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2023 Grade five scholarship exam: Cut-off marks released

Nov 17 (DM) The Examinations Department today released the cut-off marks for the enrolment of students into Grade Six next year, based on the 2023 Grade 5 Scholarship Examination. The results could be obtained from or Also, the students are requested to enter their correct examination number to obtain the results. Cut-off marks according to the district basis for Sinhala-medium students are as follows: more..

74 school buildings identified as unsafe: Education Minister

Nov 17 (AD) Minister Susil Premajayantha has warned that 74 school buildings across the island have been identified as unsafe buildings, posing potential threats to the safety of students. He stated that all principals too, have been informed to be alert of the conditions of the buildings constructed within their school premises, and in the event any building is found unsafe, that measures be taken to evacuate schoolchildren out of the said building, so as to ensure their safety. more..

Fingerprint attendance machines worth Rs. 30 mn discarded in health sector

Nov 17 (Island) Health Ministry officials have informed a sub-committee of the Public Accounts Committee that fingerprint attendance machines procured at a cost of Rs 31.08 mn in 2017 are idling because workers refuse to use them. The officials who appeared before the sub-committee included Ministry Secretary Janaka Chandragupta and Director General of Health Services (DGHS) Dr. Asela Gunawardena, Maj. Pradeep Undugoda (SLPP) heads the sub-committee tasked with examining more..

Five directors of OnmaxDT granted bail

Nov 17 (AD) Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court has ordered the five Directors of the company OnmaxDT, who were arrested over allegations concerning a fraudulent pyramid scheme, to be released on bail. This order was issued by Magistrate Prasanna Alwis, when the case was taken up. Magistrate who ordered each suspect to be released on three surety bails of Rs. 10 million each, also imposed a bail condition that the suspects should report to the CID on the last Sunday of every month. more..

Branson’s Virgin Voyages picks Sri Lanka for maiden call to Asia with Aitken Spence Travels

Nov 17 (FT) In a monumental stride for SL’s tourism sector, Aitken Spence Travels announced the arrival of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Voyages’ newest ship, the Resilient Lady, making her maiden call to Asia and to the Colombo Harbour on 13 Nov 2023. Company said this historic event marks a significant contribution to the global recognition and confidence of SL’s tourism industry. The Resilient Lady, a marvel of modern maritime engineering began her maiden voyage in May 2023, more..

හිරු ටීවී පත්තරේ විස්තරේ

Price cap on 100 more essential drugs

Nov 17 (DN) Health and Industries Minister Dr. Ramesh Pathirana told Parliament yesterday that 100 more essential drugs will be brought under price control with immediate effect. The price cap imposed by the Government only applies to 100 essential medicines currently and when price control is introduced for another 100 medicines, 200 types of medicines altogether will be under price control. The Minister said this while replying to the question raised by MP Jayantha Samaraweera. more..

Tourist arrivals surpass 1.2 m

Nov 17 (FT) In a remarkable feat for SL’s tourism sector, arrivals surpassed 1.2 million sparking optimism about meeting the ambitious target of 1.55 million visitors by the end of the year. Sri Lanka welcomed 74,664 tourists over the first 15 days of November, bringing the total number of visitors to over 1.2 million, marking the highest arrival tally in three years. “This milestone is particularly significant as it illustrates a robust recovery post-pandemic, more..

Parks USA pays deposit to enter Lankan petroleum market

Nov 17 (DN) The third interactional petroleum player to enter the SL market, RM Parks of the USA, has deposited their initial payment with the govt disclosed Minister Kanchana Wijesekera. He said that RM Parks will start operations in SL from next month. The US based company will initially take over 150 fuel stations and will operate them. Prior to the economic crisis, SL Petroleum sector held the monopoly in the sector and two decades ago the govt also allowed more..

No tax relief in 2024 as SL behind IMF targets

Nov 17 (TM) Treasury Secretary Mahinda Siriwardana added that although the Govt is able to increase the salaries of State employees in the upcoming year, it is not possible to provide tax relief as Sri Lanka continues to be behind the revenue targets set by the IMF. Through the 2024 Budget proposals, Govt has decided to allocate Rs. 450 billion to recapitalise the State banks in order to secure stability and provide security as the Govt is in the process of restructuring local debt more..

