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Audit shows national carrier’s losses going sky high

Oct 25 (ST) The debt-ridden national carrier SriLankan Airlines incurred a net loss of Rs 47 billion by March 31 this year along with an accumulated loss of Rs 326 billion, while the company’s current liabilities exceeded its current assets by Rs 211 billion, an audit report revealed. National Audit Office carried out the audit. It pointed out that the airline experienced a net loss of Rs 47,197.86 million during the year ended March 31 with more..

Foreigners get forex risk cover in investing in securities

Oct 25 (ST) Foreign investment in Sri Lanka’s rupee-denominated securities market is to be made more attractive by offering forex risk cover, tax relief and other incentives by the Finance Ministry and the Central Bank, a senior official of the State Ministry of Finance disclosed. The govt has identified the need to facilitate non-resident investors’ investments in government securities and other sectors to encourage the inflow of foreign currency into the country. more..

Ceylon Tea exports face curbs in lockdown tea hub

Oct 25 (ST) While the tea hub of Sri Lanka located in the Gampaha district that is currently facing a lockdown, is operating amidst constraints, the supply chain is expected to continue smoothly. The coronavirus outbreak in Gampaha has led to a complete lockdown of the district since last Wednesday night. SL’s main tea warehouses of brokers and factories and warehouses of exporters have always been located in the tea hub of Gampaha in areas like Peliyagoda, Wattala more..

Hotels hurled a double whammy

Oct 25 (ST) Hoteliers are facing a further blow to their earnings since the latest outbreak of COVID-19 as the only guests that patronized them, the Sri Lankans, are now steering clear of holiday travel. With the outbreak of the coronavirus in Minuwangoda, govt had placed a number of clampdowns on social gatherings and restricting numbers that forced the closure of many events. While some even cancelled their weddings more..

Paranavithana the youngest at LPL

Oct 25 (SO) Mahinda College left hand batsman Navod Paranavithana is the youngest cricketer at age 18 to be picked for the upcoming Lanka Premier League (LPL) T20 tournament. He was picked into the Colombo Kings squad to be what is called a Supplementary Local. Under the Supplementary Local category a total of 92 players were included in the bidding or auction list comprising domestic club cricketers and Emerging players. Paranavithana became a sensation last year when more..

Unemployment benefits for COVID-19 job losses

Oct 25 (ST) Govt is seriously considering a proposal to provide financial unemployment benefits to scores of Sri Lankans who have lost their jobs owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and those who are at risk of losing their jobs. If approved, the proposal will be implemented in the forthcoming 2021 budget to be presented in Parliament in November with funds being allocated for this purpose. The proposal was made by several trade unions at a recent meeting of National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC) more..

BIA’s Terminal 2 to begin construction on 30 November despite Covid 19

Oct 25 (TM) After running into numerous obstacles that delayed the implementation of the project for years, construction of Terminal 2 at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) is finally set to be launched on 30 November this year. AASL Chairman Maj. Gen. (Retd.) G.A. Chandrasiri noted that despite any obstacles they may face on the way, construction of the terminal will be launched on the scheduled date. more..

Can technology save our economy from Covid?

Oct 25 (TM) The country needs people to work and earn money, for themselves, for the govt, and for the nation. But people use this as an excuse to gather around, shop, and attend weddings and religious events, and thus increase the risk of exposure to Covid. We know we have to prevent public gatherings and so we have blanket curfews in our most populous districts, effectively cutting off most of our revenue-generating capabilities. As the country goes into a vicious tailspin with more..

Birth of the 20th Amendment and death of a basketball legend

Oct 25 (TM) After much elaborate drama, vehement opposition, and toing and froing, the 20th Amendment to the Constitution has been passed with a resounding majority in Parliament. The contents of this amendment and the seismic shift it creates to our governance system reminds me of a story from early this year, before global headlines had begun to be dominated by Covid-19 – namely, the tragic helicopter crash on 26 January in Los Angeles which caused the death of more..

