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Local teachers discriminated against at international schools

Apr 8 (DM) Last year, in November, local teachers of a leading int'l school in Colombo sent a petition to Prez over alleged discriminatory treatment being meted out to them. Petition included complaints of discriminatory acts such as hiring underqualified expat teachers, harassing local teachers and not paying due incentives to local teachers. In this background, Daily Mirror learned this was not an isolated incident. more..

COVID-19 Vaccines: Uncertainty over second dose

Apr 8 (DM) A news item, which is bound to alarm most Sri Lankans was that the Health Ministry had from March 31, temporarily halted its COVID-19 vaccination programme due to the delay in obtaining a sufficient quantity of AstraZeneca vaccines from the Serum Institute of India (SII). Sri Lanka launched its inoculation programme on January 29 after India gifted 500,000 vials of the vaccine. Daily Mirror quoted State Minister Sudarshini Fernandopulle as saying more..

Carcinogens in Coconut Oil

Apr 8 (CT) Coconut oil has been used in Sri Lanka replacing sesame oil after the population drifted to the South-West following the invasion of Raja Rata by Kalinga Magha in 1215. Initially it was made in homes using fresh scraped coconut. This practice was continued well into the latter half of the last century. It is the fungus contained, in not properly dried coconut kernel called copra used for the extraction of coconut oil on a mass-scale in oil mills which contains the carcinogenic aflatoxin. more..

‘Cigarette industry earning profits via loopholes’

Apr 8 (TM) National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol (NATA) Chair Dr. Samadhi Rajapaksa speaks of the perils of passive second hand smoke, taxation, and loopholes exploited by the industry, and the new kid on the old block, the controversial cinnamon cigarette. The much-hyped cinnamon cigarette product, introduced under the aegis of Minister Wimal Weerawansa, was criticised by several parties before it could reach market, more..

Health is wealth, not wealthy

Apr 8 (TM) We are living in an era where even the simplest of human functions such as breathing cannot be performed freely, and interacting with other humans has also been restricted, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In a time when millions have succumbed to this deadly virus, the importance of a healthy life and health services cannot be stressed enough, and it is almost impossible to think that a more apt time would come in our lifetime to discuss importance of ensuring equal & fair access more..

Challenges in the way of PC polls

Apr 8 (DM) The conduct of elections to the provincial councils is in the interests of the top brass of the govt but fresh political hurdles now stand in the way of it. The govt has taken a policy decision to conduct the elections, already delayed over a legal glitch, under a fresh criterion for the elections of members. The Cabinet nod has been given to amend the law for the introduction of this system which is a mix of proportional representation and the First Past the Post method. more..

Sri Lanka bakers not doomed by palm oil ban, license raj to the rescue: Trade Minister

Apr 7 (EN) SL’s bakery industry is not doomed as claimed by some but a license raj on import controls will be extended to rescue bakers and biscuits makers, Trade Minister Bandula Gunewardene said. “When Prez Rajapaksa banned the cultivation of Palm trees and the import of palm oil, an opinion is going around that the bakery and biscuit industry is doomed (vinasha vena-war kiyala),” he told parliament. more..

Sun is directly over Sri Lanka for nine days

Apr 7 (DM) The sun is expected to be directly over Sri Lanka from Monday (5) up to April 14, as a result of its apparent northward relative motion, Department of Meteorology said. Accordingly, the nearest areas where the sun is overhead today are Colombo, Malwana, Kosgama, Sitawaka, Maldeniya, Rozella, Talawakele, Sita-Eliya, Ettampitiya, Passara, Warralanda and Paladi Kalapuwa around 12:13 noon. Meanwhile, Meteorology Dept said showers or thundershowers would occur more..

SLT-MOBITEL’s mCash partners with Visa to enable Visa Acceptance on LankaQR

Apr 7 (Island) mCash, the mobile money arm of SLT-MOBITEL has partnered with Visa to enable mCash merchants to process Visa payments via LankaQR. This joint endeavour will empower mCash merchants across SL to conveniently use the Visa solution to receive QR payments from customers. Visa’s QR payment solution, is a mobile push-payment platform that allows customers to send merchants payments directly from their Visa prepaid, debit or credit card accounts by scanning more..

