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Army says no island-wide curfew this weekend as GMOA calls for zonal lockdown

Oct 23 (EN) No island wide curfew will be imposed this weekend (Oct 24, 25), SL Army spokesman Colonel Vijitha Hettiarachchi said. Hettiarachchi issuing a statement said other than the 35 police areas currently under quarantine curfew, authorities will not impose a curfew on other areas. Meanwhile, the GMOA called for a zonal lockdown to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. “Earlier we talked about individual clusters more..

Employers fail to control COVID, but SL army rounds up workers instead

Oct 23 (PW) Garment workers in Sri Lanka were herded off into quarantine by the army in the middle of the night following a rapid increase of infections at their factory. Unions say that this could have been avoided by forming the recommended health committees. According to reports, on Oct. 19, the total number of COVID-19 cases in the town of Minuwangoda increased to 2,122, including more than a thousand workers at Brandix Apparel Ltd., their close contacts, and family members. more..

Hesha wants Rauff and Bathiudeen removed from SJB

Oct 23 (EN) Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) MP Hesha Withanage wants party leaders Rishad Bathiudeen and Rauff Hakeem expelled from the alliance because all their MPs have crossed over to the govt. Speaking to reporters this morning, he said that the party unanimously decided to oppose the 20th amendment during the parliamentary group meeting, “when party Leader Sajith Premadasa asked for anyone who is for the 20A everyone raised their hands against the 20A,” he said. more..

Managing things better second time around

Oct 23 (NIA) Sri Lankan Female Migrant Domestic Workers (FMDW) tend to indulge in circular migration in which they go back and forth between the home country and the country of employment. Called circular migration this is one of the most visible patterns in the Sri Lanka-Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC) migration corridor. Therefore, it demands deep and continuous study, says Madhuka Wickramarachchi, more..

Dept for Registration of Persons halts services until further notice

Oct 23 (AD) Depat for Registration of Persons has decided to suspend its public services including the one-day service due to the prevailing Covid-19 situation in the country. Thereby, its Head Office and all provincial offices will remain closed until further notice, the Commissioner General of the Dept said in a notice published today. However, issuance of National Identity Cards (NICs) will continue to be carried out at departmental units in Divisional Secretariats, the notice read further. more..

SL insurance industry records 8.64% growth

Oct 23 (DN) The Sri Lankan insurance industry achieved a growth rate of 8.64% in terms of overall Gross Written Premium (GWP) for both long term and general insurance business sectors in 2019. The total GWP income for both sectors was Rs. 196,513 million compared to Rs. 180,880 million in 2018, recording an increase of Rs. 15,633 million. The long term insurance sector generated a GWP of Rs. 88,781 million in 2019, up by 10.57% against the GWP of Rs. 80,294 mil generated in 2018. more..

Top players could miss opening LPL matches

Oct 23 (FT) Some of the world’s top T20 cricketers picked to play in the Lanka Premier League (LPL) may miss the opening matches if their team’s figure in the finals of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the Pakistan Super League (PSL), said Tournament Director Ravin Wickramaratne. The LPL is scheduled to commence on 21 Nov with the match between Colombo Kings and Galle Gladiators. more..

Sri Lanka borrowing from cash-king China a post-pandemic reality India must accept

Oct 23 (FP) India's fears of Sri Lanka, under Prez Rajapaksa, dipping further into Chinese debt seems to be proving true earlier than thought with the country seeking an additional grant of $700 million from the China Development Bank. While this is part of a syndicated $1.2 billion loan, Colombo's decision to continue borrowing from the Chinese amid a heightened tension between India and China and despite SL's commitment to put India first, shows that the island nation's financial status more..

Welioya School receives IT Lab via ComBank and Sri Lanka Army initiative

Oct 23 (AD) Commercial Bank of Ceylon has funded the construction of an IT lab at the Paranagamawewa Vidyalaya, Welioya, in collaboration with the Security Forces Headquarters Wanni. The contribution of the Bank includes financial support for the purchase of building materials to construct a building for the lab, and donations of furniture, solar panels to power the school, and computers. The engineering services and labour required for this operation were more..