Player fixing saga hits Sri Lanka’s T20 show

Oct 25 (SO) With under a month left before the much touted Lanka Premier League (LPL) gets underway, many are the claims that some of SL’s better ball hitters in T20 cricket have become the victims of backstage fixing and shut out from November’s three-week showpiece that will also feature overseas professionals. Five teams branded as Colombo Kings, Dambulla Hawks, Galle Gladiators, Jaffna Stallions & Kandy Tuskers more..

SL to tour South Africa for Boxing Day Test

Oct 25 (Island) Starved of international cricket due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, Sri Lanka will finally engage in Test cricket when they tour South Africa later this year. Sri Lanka Cricket bosses confirmed to Sunday Island that they are finalizing the details of the tour but the series will take place for sure. Dimuth Karunaratne’s side will play two Test matches against the Proteas – the Boxing Day Test match and the New Year Test. SLC officials said that the venues for the tour more..

20A and dual citizen

Oct 25 (Island) 20th Amendment to the J.R. Jayewardene 1978 Constitution was done and dusted on Thursday night with the Gotabaya-Mahinda Rajapaksa govt comfortably clearing the two thirds majority barrier. Since Prez Rajapaksa’s election as the country’s seventh executive president in Nov 2019, nothing kicked up as much controversy as the 20th Amendment which the govt was clearly intent on enacting despite, in our view, the far more important challenge of Covid-19 confronting more..

IPL experience unbelievable

Oct 25 (ST) It would be an overstatement to place him in the class of Chaminda Vaas, one of SL’s finest left-arm seamers with an unparalled impact on the game which includes 520 wickets across all formats. Isuru Udana was brought in as Vaas’ replacement for the 2009 T20 World Cup in England. While he did reasonably, his career did not flourish as expected. He played just seven matches till 2017, year which saw the second coming more..

Sachini and Deshan destined to bring glory to Sri Lanka in weightlifting

Oct 25 (ST) Renowned weightlifting coach Chanaka Subasinghe has unearthed two uncut gems from Galle who are destined to bring glory to Sri Lanka. They are 14-year-old Sachini Laksarani and 15-year-old Deshan Kapila Kumara who have battled adversity to rise to the top in the sport of weightlifting. Subasinghe, a Sports Officer attached to the Niyagama Division in the Southern Provincial Council who is also an athletic and volleyball coach, spotted the raw talent of these 2 youngsters more..

Kumara Dharmasena now a planter of liquid gold

Oct 25 (SO) From a humble cricketer at Nalanda College to hot favourite of the Sri Lanka team and later an elite umpire, Kumara Dharmasena has taken his interests deep into the heart of the country as a planter of trees that produce an ingredient that makes perfume. Dharmasena, believe it or not, has in his possession 12,800 of the perfume trees known by its native name Vallapatta, in English Agarwood, growing on 139 acres of land near Kalawana in the Ratnapura district. more..

20th amendment sails through despite reservations

Oct 25 (CT) Despite reservations and concerns, the Bill titled Twentieth Amendment to the Constitution, was passed in Parliament with a two-thirds majority. The Bill was passed with amendments during the Third Reading, with 156 voting for and 65 against. The Second Reading of the 20th Amendment Bill received a two-thirds majority, with 156 votes in favour and 65 against in the 225-member Legislature. more..

Clive Inman kept our flag flying abroad scoring fastest 50 in 8 minutes

Oct 25 (ST) Left-hand batsman, Clive Clay Inman (born 29-1-36), played for St. Peter’s College, Bambalapitiya, with great distinction, and crowned his school cricket career by scoring a glorious double century (204) in the Big Match against St. Joseph’s College, Colombo. He played for the school’s First XI cricket team for five seasons, and captained it to victory in the Battle of the Saints – against St. Joseph’s College – in his final season in 1954-55. more..