90% of CEB employees to get sick on 8 April: Union Leader

Apr 7 (CT) About 90% of CEB employees will not report for duty on 8 April; taking sick leave to protest the delay in salary increments due in January 2021, warned General Secretary of the CEB Employees’ Union, Ranjan Jayalal. He said that more than 25,000 CEB employees out of the total 28,000 workforce will not report for duty on 8 April. A protest is also planned to be held in front of the CEB Head Office more..

Video: Uproar in Parliament over Ranjan’s seat

Apr 7 (DM) Parliament went into an uproar this morning when the SJB stormed into the Speaker’s Chair against the latter’s decision to inform the Commission of Elections that MP Ranjan Ramanayake has ceased to be an MP. The uproar began when the Leader of Opposition Sajith Premadasa objected to the decision. “You did not allow us to move the Leave Motion of MP Ramanyake in March this year. Also, you did not allow us to move it on Tuesday when more..

Tilvin accuses Govt of destroying environment

Apr 7 (CT) The lesson we learnt from the 1971 insurrection is that people should be ready to change society to achieve results, said General Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva. “Even if we must sacrifice our lives, we are ready to fight,” he added. JVP organised a Heroes Commemoration on 5 April, in line with the 50th anniversary of the 1971 JVP insurrection. At the Tangalle event, Tilvin Silva spoke at length about the history of the JVP and what he termed as failings of the present Govt. more..

Firearms Ordinance to be drastically amended

Apr 7 (TM) The regulations in the Firearms Ordinance as amended are to be drastically revised to suit present times. Firearms Ordinance, No. 33 of 1916, was last amended by the Firearms (Amendment) Act, No. 22 of 1996. Sources said that the Firearms Ordinance would undergo a number of amendments pertaining to several areas, so as to update the Ordinance to address requirements that have arisen in current times. more..

Bathiudeen claims he maintained standard of food

Apr 7 (CT) Whatever controversy that erupts in the country, my name automatically gets dragged into it, SJB MP Rishad Bathiudeen claimed. He took maximum measures to protect consumers during his tenure as Minister of Industries and Commerce and ensured the distribution of pure essential commodities to the market. He said baseless allegations were being levelled against him in the Media and on social media linking him with the recent cancerous coconut oil issue as well. more..

V. Sivagnanasothy passes away

Apr 7 (CT) Former Secretary to the National Integration and Reconciliation Ministry and a member of the PCoI on Human Rights, Velayuthan Sivagnanasothy passed away on 5 April after suddenly taking ill. Sivagnanasothy, a distinguished officer of the SL Administrative Service, was Secretary in several Ministries including Tourism Development & Christian Religious Affairs Ministry. He also served as the secretary to the Presidential Task Force, Ministries of Prison Reform, more..

Mrs. Sri Lanka may land in politics

Apr 7 (DM) The winner of Mrs Sri Lanka for Mrs. World Pushpika De Silva said that she may enter politics in the future. This may be possible now that Pushpika has received widespread publicity following the brawl on Sunday evening, with her even landing in tears in front of cameras yesterday. While answering a question raised by a journalist during a media briefing at the Shangri-La Hotel yesterday, Pushpika, more..

Microsoft introduces Cloud Skills Challenge with 10 universities in Sri Lanka

Apr 7 (Island) SL undergraduates recently participated in the Cloud Skills Challenge (CSC) as part of their professional development. The CSC impacted their professional development while opening the door for them to explore new skills, platforms, and career opportunities. The CSC is a training experience where learners can follow pre-determined course paths that link Microsoft Learn modules based on their topics, like Azure fundamentals, machine learning, or more..

LEARN collaborates with InSync to support continuous effort of serving R&E community

Apr 7 (FT) Lanka Education And Research Network, also known as LEARN, is the National Research and Education Network (NREN) of SL, which interconnects educational and research institutions across the country and provides network-related services to them. LEARN currently interconnects all UGC-funded state universities, many public universities under other ministries, UGC, Ministry of Higher Education, and a number of national research institutions, including the NSF. more..