D.E.W. Gunasekera

From the bond market to the stock market, they go

Oct 23 (FT) To revive a flagging economy, central banks the world over often resort to interest rate cuts. As commonly held, low interest rates lead to increased borrowings which then lead to investment and the eventual revival of the economy. To the laymen, the esotericism of economic theory may make little sense, as that sweeping putdown by an amateur economist once had it, “Surely they do not know the difference between Treasury Bonds and James Bond!” more..

Constitution-making – here we go again!

Oct 23 (FT) Ministry of Justice issued an invitation to the public to submit proposals for consideration by an expert committee established to draft a new constitution to replace the Second Republican Constitution of SL. The public is requested to submit proposals by 30 Nov 2020, and they are requested to be brief. The sub-text from the Ministry of Justice is: This is a technical document. Pleases do not express your dreams, your hopes and your fears about the direction of the country or more..

20th Amendment triumphs

Oct 23 (FT) The 20th Amendment (20A) to the Constitution Bill was passed in Parliament last night with 156 MPs voting for the Bill and 65 against. With support from seven MPs from minorities and main Opposition SJB Assistant Secretary MP Diana Gamage, Govt secured the two-third majority in the 225-member Legislature to pass the constitutional amendment which would strengthen the hand of Executive and restore the powers more..

75 years of UN celebrations in SL today

Oct 23 (FT) To mark its 75th anniversary in 2020, the United Nations is igniting a global debate, UN75. Launched by UN Secy-Gen António Guterres, UN75 aims to be the largest and furthest-reaching worldwide conversation ever on building the future we want. By listening and learning, responding and engaging with as many people and constituencies as possible, this global event will also be an opportunity to trigger a dialogue about the UN itself. UN Day in SL, celebrated virtually on 23 Oct, more..

SJB MP unfurls US flag in Chamber to protest dual citizenship...

Oct 23 (FT) SJB MP Nalin Bandara Jayamaha unfurled the national flag of the US inside the parliamentary Chamber as he spoke during the 20th Amendment debate. Jayamaha said the sole purpose of bringing about the 20th Amendment is to enable persons holding US-Lankan dual citizenship to become Members of Parliament. “There would be a day soon where the American citizens come here as MPs. 20th Amendment is to pave the way for that purpose,” the SJB MP said. more..

Confident of Prez Gotabaya’s assurances on dual citizenship clause: Ministers

Oct 23 (DN) Ministers Wimal Weerawansa, Udaya Gammanpila and Vasudeva Nanayakkara said they agreed to vote for the 20th Amendment after Prez Rajapaksa assured them that the new Constitution to be enacted next year will have clauses to prevent dual citizens entering Parliament or holding high ranking posts in the govt. NFF Leader Wimal Weerawansa said he and the other members present will support the 20th more..

Death penalty should be enforced for drugs, terrorism: SJB

Oct 23 (DN) SJB maintains that those supporting terrorism and drug running should be given capital punishment, Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa told Parliament yesterday. He also said that drafting laws to implement the death penalty is a grave need of the time. He said the SJB stands for power sharing and not to concentrate power around one organ of the govt. He made this observation joining in the second stage debate on the 20th Amendment Bill which was debated for the second day. more..

Customs request public cooperation as two Inspectors tested positive

Oct 23 (DM) SL Customs requested public cooperation in clearing only the essential goods to minimize unnecessary congestion at the Colombo Port since two of their Inspectors were found positive with Covid-19 yesterday and another 40 to be sent for quarantine. Two Customs Inspectors stationed at the New Container Gate (NCG), which is the main entrance to the Port for container trucks located on the Port Access Road linking Ingurukade Junction and the Port, were found positive more..