Govt prepares for Pompeo while SJB hit by 20A aftermath

Oct 25 (TM) The much talked of 20th Amendment to the Constitution last week received parliamentary approval with 150-plus votes after creating much controversy within the governing SLPP as well as the Opposition SJB in the run up to last Thursday night’s vote on the legislation. The aftermath of 20th Amendment has created chaos in the SJB and disunity among the members over eight errant MPs who supported 20th Amendment despite an official SJB decision of not supporting the legislation. more..


Lankan democracy in peril

Oct 25 (ST) My dear Mother Lanka, I thought I must write to you to let you know that, almost unnoticed amidst all the hullabaloo surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, you may have reached a critical milestone in your history. That is because yet another amendment – for the twentieth time – has been made to your Constitution. The changes that were approved last week could bring major changes for you, Mother Lanka. Some say it is the beginning of the end of democracy for you. more..

Just ram it thru’

Oct 25 (ST) Opposition’s attempt to delay the inevitable naturally had to fall on deaf ears. The Govt would not countenance any of the calls to postpone or make alternate seating arrangements in Parliament for the debate on the 20th Amendment (20A) to the Constitution owing to the increasing intensity of the spread of COVID-19. Social distancing and mask wearing became law over the week, but lawmakers showed themselves to be above the law. more..

'SL committed to neutral foreign policy'

Oct 25 (SO) Sri Lanka is committed to the non-aligned neutral Foreign Policy Friends with All under Prez Rajapaksa and it is the driving principle in Sri Lanka’s relations with all states, said Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena. Referring to Sri Lanka’s strategic location in the sea lanes, Minister said Sri Lanka maintains strong bilateral relations with all, including China, US and India marked by high level visits this year. more..

Mission accomplished?

Oct 25 (TM) After weeks of wild speculation about the fate of the 20th Amendment, the controversial piece of legislation comfortably sailed through the legislature with an overwhelming two-thirds majority giving the incumbent executive near absolute power. The latest amendment to the Constitution of SL restores almost all of the powers taken away from the executive through the 19th Amendment and vested in independent commissions, which has now been consigned to the dustbin of history. more..

20A vote once again proved: Muslim political opportunists are up for sale! shameful!

Oct 25 (CT) It was the history of deceit and shamelessness in the repeat. When the 20th Amendment was put to a Vote in the Parliament recently, Eastern based political opportunists bearing Muslim names became turncoats and sold themselves to the Rajapaksas presumably for proverbial thirty pieces of silver by voting in favour, allowing the brothers to rule SL with an iron fist. It was however not the first time that these political scumbags acted against public interest more..

'Sri Lanka far ahead in controlling spread of Covid-19'

Oct 25 (SO) Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi said the Govt has taken every possible measure to combat the Covid-19 pandemic in the country, setting an example to the entire world. Minister said when compared with other countries, Sri Lanka is far ahead in controlling the spread of the disease and providing facilities to the Covid-19 hit patients. Minister said no country in the world has adopted various mechanisms as in SL to more..

A victory for the masses

Oct 25 (SO) The passage by a two-thirds majority of the 20th Amendment in Parliament on Thursday was a landmark development in local politics. The people gave an overwhelming mandate to abolish the 19th Amendment which had become a major hindrance to smooth governance (as former Prez Sirisena experienced himself) and replace it with a governance mechanism that would be far more people friendly and practical. 19th Amendment with its many contradictions and ambiguities more..

GR’s Muslim carpetbaggers

Oct 25 (CT) History will remember the fatal day of 22 Oct 2020, when a group of Muslim carpetbaggers joined the ruling gang and supported the controversial 20th Amendment, which is destined to pave the way for the slow death of democracy in SL and establishment of a clannish autocracy. In the future, after tasting the bitter fruits of an autocracy, generations of SL Muslims would lament over the folly of their forefathers for choosing community leaders without any commitment to more..

Sri Lanka Coronavirus surge ‘serious’, as Covid-19 curfews widened

Oct 24 (EN) SL is continuing to send first contacts of confirmed Coronavirus patients on home quarantine with pending Covid-19 PCR tests, amid a serious situation health officials said, showing a wide gap from strategies followed by more successful countries like Vietnam. Though serious, the situation was not uncontrollable, a top health official who called for public co-operation to follow isolation requests & limit movements more..