MR conflicted on being implicated in econ. crisis

Nov 17 (TM) Former Prez and PM and incumbent Govt MP attorney Mahinda Rajapaksa was seen expressing contradictory views on the recent Supreme Court (SC) ruling which held that he and several others are responsible for the country’s economic crisis. Speaking to the media on Wednesday (15) in Rambukkana, he said that they would always respect the ruling delivered by the Judiciary. “We cannot go against the Judiciary, and I, being a lawyer, cannot do it at all. more..

Only N-Eliya Post Office requested for project: Postmaster General

Nov 17 (TM) In the wake of reports that several post offices of historic value are ready to be handed over for hotel projects, the Posts Department stated that only the Nuwara Eliya Post Office has officially been requested to be handed over for such a project. There were recent media reports to the effect that post office buildings in Nuwara Eliya, Kandy, Diyathalawa, and Galle are to be offered for hotel projects through the UDA. more..

Colombo – burning in the sun, drowning in the rain

Nov 17 (FT) The ceaseless rain washes away the accumulated grime and dust of Colombo only to expose its dilapidation – blocked noisome drains, pot-holed roads, broken pavements, fallen trees and the hanging cables that define the capital city; a city with a mighty ambition nevertheless – a financial centre for the whole wide world! Before the deluge, Colombo was scorching, the sweltering heat made worse by the agonising humidity. Dust and soot covered the shabby streets, more..

Sri Lankan man on business trip kidnapped in Chennai; woman among 4 arrested

Nov 17 (ENS) A 50-year-old SL citizen who had come to Chennai for business purposes was kidnapped by a gang. Police rescued him and arrested four people including a woman in connection with the incident. Police identified K Chitra (43) of Anna Nagar West, Riyaz Askhar (47) of Anna Nagar West, G Velmurugan (41) of West KK Nagar and K Dinesh (31) of West KK Nagar as the kidnappers of Mohammed Shyam, who came from SL a few days ago and was staying at more..

යුනිවර්සිටි හදන්න ඩයස්පෝරාව එයි ද?

The English for All program will be implemented in all schools by 2030: Prez

Nov 17 (PMD) Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe emphasized the importance of expanding language knowledge beyond Sinhala and Tamil. He announced the implementation of the English for All program in all schools and universities across the country by 2030 during the D.S. held at the BMICH in Colombo today (16). At the 10th – Commemoration of the late Mr. R.I.T. Alles, a renowned educationist and founder of D.S. Senanayake Vidyalaya, more..

Court once again dismisses Dayasiri’s request seeking injunction over SLFP’s...

Nov 17 (AD) Western Province Civil Appellate High Court in Colombo today rejected a request made by MP Dayasiri Jayasekara regarding the decisions taken by the SLFP concerning him. Jayasekara, who was the former General Secretary of the SLFP, had sought an order for the revocation of the decisions taken by the party to oust him from the position he held within the party and ask him for excuses. Western Province Civil Appellate High Court Judges Priyantha Fernando and Frank Gunawardena more..

'Terms of Sri Lanka’s debt deal with China shared with other creditors'

Nov 17 (AD) Sri Lanka’s central bank chief said the govt has shared the terms of a $4.2 billion China debt deal with other creditors — a key sticking point with countries like India — paving the way for more loans from the IMF. Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe said he hopes the official creditors committee, which is led by Japan, India and Paris Club of nations, will now propose an agreement to restructure Sri Lanka’s debt. more..

New syllabus for sex education in the offing

Nov 17 (DM) In a significant move to address the rising concerns of child abuse, the govt is mulling a new syllabus for sex education in schools. A senior official from Parliament said that initial discussions in this regard were held at the Parliamentary Caucus for Children. According to the official, syllabus will be specifically tailored for different age groups starting from preschool, aiming to provide children with proper knowledge and understanding of important topics. more..

No more COPE meetings until further notice

Nov 17 (EN) There will be no meetings of COPE until further notice, Speaker said. Speaker told parliament that the COPE meeting that was due to be held at 1pm Friday was cancelled. “COPE meeting that was to be held at 1pm today, and there will be no further COPE meetings till further notice,” he said. Speaker said there will be no more meetings until issues over its chairman have been resolved, and that a final decision will be taken by the committee’s members. more..