Video: AG authorizes ban of 11 Islamic organizations linked to extremism

Apr 7 (AD) The Attorney General has authorized the proscription of 11 Islamic organizations linked to extremist activities, his Coordinating Officer State Counsel Nishara Jayaratne said today. Relevant organizations are as follows: United Thowheed Jamaath (UTJ); Ceylon Thowheed Jamaath (CTJ); SL Thowheed Jamaath (SLTJ); All Ceylon Thowheed Jamaath (ACTJ); Jamiyyathul Ansaari Sunnaththul Mohomadiya (JASM); more..

SJB sees sinister motive in govt. move to put off debate on political victimisation PCoI...

Apr 7 (Island) Kandy District MP Lakshman Kiriella yesterday, in Parliament, accused the govt of trying to postpone the debate on the report of the PCoI on political victimisation as a part of a sinister plot to strip 10 leading Opposition politicians of their civic rights. Raising a point of order, the MP said it had been previously agreed to take up the PCoI report on Thursday and Friday. It was the report of the PCoI, headed by retired Supreme Court Justice Upali Abeyratne. more..

Video: Brawl force Padukka DC meeting end abruptly

Apr 7 (DM) The Meeting of the Padukka Development Committee came to an abrupt halt due to a clash between the Committee Chairman Parliamentarian Jagath Kumara and the members of the committee. The tense atmosphere compelled the chairman to suspend the meeting and leave. Members of the Seethawaka Pradehiya Sabha accused the chairman of making arbitrary decisions without consulting the representatives of the committee and the officials. more..

Take legal action against fmr. SLC Executive Committee if found guilty: COPE

Apr 7 (DM) The COPE has instructed Secretary to the Ministry of Sports Anuradha Wijekoon to take legal action if any of the former members of the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Executive Committee were found guilty. The COPE chairman pointed out that the reason for the massive collapse of cricket in the country was not the fault of the players but the weaknesses of the cricket administration. more..

COVID-19: SL not out of the woods yet, stresses Epidemiology Chief

Apr 7 (DM) There is always a possibility of emerging new COVID clusters in the country and thus, the risk of the virus spreading in society still exists, Chief Epidemiologist Dr. Sudath Samaraweera emphasized. SL reports around 100 COVID cases daily and added the number could always spike due to the negligence of people. “As we are approaching the Sinhala & Tamil New Year celebration, COVID-19 could spread in the areas where people gather in large numbers and places where more..

Video: Price of chicken to be increased to Rs.800: Chicken Marketers’ Assn.

Apr 7 (DM) The Chicken Marketers’ Association (CMA) said it is forced to increase the selling price of a kilogramme of chicken to Rs. 800 due to the price increase by poultry farmers. Association Chairman M.I.M. Iqbal said the wholesale price of a kilogramme of chicken had gone up to Rs.700. Earlier, the maximum retail price was Rs.550, he said. Since we cannot sell chicken for Rs.800, we have decided to close our stalls until the wholesale suppliers consider bringing their prices down, more..

Avurudu festivals limited to 100 people; no pillow fights or tug-o-war, says MoH

Apr 7 (EN) Sri Lanka has restricted festivals celebrating the upcoming traditional new year to 100 people at a time, with a temporary ban imposed on a number of Avurudu games to minimise the spread of COVID-19, the health ministry said. However, strict regulations imposed last year have been revised, the MoH said in a statement, with the hope that the pandemic-hardened public will act responsibly this time around. more..

Tea subsidy amounts increased to Rs. 500,000

Apr 7 (FT) Govt will increase the subsidy given to tea plantations for re-planting from Rs. 400,000 to Rs. 500,000 to help the industry reach its target of producing 360 million kilograms of tea by 2025. Out of the total 300 million kilograms of tea manufactured in the year 2019, approximately 75% or about 225 million kilograms were manufactured by tea smallholders. The requirement of upgrading the productivity of tea smallholdings has been recognised as essential for maintaining more..