Development assistance from Norwegian Investment Fund (Norfund) to Sri Lanka

Oct 24 (MFA) Ambassador Godfrey Cooray had a zoom meeting with CEO of the Norwegian Investment Fund, Tellef Thorleifsson on 9 Oct to seek possibilities on getting more development and investment assistance to Sri Lanka and he thanked Tellef Thorleifsson for giving the opportunity to have the zoom meeting and highlighted that being owned and funded by the Norwegian Govt, it has already signed agreements with SL Financial Institutes such as Hatton National Bank and Softlogic. more..

Plant and earth barriers to help deter elephant intrusions

Oct 24 (ST) With more than 170 elephant deaths and about 60 human deaths, reported so far this year, the ravages of the human-elephant conflict has gone unnoticed due to the many months of lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, environmentalists say. Sajeewa Chamikara, environmentalist and director of the Environmental Conservation Trust, said the deadly conflict is mainly a result of habitat loss and fragmentation. He said forests are being cleared by farmers and food more..

PHIs optimistic about Govt.’s recent decisions on COVID-19

Oct 24 (DM) Even though the Govt had shortcomings in their past decisions with regard to containing the COVID-19 virus, the recent decisions taken by the Government are satisfactory, and if it continues in this manner, the situation would gradually return to normalcy, Public Health Inspectors Union of SL (PHIUSL) said. Its Secretary M. Balasooriya said the health and law enforcement authorities were doing their best in promptly more..

5,000 Puttalam District coconut trees destroyed by intruding elephants

Oct 24 (ST) A herd of elephants tore through a village in the Puttalam district this week and caused damage to crops and coconut plantation, Divisional Secretary Dulanka Athukorala said. She said more than 400 coconut trees were damaged by the wild elephants at Sembukuliya in the Mahakumbukkadawala area in what she described as a serious escalation in the human-elephant conflict. So far 20 acres of coconut plantation had been destroyed in the area due to more..

Govt's price controls useless as merchants hold onto stocks

Oct 24 (ST) Stocks of sardines, onions and oil have all but disappeared from shops as wholesalers hold onto stocks rather than sell at the new lower prices announced by the Govt, creating a false shortage that keeps prices high. While consumers are calling for the new prices to be gazetted so that traders and wholesalers would be forced to sell them at the lower prices, a CAA official explained that this could not happen yet. Sathosa, the only outlets selling tinned fish, onions & sugar at lower prices, more..

Teachers describe gaping holes in exam COVID safety

Oct 24 (ST) Despite govt assurances that students sitting national examinations would be kept safe from COVID-19 infection, education unions say health measures are sadly lacking. Basic facilities for invigilators and exam administrators during the exams have not been provided, nor is there sufficient cleansing equipment, disinfection or monitoring of health protocols with more than half a million children gathering for long hours in more..

Quarantine curfew in Gothatuwa, Mulleriyawa from tonight

Oct 24 (AD) Quarantine curfew will be imposed in two more police areas within Colombo District this evening, says Commander of Army L Gen Shavendra Silva. Thereby, Gothatuwa and Mulleriyawa police areas will be under quarantine curfew starting from 7.00 pm today. Seven other police areas in Colombo District, namely Mattakkuliya, Modara, Wellampitiya, Bloemendhal and Grandpass, Kotahena, Dematagoda and Maradana are also currently under more..

SLMC renegade MPs asked to explain why they voted for the 20A

Oct 24 (EN) The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) has called for an explanation from the four of their MPs who voted in favour of the 20th Amendment to the Constitution on Thursday, a statement from the party said. The SLMC which joined the SJB alliance to contest this year’s Parliamentary General Elections had issued a three-line Whip for all its members to vote against the Amendment which gave Prez sweeping powers over Parliament and the Judiciary. more..