SL seeks investors for nuclear power plants

Nov 17 (Reuters) SL will call for expressions of interest (EOI) in setting up nuclear power plants, its energy minister said, as it seeks cheap electricity to support its economic recovery. The primary source of energy in the island nation is from imported oil and coal, and hydropower. Govt aims to produce 70% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030 and it sees nuclear power as a low-carbon option for its energy mix. more..

Climate risk impacts on food systems

Nov 17 (TM) Climate change-related risk is one of the defining challenges of the 21st century. As part of a landscape of compounding and cascading risks, it poses a complex challenge for food systems and other key sectors in Sri Lanka and countries across the world. Farmers and other actors in the food system are aware of this challenge and already face climate-related impacts as well as production and market-related risks. However, they often lack the necessary awareness, knowledge, more..

Kanchana challenges Sajith to file lawsuit if substandard fuel distributed

Nov 17 (DM) Refuting allegations that permission had been granted to unload stocks of substandard fuel, Minister Kanchana Wijesekara today challenged Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa to file a lawsuit if substandard fuel had been distributed. He said that permission is not granted to unload any fuel stocks if they fail their quality tests carried out by the Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminals Limited (CPSTL). Minister said permission to unload fuel stocks is granted only after more..

සිංහල බෞද්ධ බඩගොස්තරයට...

President off to the Maldives

Nov 17 (CT) Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday (16) left the country to participate in the inauguration ceremony of Dr. Mohamed Muizzu, the President-elect of the Republic of Maldives. The United States of America has also declared that President Joseph R. Biden will dispatch a Presidential delegation to witness the swearing-in ceremony of President-elect Dr. Mohamed Muizzu. The presidential inauguration is set to take place on 17 November at the Republic Square. more..

SL gets 9 responses for Hilton Hotel sale

Nov 17 (EN) Nine parties have expressed interest to buy a stake in Hotel Developers (Lanka) Ltd, State Enterprise Reform Unit said. The full statement below: On 9th Oct 2023 via international and local media, Govt of SL acting through Ministry of Finance, Economic Stabilisation and National Policies called for Expressions of Interest (EOI) from potential investors for the acquisition of shares in Hotel Developers Lanka Ltd. Deadline for submission of proposals ended on Thur more..

NPP leader Anura Kumara Disanayake's favourability rating continues to climb

Nov 17 (EN) Opposition leader Sajith Premadasa’s net favourability rating dropped 13 points to a new low of -66 and Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe’s dropped 8 points to -65 while NPP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake’s rating improved by 10 points to -9, a poll showed. According to the monthly SL Opinion Tracker Survey (SLOT) by IHP, favourability ratings of all major party leaders remained negative in October, though more..

COPF wants Bribery Commission Chairman’s salary increased

Nov 17 (DM) Committee on Public Finance (COPF) has recommended that the salary scale of the Chairman of the CIABOC should be increased. Committee has recommended that the salary scale of the Chairman of the Commission established under the Anti-Corruption Act passed by Parliament should be strengthened and the current proposed salary scale be reviewed and approved by the Cabinet. This was discussed yesterday when the proposal related to salary and allowances more..

SriLankan Airlines makes Rs79bn profit after rate mis-targeting ends

Nov 17 (EN) SriLankan Airlines has reported a 79 billion rupee profit in the first eight months of 2023, with exchange gains adding to the bottom line as the central bank stopped mis-targeting rates. SriLankan and other state enterprises like the CEB and CPC that have large dollar borrowings, which trigger book losses when the central bank cuts rates with inflationary open market operations and depreciates the currency. In addition, costs also zoom up as the currency depreciates, more..

US provides $32.5 Million for school feeding program

Nov 17 (USE) U.S. Embassy in Colombo is pleased to announce a new $32.5 million award from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to SL for the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program, a food assistance initiative that reduces hunger and improves literacy and primary education. By providing school meals, teacher training and related support, McGovern-Dole projects help boost more..