Under 19A President has responsibility sans authority: GL

Oct 23 (Island) The main issue with the 19th Amendment was that while it delegated responsibilities; it did not assign the necessary powers to ensure that those responsibilities could be fulfilled, Education Minister Prof. G L. Peiris told Parliament. Speaking during the second day of the two-day debate on the 20th Amendment, Minister elaborated that the best example was with regard to defence. “Under Articles 3 and 4 of the Constitution, more..

Recording evidence from Zahran's wife: Decision yet to be announced

Oct 23 (DM) The decision on whether to obtain evidence from Abdul Cader Fatima Hadiya, wife of NTJ Leader Zahran Hashim is to be announced today by the PCoI probing Easter Sunday attacks. Officers attached to the CID unit of the Commission, yesterday brought Zahran's wife to the Commission; but no evidence was recorded from her due to the prevailing circumstances. Senior Additional Solicitor General (SASG) Sarath Jayamanne and few other representatives from the AG Dept more..

Voting rights for Lankan expats: Election laws to be amended

Oct 23 (TM) A select committee would be appointed by the Govt to amend the election laws and to seek the possibilities for granting voting rights to Sri Lankans living abroad. At a meeting held between PM Mahinda Rajapaksa and Election Commission (EC) officials to discuss the strategic plans of the EC at Temple Trees recently, number of issues were brought up including the control of election expenses, the setting up of polling stations with facilities for the disabled, the e-voting system more..

Don’t blame Constitution for grave lapses of Ranil and Maithripala: JVP

Oct 23 (Island) The country’s failed socio-economic-political situation should not be blamed on its Constitution, JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake told Parliament yesterday. Participating in the second reading debate on the 20th Amendment, Dissanayake said that the failure of the yahapalana regime should not be equated with the 19th Amendment. “The 19th Amendment to the Constitution came into force under more..

Many Lankan oil palm companies seeking sustainability certification

Oct 23 (ST) Sri Lankan companies cultivating oil palm or processing palm oil are committed to achieving certification of their sustainability practices, similar to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certification obtained by Watawala Plantations PLC, the Palm Oil Industry Association (POIA) said this week. Congratulating Watawala Plantations for becoming the first plantation company in South Asia to be awarded the prestigious RSPO certification, more..

Impact of remittance inflows likely to exacerbate SL’s external financing needs

Oct 23 (Island) Remittance inflows to SL would deteriorate in the coming quarters exacerbating the country’s existing challenges, Fitch Ratings Frontier Markets Quarterly Report (3Q20) said recently. “We expect remittance inflows to deteriorate in the coming quarters, even though recent levels have been robust due to temporary factors, such as migrant workers transferring savings in preparation for their return home”. “However, a forecast 12% decline in remittances in 2H20 more..

Easter Attacks PCoI: Former SIS Director didn’t share intell with officers

Oct 23 (CT) Former Director of the State Intelligence Service (SIS), Senior DIG Nilantha Jayawardena had not informed any SIS Officers deployed all over the country about the information received on 4 April 2019, that a group including Leader of the National Thowheed Jam’math , Zaharan Hashim, could launch a terrorist attack. This was revealed when SDIG Jayawardena testified before the PCoI into the Easter Sunday Bombings, more..

SL Economic Summit 2020 to discuss role of private sector in driving economic recovery

Oct 23 (FT) Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2020, the premier economic forum, this year too will have a lineup of timely plenary discussions under the theme Roadmap for Take-Off: Driving a People-Centric Economic Revival. The private sector has often been labelled as the engine of economic growth though this has not been the case consistently due to numerous factors. Industry specialists will come together for a dialogue on how COVID-19 will impact the private sector’s role in driving growth and more..

Close all liquor shops to help increase immunity: GMOA

Oct 23 (DM) The Govt Medical Officers' Association (GMOA) today requested the govt to close all liquor shops and outlets to help increase the immunity of the people. The GMOA said due to the widespread of the COVID-19 virus in the country, it was essential to go for the immediate closure of all liquor shops. They also requested the Govt to promote the use of toxin-free traditional foods among the people and urge them to drink water regularly, to abstain from using liquor and prevent smoking. more..

