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Video: President arrives in Abu Dhabi for Indian Ocean Conference

Dec 4 (AD) President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has arrived in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE to attend the Indian Ocean Conference (IOC). The delegation headed by the President arrived at the Abu Dhabi International Airport at 10.00 p.m., Abu Dhabi time, on Friday (3). The President and the delegation were warmly welcomed by Mr. Malraj De Silva, the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the UAE and the staff of the Embassy. He is scheduled to hold several bilateral discussions today (4), more..

Sri Lanka makes progress on credit lines, swap from India during Finance Minister visit

Dec 4 (EN) SL has made progress in getting a central bank swap, credit lines for fuel, food and medicines on which a timeline has to be agreed, during a visit to India by Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa, the island’s High Commission in New Delhi said. Minister Rajapaksa had two rounds of joint discussions with Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar. Two sources familiar with the talks said a total of $1.9 bil more..

Domestic LP gas distribution to begin tomorrow under 3 conditions

Dec 4 (AD) Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) today gave the nod to release liquefied petroleum (LP) gas to the market under three conditions. In a statement, Authority’s chairman Shantha Dissanayake said the gas samples obtained yesterday under the supervision of the CAA, the committee appointed to inspect imported LP gas stocks, the SL Accreditation Board and the SL Standards Institution, were directed to more..

Another ferry capsizes in Kalutara

Dec 4 (TM) Another ferry has capsized in Bolossagama, Kalutara, with one person missing and another badly injured. A Kalutara South Police revealed that the identity of the missing person is still unknown and a search is underway for the missing person. “The ferry arrived from the Galpatha terminal and was carrying five persons, three motorcycles and a bicycle. The three motorcycles and bicycle have sunk. The driver of the ferry has sustained injuries and more..

Private bus owners urge fare hike

Dec 4 (CT) Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association (LPBOA) urged the Govt to increase the minimum bus fare up to Rs 20 from 1 Jan 2022. LPBOA Chairman Gemunu Wijeratne said the association will send the proposal to the SLTB and National Transport Commission. He further emphasised that the Govt will be provided one week to respond with their decision in regard to the proposal. “Currently, the minimum bus fare is Rs 14. As a result of lockdowns and curfews 9,000 buses more..

Talk with Sudhaththa

Sri Lanka gets 7 responses to securitize remittance surrenders

Dec 4 (EN) SL’s central bank said has received 7 responses to a request for proposals for a medium term financing by securitizing remittances surrendered to it by commercial banks. “Accordingly, there were seven (7) responses, among which there were five (5) leading international banks and two (2) established investment arrangers,” the central banks said. “These responses are being reviewed to determine the most suited modality to initiate the securitised financing arrangement,” more..

JDS scholarship programme extends towards young Lankans once again

Dec 4 (ST) Japanese Grant Aid for the Human Resource Development Scholarship Programme (JDS) has extended its deadline until Dec 3. The programme began in SL in 2010. So far 188 fellows have been sent to Japan. JDS is now inviting potential applicants who understand its aims and are interested in a two-year master degree programme at universities in Japan, for the academic year 2022-2023. The programme will be in English. Number of dispatches is 17 (15 MA & 2 PhD) per year. more..

New footage shows a colleague trying to save Sri Lankan man; police arrest scores

Dec 4 (Dawn) As more arrests were made and condemnation continued to pour in over the lynching of SL factory manager Priyantha Kumara Diyawadanage in Sialkot over blasphemy allegations, new footage obtained by on Saturday showed that a colleague of the man tried to protect him from the mob prior to the ghastly incident. Diyawadanage was tortured to death and his body was set on fire on Friday. more..

Sri Lanka promoted at International Jewellery Summit in Shanghai

Dec 4 (FT) Ambassador of SL to China Dr. Palitha Kohona participated in the International Jewellery Summit held in parallel with the China Int'l Import Expo 2021 (CIIE) in Shanghai as a keynote speaker. The Ambassadors of Belgium and Italy spoke on video. Among the other speakers were representatives from ASEAN, Malaysia and Myanmar, all online. China’s E-market for Gems and Jewellery had recovered considerably and now is a key partner of Italian and Belgian more..