Estate workers to be given birth certificates

Apr 7 (TM) A programme is to be implemented to register estate workers who are currently not in possession of a birth certificate. Officials at the State Ministry of Estate Housing and Community Infrastructure said that estate workers in the Nuwara Eliya District who do not possess a birth certificate would be registered through mobile registration vehicles this year. “Many workers do not have birth certificates because they have lost the initial notification of birth issued by the hospital. more..

$ 360 m inflows to Special Deposit Accounts

Apr 7 (FT) Special Deposit Accounts (SDA) introduced by the Govt last year have attracted $ 360.3 million, which has pushed the Cabinet to approve extending their validity period further, a top official said. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that a paper submitted by PM Mahinda Rajapaksa in his capacity as Finance Minister had been approved to support more inflows. “The period for SDAs have been extended every six months since more..

'SLSI is protecting fraudulent businessmen'

Apr 7 (TM) Omalpe Sobhitha Thera says that the staff including the director of SL Standards Institution (SLSI) have taken steps to protect the fraudulent businessmen who imported unrefined oil and other foods so far. He says that the SLSI is not working to protect the people of the country. He further said, “Although the objective of the SLSI is good, it has become clear that these officials are committed to protecting the crooked businessmen, no matter if the people who work there are dead or sick. more..

Elephant in the room gets spotted

Apr 7 (Island) Never a dull day in SL, where controversies crop up so rapidly that nobody can keep track of them. The latest issue is the govt’s contention that the removal of Chief Justice (CJ) Mohan Peiris, in January 2015, was unconstitutional. Justice Minister Ali Sabry himself said so in answer to a question raised by a govt MP, in Parliament. He promised to take remedial action after consulting PM Rajapaksa. Why has this issue been catapulted to centre stage all of a sudden? more..

Ranjan’s seat rendered vacant; ex-MP Ajith Mannaperuma to take his place: Speaker

Apr 7 (EN) The parliamentary seat of SJB MP Ranjan Ramanayake, who is currently serving a 4-year prison sentence, has been rendered vacant and will be filled by former MP Ajith Manapperuma, Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said. The speaker told parliament this morning that in terms of section 64(1) of the Parliamentary Election Act No 1 of 1981, Secretary General of Parliament has informed more..

AG agrees to reconsider two clauses in new Inland Revenue Bill

Apr 7 (FT) When the petition challenging the new Bill titled Inland Revenue Amendment to amend the Inland Revenue Act came up before the Supreme Court on Monday, Counsels for the Petitioners suggested proposals to make the Bill consistent with the Constitution. The AG indicated that the proposals would be taken for consideration. Proceedings resumes today. Three petitions including that of a senior Professional in Auditing, Taxation and Financial Consultancy and more..

Army to give artificial limbs to 64 former LTTE cadres

Apr 7 (DN) The Sri Lanka Army will be obtaining measurements from 64 former LTTE cadres who lost their limbs during the humanitarian mission to provide them with artificial limbs. This includes 58 males and six females.They are currently in the active service of Civil Security Department in the Northern areas. Measurements will be obtained at the Abhimansala War Heroes Welfare Center in Anuradhapura on April 5 and 6. The project is implemented by the Army with more..

1971 තරුණ නැගිටීමේ පනස් වැනි සංවත්සරය

Reconciliation or re-colonisation: A reality check

Apr 7 (FT) The UNHCR resolution against SL, which was passed in Geneva with 22 countries in favour, 11 against and 14 abstentions, has been sold domestically, as a victory by the Foreign Minister, who deserves a medal for demonstrating how to lie with statistics. Another Professorial Minister said that the resolution was not binding on SL, and Prez Rajapaksa with his characteristic bravado reiterated the Minister’s expertise and said that SL is an independent country and that it need not more..

Remembering and reflecting on the April 1971 insurrection

Apr 7 (FT) Fifty years ago, 5 April 1971, was a Monday. I was an assistant lecturer in economics at Vidyodaya University during that time, a prominent stronghold of the JVP (People’s Liberation Front), which led the insurrection. When I went for my lectures in the morning, not even half of the students were attending. All the prominent JVP activists like Bamunusinghe or Bikkhu Bhaddiya were absent. The whole campus appeared deserted. It was not a secret to us that the JVP might attack more..