U.S. urges Sri Lanka to make difficult choices over China ties

Oct 23 (Reuters) The US is urging Sri Lanka to make difficult but necessary choices to secure its economic independence instead of choosing opaque practises, a senior State Department official said, in an apparent reference at China deepening its influence over the South Asian country. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will visit Sri Lanka next week as part of a wider trip that includes India, Maldives and Indonesia with more..

Athletes urge rescheduling time trial after Covid 19 force cancellation

Oct 23 (Island) Sri Lanka Athletics on Monday will consider rescheduling the performance test which was canceled following the closure of the Sugathadasa Stadium due to Covid 19 concerns yesterday. Officials decided to cancel the performance test which was scheduled to be held over the weekend after police curfew was imposed in several areas in Colombo North including Col 13 where the Sugathadasa Stadium is situated. “Test was crucial for athletes who had trained. more..

Dialog Axiata’s Genie Fintech platform recertified for PCI DSS

Oct 23 (Island) Genie platform offered by Dialog Axiata PLC, was re-certified the coveted Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) Version 3.2.1 for the 4th consecutive year from Qualified Security Assessor (QSA) SISA Information Security together with TechCERT, the local consultant and the technical service provider. PCI DSS ensures the security of cardholder data for credit/debit cards from major card schemes by preventing frauds and data breaches. more..

'20A proponents will protest in the future'

Oct 23 (CT) TMTK MP C.V. Wigneswaran, predicted in Parliament, that those very same persons who were working hard to bring the 20th Amendment, and all those who support it today, would surely take to the streets tomorrow to fight for the abolition of the same Amendment. Participating in the second reading stage debate on the Amendment, he said: “This Amendment you bring today will have a boomerang effect more..

'LPL will position SL on global sports map'

Oct 23 (CT) “The Lanka Premier League (LPL) is a tournament that will position Sri Lanka on the global sports map and has already attracted the attention of local and international sports spectators and the Media,” wrote Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Namal Rajapaksa on his personal blog. He further added that he is “confident that this tournament will build the country’s sports economy and set the stage for exposing the talents of Sri Lanka’s young athletes to the international arena.” more..

7 traditional dishes from Sri Lanka that are worth a try

Oct 23 (TOI) Beneath the southernmost tip of the Indian subcontinent, lies the island country of SL. Geographically, the country is separated from India by the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait. Sri Lanka has a rich cultural heritage and its trade in luxury goods and spices has attracted traders of many nations since centuries. Moreover, it is home to many languages, ethnicities, and cultures. SL has a very rich and historical food tradition which has been shaped by many historical & cultural factors. more..

Re-emergence of Covid-19: Bed capacity dwindling fast

Oct 23 (TM) Only around 100 hospital beds allocated for Covid-19 patients remain at present due to the sudden resurgence of the second wave of the coronavirus with the identification of more than 2,000 infected persons in a single and the largest-ever cluster created in the country, according to the health authorities. 2,341 Covid-19 patients have been identified in connection with the Minuwangoda Covid-19 cluster and more..

NWPCA felicitates young cricketers

Oct 23 (ST) SL cricketer Minod Bhanuka and SL Under-19 World Cup captain Nipun Dhananjaya and other emerging cricketers were felicitated by the North Western Province Cricket Association (NWPCA) at a grand ceremony held at the Ruvisha Beach Hotel in Kochchikade. Bhanuka, the left-handed wicketkeeper batsman and a product of Maliyadeva College, Kurunegala won the SL ODI and Twenty20 cap against Pakistan when Sri Lanka toured last year for the first time after more..

Respect the virus!

Oct 23 (Island) Let us start respecting the virus at least now. Boastful statements and media circuses will not help get rid of it. No country has been spared. Bigger and more powerful countries than us have been brought to their knees by it. The countries and States that were held as lighthouses of COVID control had to eat humble-pie within months. Swift and decisive action taken by the President, the Armed Forces, the Public Health and Hospital staff from March to June protected us. more..