US House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs wants prioritized political...

Dec 4 (TM) Representatives Gregory W. Meeks and Michael McCaul, Chair and Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken urging the Administration to prioritize in its SL Policy the importance of a substantive and durable political solution. This letter was sent to Blinken yesterday. The letter mentions that Since the end of SL’s almost 30-year civil war, this committee has demonstrated an interest in ensuring that more..

Lab technologists urge govt not to try short cuts with Omicron variant

Dec 4 (Island) CMLS President Ravi Kumudesh accused the Health Ministry of trying to mislead the public as regards the Omicron case detected in Sri Lanka. Ministry claimed that they had detected the variant in a traveller from South Africa. However the passenger actually came from Nigeria, a country that was not in the banned list of countries, Kumudesh said. “We have laid a red carpet for Omicron to come here. more..

Weerasekera and Fonseka engage in Parliamentary stand-off

Dec 4 (TM) A heated debate broke out in Parliament yesterday (3) between Minister of Public Security Sarath Weerasekera and SJB MP Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka over the Ministry of Defense Expenditure Head. Fonseka accused that the Govt does not have a plan in place to ensure National Security, quoting the allocations for the Defence Ministry within next year’s budget, adding that the defence expenditure should not be reduced even though the war has ended. more..

Daraz commits to boosting e-commerce innovation and growth in Sri Lanka

Dec 4 (DM) Daraz Group CEO of Daraz, Bjarke Mikkelsen was in Sri Lanka on November 25 and 26. During his visit he met with key govt leaders and officials including, Tharaka Balasuriya, State Minister of Regional Cooperation, Ajith Nivard Cabraal, Governor of the CB, Oshada Senanayake, Chairman of the ICTA and Director General of the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission and Namal Rajapaksa, Minister of Youth & Sports and State Minister of Digital Technology and more..

It’s cassava, kos and kesel muwa for many as carrots, leeks, beans go beyond their means

Dec 4 (ST) Vegetable prices remained high for the second consecutive week, although a slight reduction in prices was reported compared to last week. People complained that the prices were still high, adding that they feared things would only get worse with the upcoming festive season. Farmers warned that the vegetable price hike would continue into December with the market being hit by a drop in supply. more..

Power cuts from today

Dec 4 (DM) The power supply to several parts of the country will be suspended for around one hour for few days from today (4), the Ministry of Power and Energy said. Accordingly, the power supply could be suspended between 6.00 pm and 9.30 pm for a few days daily until the Norochcholai Power Plant is fully functional. Operations at all electricity grid sub-stations were brought back to normal yesterday following the power outage. However, the ministry said that more..

PHIs claim Omicron patient not quarantined

Dec 4 (TM) While claiming that the patient who was recently diagnosed with the Omicron variant of Covid-19 is not quarantined in a quarantine centre, President of the PHI Union Upul Rohana said that the respective area PHI is unaware is the patient has been subjected to home quarantine. He made this statement while speaking to the media yesterday “The Ministry of Health has not informed the area PHI or relevant authorities about the newly diagnosed Omicron patient. more..

Easter Sunday blasts; an issue that the govt wants to wish away

Dec 4 (EN) Like an angry storm cloud that refuses to go away, the govt of Prez Rajapaksa appears incapable of escaping the anger, anguish and burning questions being raised by the Easter Sunday attacks and the lack of progress over the hunt for the principal conspirators. The quest for answers runs parallel to protests over economic issues that have been the springing up across the country. They are exacerbated by the quiet more..

PM Imran assures Sri Lanka’s Rajapaksa of justice in Sialkot lynching incident

Dec 4 (PO) Pakistan PM Imran Khan spoke to Prez Rajapaksa on Saturday and conveyed nation’s anger and shame over the vigilante killing of Priyantha Diyawadana in the Sialkot lynching incident. In his tweet, the premier wrote: “I informed him 100+ ppl arrested & assured him they would be prosecuted with full severity of the law”. Police have arrested 13 suspects and detained scores others in the lynching of a SL employee Priyantha Kumara in Sialkot over blasphemy allegations. more..

