complained that they have been waiting for 17 years for a promise made by authorities to come true. “We were told a tsunami museum will be made here. But there have been many foundation laying ceremonies only,” a villager said. They said a foundation stone was laid in 2005. The project was to be completed within two years under the supervision of the Moratuwa University. But until 2011 little or no work was done. Another foundation stone was laid by more..

Yannik Kumara and Kaya Daluwatte win Junior Open Golf titles

Dec 29 (Island) Yannik Kumara and Kaya Daluwatte won the boys’ and girls’ Gold Division titles respectively at the 13th Sri Lanka Junior Open Golf Championship concluded at the Royal Colombo Golf Course on December 21. Yannik Kumara was fresh after winning the100th Royal Colombo Open Men’s club championship and was in no mood to let his guard down and cantered over the finish line with impressive scores of 69,69,and 69 to be six under in the Gold Division. more..

69 ලක්ෂෙ ගැන මහ අය හිතන හැටි..

Sri Lanka crowned champions of Central Asian Volleyball Challenge

Dec 29 (AD) Sri Lanka clinched the Bangabandhu Asian Central Zone Men’s Volleyball Challenge Cup beating hosts Bangladesh in straight sets in the final at the Shaheed Suhrawardy National Indoor Stadium in Mirpur on Tuesday. SL thus emerged champions winning 28-26, 25-20 and 25-20 points. Bangladesh, playing their third successive final in the competition, failed to repeat their performance lifting the trophy in 2018. Bangladesh had moved into the final of the tournament with a thrilling more..

Special committee to oversee CCP mechanism

Dec 29 (CT) SL’s capital market regulater, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), yesterday stated that the Colombo Stock Exchange and the SEC have appointed a special joint committee to accelerate the proposed Central Counter Party Mechanism (CCP) in SL. “Committee’s key mandate will be to identify the manner of implementation of a CCP and to recommend the entire procedure including matters pertaining to procurement. The expectation is that it could be completed more..

PM inaugurates Wayamba University Township Development Project

Dec 29 (FT) PM Rajapaksa Monday inaugurated the Wayamba University Township Development Project implemented under the provisions of the Saudi Fund for Development. PM Rajapaksa, who participated in the ceremony at the Wayamba Uni premises in Kuliyapitiya via video from Temple Trees, unveiled the plaque marking the inauguration of the project The project at an estimated cost of $ 28 million is financed by more..

Stock market depressed despite festive season

Dec 29 (FT) Colombo stock market remained depressed for the second consecutive day despite the festive cheer as investor sentiment appeared lacklustre except. All Share Price Index declined by over 100 points or 0.8% and the S&P SL20 saw a marginal dip of 3 points. Turnover was Rs. 5.67 billion involving 317 million shares. Net foreign selling has been on the rise this week with yesterday’s figure being Rs. 637 million on top of Rs. 459 million on Monday. more..

President savours Kulubadu Mandiraya

Dec 29 (FT) Prez Rajapaksa inspected Kulubadu Mandiraya, the Madiwela Branch of the Spices and Allied Products Marketing Board recently. Prez took steps to re-establish this sales board at the request of the residents of Meemure during the Prez’s visit for the Gama Samaga Pilisandara program. Accordingly, Spices and Allied Products Marketing Board was established in August as a solution to the issues faced by the farmers in remote areas when selling and promoting their produce. more..

SL seeks 5-year extension for BIA JICA loan

Dec 29 (TM) Airport and Aviation Services (SL) Ltd. (AASL) is looking to obtain a five-year extension of the grace period for the Japanese yen (¥) 29 billion loan obtained from the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) in March 2012 for Package A of the BIA expansion project. AASL Chairman Maj. Gen. (Retd.) G.A. Chandrasiri stated: “We have informed the Govt, JICA, and the Ministry of Tourism that we require the grace period more..

Govt failure to rectify injustice caused by Rajitha, wife: GMOA threatens strike

Dec 29 (Island) Having suspended its countrywide strike, launched over issues related to transfers of its members, Govt Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) warned of another strike over what it called inordinate delay in the incumbent govt rectifying serious problems caused by former Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne and his wife Dr. Sujatha Senaratne, during the yahapalana administration. Dr. Senal Fernando, in his capacity as the Secretary of the GMOA, issued the warning. more..

Udugama Hospital’s Watawala Kalana Mithuru Intensive Care Unit opens

Dec 29 (FT) Watawala Plantations (WPL) ceremoniously opened its newly built fully equipped Watawala Kalana Mithuru ICU at the Udugama Base Hospital in the Galle District recently, under the guidance of the Ministry of Health. The 5-bed ICU project, led by Watawala Plantations PLC and supported by Tata Communications Lanka Ltd, will benefit communities in the Udugama, Neluwa, Thawalama, Nagoda, Yakkalamulla, Hiniduma and Nakiyadeniya areas of Galle District. more..

ආණ්ඩුව IMF නොයා සගවන කතාව

MRIA records highest passenger arrivals since inception

Dec 29 (DN) Mattala Rajapaksa Int'l Airport (MRIA) despite the COVID-19 global pandemic recorded the highest number of passenger arrivals in 2021 since its inception in 2013. “We were also able to draw the attention of many charter flights through MRIA, attracting many high-end tourists to the country. MRIA was also able to set a record by handling ship crew transfers, which was an identified new market out of the pandemic. There is an intense interest to operate international flights to MRIA and more..

No Govt since independence had implemented this policy: Gnanasara Thera

Dec 29 (DM) Chairman of the Presidential Taskforce for One Country - One Law Venerable Galabodaththe Gnanasara Thera said any successive govt since independence had not implemented the policy of one law for the country and that the present govt has taken step to make it a reality. He told the media after meeting the people to consult their views at the Thondaman Vocational Centre that he entertained the proposals of the people in the Nuwara Eliya district to resolve more..