Cricket selection chief summoned by Sports Ministry’s SIU

Nov 17 (AD) Pramodya Wickramasinghe, the chairman of Sri Lanka Cricket Selection Committee, has been summoned before the Special Investigation Unit (SIU) for Preventing Sports Offences for investigations into his recent statements. Accordingly, the chief cricket selector is slated to appear before the SIU on Nov 22. Summons were issued after Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe asked the SIU on Thursday (16) to investigate the matter. more..

CID ordered not to arrest Pastor Jerome upon arrival at BIA

Nov 17 (AD) Court of Appeal has ordered the CID not to arrest Pastor Jerome Fernando upon his arrival at the BIA in Katunayake. The ruling also mentioned the self-styled ‘prophet’ should record a statement with the CID’s Cyber Crime Investigation Division within 48 hours of his arrival on the island. This interim order was issued when a petition filed by Pastor Fernando, seeking an order preventing the CID from arresting him, was taken up before the Appeals Court bench this morning. more..

මෛන්ද මාත්තුරු දෙන්නටම දීර්ඝායු

Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka to buy Heineken beer

Nov 17 (EN) Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka, the island’s market leading hard alcohol firm said it was buying the Heineken unit in Sri Lanka, making a move into the beer business. Public listed Distilleries Company said it will buy all the stock in HEINEKEN Lanka Limited and the license to produce Heineken, Tiger and Anchor branded beer. Distilleries said its own expertise in production and distribution of liquor and the brewing and marketing expertise of HEINEKEN will be combined to more..

SL to give 50,000 urban dwellers ownership, free hold land for estate community

Nov 17 (EN) SL will give ownership to 50,000 low income urban families who pay a 3,000 rupee monthly rent to the state and provide freeholding land to the estate community, PM Dinesh Gunawardana said. “We are taking necessary steps to remove the rent of the houses in these urban areas, and also to transfer them,” PM said. “Through this, thousands of people and their children can benefit from being freed from the various financial obligations that would burden them.” more..

President discusses dismal cricket condition with Jay Shah

Nov 17 (CT) Minister Kanchana Wijesekera said today that Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe discussed the disappointing state of cricketing affairs in the island nation with the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) President, Jay Shah. Notably, Kanchana said this in Parliament while responding to a claim by Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa, who alleged that Jay Shah's father is the right-hand man of Indian PM, Narendra Modi. more..

CPA wants coconuts classified as export-oriented

Nov 17 (CT) Coconut Planters Association (CPA) has urged the Minister of Agriculture and Plantation Industries to classify coconut cultivation as an export-oriented crop. Concerns were raised during a recent meeting at the Ministry of Plantation, where the association highlighted issues arising in the sector. Despite coconut exports occurring, they are not officially recognised as export-oriented. During the meeting, the association addressed coconut cultivation, export & domestic consumption. more..

Rohitha Bogollagama approved as Sri Lankan high commissioner to UK

Nov 17 (AD) Committee on High Posts approved 6 new appointments including a ministerial secretary. Accordingly, the Committee on High Posts has approved the appointment of Mr. K.D.N.R. Asoka as the secretary to the Ministry of Public Administration, Home Affairs, Provincial Councils & Local Govt. Additionally, the appointment of K.D. Seneviratne as the High Commissioner of SL to India has been approved by the committee. The committee has also approved the appointment more..

Sri Lanka govt apologises to Jay Shah after Arjuna Ranatunga controversial's remarks

Nov 17 (CO) Ministers part of the reigning SL govt expressed regret and apologised to Asian Cricket Council (ACC) president Jay Shah over former Sri Lanka skipper Arjuna Ranatunga's controversial remarks made against him following the Island nation's disastrous ICC World Cup 2023 campaign. SL suffered the worst fate in the stiff tournament played on Indian shores after winning just two of their nine league matches more..

Over 8,000 employees of LG bodies to be made permanent in 2024?

Nov 17 (AD) State Minister Shantha Bandara stated that Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe has instructed to recruit 8,400 employees of local govt bodies, who are working on contract basis, for permanent employment. Commenting in this regard during today’s parliamentary session, the State Minister mentioned although this was not read out in the 2024 budget speech, the govt has already arrived at a decision regarding the matter. Some people allege that many relief measures were not included more..