President to establish Green Agriculture Operative Centre

Dec 4 (TM) Prez Rajapaksa has decided to establish a Green Agriculture Operative Centre to systematically and sustainably fulfil the priorities identified to make SL a green country. This is being implemented under the direction of the Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army General Shavendra Silva. President has given directives to ensure that this Operative Centre gives priority to a number of functions including the amalgamation of the Colombo Commercial Fertilizers Ltd. more..

පකිස්තානයේදී මරාදැමුණු ප්‍රියන්තට සාධාරණය ඉටුවේද?

Kitchen fires & The power of arkness

Dec 5 (CT) Not enough Litro Gas and Laugfs Gas (not quite the Laughing Gas with Lankan typos) lit up Sri Lanka’s political skyline with kitchen fires for nearly a month. On Friday, always the day for changing political channels, the whole island was plunged into darkness for a few hours. In other news, the entire directorate of Sri Lanka’s Board of Investment, the national counter for receiving foreign investments, is reported to have stepped down with immediate effect. more..

Liberal dogmatism & Sri Lanka’s future

Dec 5 (CT) At the height of the first wave last year, the JVP and the FSP requested the govt to look to Kerala. Led by the Communist Party, the Kerala administration responded well to the virus, deploying State resources and ensuring no one was left behind. It was a litmus test of what govts ought to do during a public health crisis. Although Colombo opted for a different strategy that combined army officials with medical professionals, the second, third, and fourth waves have made us realise more..

Controversy over how Budget was passed in Kotte MC; Complaint to LG Commissioner

Dec 5 (ST) In Parliament on Friday the SJB members voiced concern that one of its members was not given his full quota of time to take part in the Budget debate. A few days ago there were similar scenes at the Sri J'pura-Kotte Municipal Council when the Budget was taken up for vote. Opposition members accused the Mayor of not allowing them to express their views before the vote. Instead, 21 members of the ruling SLPP more..

Not the regulator but the Regulator

Dec 5 (ST) They say it is the regulator that is to blame, i.e. the ESD (Emergency Shut Down) valve that controls the gas output from the cylinder to the cooker that is causing the explosions occurring in many homes and hearths these days – and nights. But what about the Regulator — the Govt agencies, and the Govt itself, that are responsible for safety standards — to ensure such deadly incidents don’t happen? SL politics revolves around the kitchen. Already, the prices of foodstuffs more..

A man no one can trust

Dec 5 (ST) Aiyo Sirisena, It is not that I enjoy writing to you or hearing from you, but I feel I cannot but help doing so this week. That is after learning what you and some from your Blue Party had to say about continuing to be in govt with the pohottuwa chaps – and enduring the step-motherly treatment you get from them. You and your group of 14 have kept a low profile while being part and parcel of the ruling alliance in the last two years. That is despite having just two ministerial portfolios for more..

'Issues could be resolved through discussions'

Dec 5 (SO) Co-Cabinet Spokesman and Minister Dr. Ramesh Pathirana said the President and all other leaders of the SLPP-led Govt are of the view that we can iron out any issues or differences within the Govt through discussions. The minister said “We are a multiparty Govt and we have been working together with different parties over a long period. There had been arguments in relation to some policy matters. more..

Vaccine equality - now

Dec 5 (SO) The much-dreaded Omicron variant was detected in Sri Lanka on Friday, from a local traveller who had returned from South Africa, which first detected the new strain. This does not imply that the new variant originated there – rather, South Africa’s advanced genomic sequencing laboratories were able to isolate and identify it with remarkable speed. Omicron has now spread at lightning speed to various countries as did its predecessor Delta, still the world’s dominant Coronavirus variant. more..

Editorial: Gas explosions

Dec 5 (Island) During the worst days this country faced in its contemporary history, now dimming in memory, of LTTE and JVP terror, people waited with trepidation for news of the number of deaths on any given day that day in the evening television news bulletins. The wheel has now turned a full circle and many people, during the last few days waited for word on how many gas explosions had occurred that day. Last week, Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna admitted in Parliament that an average of more..

වත්මන් දේශපාලන තත්ත්වය | සටන

Govt, SJB unite to condemn slaying in Sialkot, amid bitter spat over...