Promised update on CBSL Road Map postponed

Dec 29 (TM) Central Bank of SL (CBSL) will not be conducting a press conference updating the public on the current status of the proposed foreign exchange inflows set out in the CBSL Six-Month Road Map before the end of the month, as previously promised. A highly placed source in the CBSL stated that as of yet, there are no plans to conduct a presser to provide an update on the current status of the inflows promised more..

5 Days for The Queen’s Baton to arrive in SL

Dec 29 (CT) The countdown is on, as in just five days, the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay will arrive in SL; the 25th destination out of the 72 Commonwealth nations and territories that it will be visiting. On 3 Jan 2022, President of CGA Sri Lanka - Suresh Subramaniam and other dignitaries from the Ministry of Sports and British High Commission, will officially welcome the Baton at the BIA. The Queen’s Baton will be carried at the airport by Chinthana Vithanage and Dinusha Gomes, more..

479 persons test positive for COVID-19

Dec 29 (FT) Health officials stated that 479 persons tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday, raising the country’s COVID-19 patient count to 584,586. The patients detected yesterday include 477 persons from the New Year cluster and two overseas arrivals. 6,000 PCR tests were conducted yesterday. The previous day, 5,488 PCR tests and 1,549 rapid antigen tests were conducted. Among the patients detected on Monday were 456 persons from the New Year cluster & 2 SL overseas arrivals. more..

HRCSL to discuss PTA detainees with Police

Dec 29 (TM) Newly appointed Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) Chairperson SC Judge (Retd.) Justice Rohini Marasinghe will be holding a meeting with the heads of institutions coming under the SL Police Department today regarding detainees held under the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act No. 48 of 1979 (PTA). “Directors of the CID, TID, and the Police Legal Division will be meeting with more..

Only 25% of eligible have taken booster

Dec 29 (TM) Out of the population eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine booster dose, only about 25% have received it. Epidemiology Unit Head Dr. Samitha Ginige said: “That means that another 75%, approximately 10 million people, have not yet received it.” Noting that the country was in possession of enough vaccine stocks at the moment, he added that the people, however, were reluctant to obtain the booster dose. “The health authorities decided to administer the booster more..

Litro to ensure sufficient LPG supply

Dec 29 (TM) Litro Gas Lanka Ltd. said on Monday that it has taken all immediate measures to ensure that there is a sufficient supply of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders to fulfil both the domestic and commercial demand in the market, following rising complaints by consumers about the unavailability of Litro Gas LPG cylinders in the market. In a statement, Litro Gas Lanka said that two ships have already been unloaded to fulfil the daily need for LPG in the country. more..

Govt braces for food shortage

Dec 29 (DM) The govt is bracing for a possible food shortage in the coming months by initiating plans to secure around US $ 100-150 million from the Central Bank a month to import essentials such as rice, sugar, chilli, dhal and wheat flour from the regional countries, a minister said. Experts have warned of a possible food crisis primarily due to the possible drop in yield over the lack of fertiliser for cultivation. more..

Independent commissions in a parliamentary system

Dec 29 (FT) Many put forward proposals for constitutional reform, writing profusely on the subject, but fail to get any responses, negative or positive. We at the National Movement for Social Justice are gratified that our proposals are eliciting many responses. It would be nice not to be called stupid and incapable of understanding the immutable features of the parliamentary system of governance, but rude engagement is still preferable to being ignored. The present response is to Victor Ivan’s critique of the NMSJ proposals, more..

Private sector builds business but poor leadership by Govt

Dec 29 (FT) When the pandemic struck and the lockdown happened in March 2020, many were not aware how to react. But SL people being resilient, within six days got their act together and commenced production and then the logistical system kicked in. To be honest I know of many companies, mainly in the export sector that never stopped their operations and production continued right across 2020 and 2021. It was a signal to the world, showing the power of the private sector of Sri Lanka to meet more..

මැතිවරණවලට ඩමි තරග කිරීම ලොකු ප්‍රශ්නයක්!

Chinese foreign minister to visit Sri Lanka in January

Dec 29 (AD) China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi is scheduled to arrive on the island on Jan 8 for an official visit. Chinese minister is expected to present a number of investment proposals. His two-day visit is taking place as SL is preparing to finalize the long-delayed agreement with India on the joint development of the Trincomalee oil tank farm. According to CPC chairman Sumith Abeysinghe, the agreement is slated to be signed with the relevant stakeholders within a month. more..

PM cancels visit to Dubai Expo amidst economic crisis

Dec 29 (DM) PM Mahinda Rajapaksa has cancelled a visit to the Dubai Expo scheduled for next week due to rising issues at home and amidst the economic crisis, the Daily Mirror learns. PM Rajapaksa was invited by the Ruler of Dubai, Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum to visit the Expo as a Chief Guest on Jan 3, which has been declared as a National Day for SL at the Expo. In a letter sent by Maktoum to Rajapaksa, he said that Rajapaksa's visit to the Dubai Expo would represent a unique opportunity more..

Foreign reserves reach US$3.1bn by Dec 29: CB Governor

Dec 29 (EN) SL’s foreign reserves had reached US$ 3.1 billion by Dec 29, CB Governor Nivard Cabraal said in a message. Official foreign reserves had dropped to US$ 1587 million in November, amid continued liquidity injections mainly made to sterilize interventions. “In keeping with our previous announcements, the official #reserve position of the @CBSL has today reached appox USD 3.1 billion and will remain around that level by end 2021 as well,” more..