Dec 5 (ST) Despite heated debates over Budget 2022 in Parliament, lawmakers yesterday strongly condemned the brutal murder of a SL factory manager in a mob attack at Sialkot in Pakistan. Making a special statement, House Leader Dinesh Gunawardena said the Govt strongly condemned the murder of Priyantha Kumara Diyawadana. Mr Gunawardena described the killing as an inhumane act that shocked the entire world. He said the Govt appreciated the intervention of Pakistani PM more..

Exquisite intermingling of the novelistic and the poetic

Dec 5 (Island) A debut novel rarely achieves the same excellence as Baththalangunduwa by Manjula Wediwardena. In any language, such first-novels are rare. Still there are many writers who have mesmerised readers with their first novels. This is certainly one among them. In writing this novel, the author does not hide the fact that he arrives at the art of novel, bringing with him the technical devices of poetry and short play, two genres he had excelled in earlier. more..

LP gas cylinder explosions: Consumers in dire straits

Dec 5 (TM) Battered by the increasing cost of living in the midst of a pandemic, consumers now have to live in fear within their homes, due to a risk of possible explosions or fires linked to LP gas cylinders used for cooking. The added worry on the home front comes following a series of unusual incidents reported around the country during the past few weeks. Even though there were a few isolated cases reported more..

SLC hunt for new coaching staff

Dec 5 (ST) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is set to go through a major overhaul in its coaching structure with consultant coaches in the calibre of former cricket stars like Mahela Jayawardena expected to provide strategic support to shape the future of the game. With contracts of many coaches in the national setup ending this month, including that of Head Coach Mickey Arthur, the Board has begun head-hunting to fill some of the key positions within the National, SL ‘A’ and Emerging teams. more..

Backlash and betrayal bashes SL’s LPL

Dec 5 (SO) Cricket influenced and orchestrated by businessmen and destined to offer rich pickings to players in the name of the Lanka Premier League (LPL) has been exposed in all its cut-throat and back-stab dealings on the eve of its second edition which starts today at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. The run-up to the LPL’s media launch on Thursday had all the drama for an intriguing cinematic script to entice cinema goers more than satisfy adoring cricket fans that has tainted more..

LPL 2021: Let the games begin

Dec 5 (ST) The second edition of the Lanka Premier League (LPL) kicks off today at the R. Premadasa Int'l Cricket Stadium in Colombo, but what conspired right around SL’s premium and cash-rich cricket tournament has not been too pleasant. Alongside the successes it has had and the impact LPL has brought to put SL on the ball with the other cricket leagues around the world, but at the same time being a competition that is merely more..

Ramesh Mendis traded batting for bowling

Dec 5 (SO) Off-spinner Ramesh Mendis who bowled SL to victory in the two-match Test series against the West Indies at the Galle Int'l Cricket Stadium on Friday, said his success was because he turned himself from a batting all-rounder to a bowling all-rounder while being inspired by his fellow spinners in the team. “I am very pleased that I was able to bowl my country to a win with the support of my coaches and the other spinners. I was working hard with my coaches Piyal Wijetunga and Sajeewa more..

Boxing: Commonwealth Games 2022 selection meet unveils the good, bad & ugly...

Dec 5 (SO) The first selection boxing meet for the 2022 Commonwealth Games produced thunder and lightning as pugilists unleashed their fury as the pugilists returned in all their glory after months of hibernation caused by the pandemic. Boxing competitions have been limited to selection trials this year ahead of international competitions but the three-day event at the Royal MAS Arena was a virtual national tournament with the cream of SL’s pugilists determined to showcase their skills more..

ප්‍රියන්ත - මධූෂ් : එකම කාසියක දෙපැත්ත

Junior National Championship next weekend at Diyawanna

Dec 5 (ST) The Amateur Rowing Association of SL (ARASL) has made all arrangements to conduct the SL Junior Rowing National Championship 2021 on Dec 17 and 18 at the Diyawanna Rowing Centre in Koswatte. Events will be held for both boys and girls of three age categories — Under-14, Under-16 and Under-18 with 20 races slotted to take place in total. The Under-14 will have only two events — Singles and Doubles Sculls for both boys and girls. They will compete in a 500m course at all events. more..