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PUCSL oversteps mandate to negotiate prices

Apr 4 (ST) The electricity regulator, Public Utilities Commission of SL (PUCSL), this week overstepped its mandate to negotiate prices with and approve a 4-year extension of contracts for three independent power producers (IPPs)–even as a Cabinet sub-committee discusses whether to keep or take the furnace-oil fueled power plants off the national grid. “We have negotiated and given them [the IPPs] a cap on their capacity and more..

New species of geckos discovered from SL’s central highlands

Apr 4 (Island) A critically endangered new species of geckos (Cnemaspis lokugei) was discovered from Haputale and Idalgashinna areas in Sri Lanka’s central highlands. This was the first to be recorded so far for 2021. The newly discovered species was named in honor of Ajith Nethkelum Lokuge, a pioneer ecologist, analogue forestry specialist and a senior member of Young Zoologists’ Association (YZA) of SL, for his significant contribution towards environmental conservation & research in SL. more..

Bad news for tea industry as auction prices slide

Apr 4 (Island) Brokers reported last week that the drop in tea prices was bad news for the industry, which was doing reasonably well in recent months. Forbes and Walker said in their weekly tea market report that after ten months of buoyant prices, last week’s auction prices declined by Rs. 20 to 30 per kilo. The depreciation of the rupee against the dollar, now at Rs. 202.04, was also partly instrumental for the price decline. The anticipated crop boost after Easter and Sinhala/Tamil New Year holidays more..

Video: Falsehoods circulated against me & govt in organized manner: Prez

Apr 4 (AD) Prez Rajapaksa moved to give a reminder that all public servants, including those in Forest Conservation & Wildlife Depts, are in fact there to serve the people and should therefore look at both sides of the issues when addressing them. “Some do not understand the issues of the underprivileged. They haven’t visited these areas and haven’t witnessed anything. If I ask to release these lands, I will be attacked more..

SME coconut-based industries in dire straits

Apr 4 (SO) Calling on the authorities to protect the small and medium sector coconut based industries which are in dire straits due to foreign factory operators of coconut-based products, the Consortium of Coconut Based Producers and Exporters of Ceylon (COCOPEC) called upon the policy makers to set up a vibrant force to ensure the sustenance of SMEs of the industry. COCOPEC President Upali Weerakoon said what is distressing is foreigners who initially patronised SL more..

More confusion as cricket election nears

Apr 4 (SO) A game of hide and seek is taking place in the run-up to the election of office bearers to Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) as one camp was given a disputed extension towards legitimacy while the other side is targeting a legal challenge. It comes in the wake of the Attorney General declaring that the term of the current SLC administration or incumbent camp which is seeking a second stint, had expired on February 20 following the opposing Ranatunga faction lodging a protest with Sports Minister more..

Chinese Sinopharm jab under fire over safety and efficacy concerns

Apr 4 (Island) In the backdrop of an independent panel of medical experts cautioning against administering the controversial Chinese manufactured Covid-19 Sinopharm jab over safety and efficacy concerns, a key body of eminent medical specialists last week warned of the adverse fallout of using an unproven vaccine in SL. In what was described as a strong warning, the Association of Medical Specialists (AMS) drove home more..

Club cricket: Spin Soldiers gun down floppy Airmen

Apr 4 (ST) Army spinners Matheesh Theekshana (4/40), Dushan Vimukthi (3/19) and Seekkuge Prasanna (3/11) spun a web around Airmen to record an easy 8-wicket win in their Major Club Limited Over match played at Panagoda yesterday. The trio ran through the Air Force batting order ferociously to bowl the visitors out for a meagre 110 in 32 overs–a target the hosts had little trouble in chasing. Airmen had begun well after put in to bat first reaching 28 at the end of the fifth over more..

Versatile sportsman Ranjit David no more

Apr 4 (ST) Versatile sportsman Angelo Joseph Ranjit David, better known as Ranjit David, passed away at the age of 78, weeks after celebrating his birthday which fell on March 10. A former national cap in basketball, David was also equally talented in cricket and football, though he was widely popular among all sports circuits for his immense contribution to all three sports. A former student of St. Michael’s College, Batticaloa, David mastered his skills in basketball under strict upbringing and more..

A stalemate Test series with many pros

Apr 4 (ST) Test cricket is the pinnacle of the game. To be successful in Test cricket a team needs to sustain the pressure until the final ball. In recent times the national cricket team has struggled for consistency in the longest format. Leading in to the Test series in the Caribbean, their form in the format has been dismal after they had been whitewashed by South Africa and England comprehensively. more..

Races at Independence Square to unearth the hidden legs

Apr 4 (SO) Racecourse Athletic Club (RAC) that was established in 2020 by a former Olympian who represented Sri Lanka will embark on a mission to spread awareness to the general public on the benefits of staying fit. They will organize athletic events every Saturday around Racecourse that will help to identify potential youth who can be shaped out to become future Olympic runners. As a fitness club in Colombo they are targetting citizens working out on jogging tracks built throughout SL. more..

Paralympians aiming for glory at Tokyo Games

Apr 4 (ST) Para-athletes are on the cusp of bringing glory to Sri Lanka at the Tokyo Paralympic Games to be held from August 24 to September 5. In the history of Paralympic Games, Sri Lanka has won two bronze medals. They are at the 2012 London Paralympics through Pradeep Sanjaya in the T-46 400metre event and at the 2016 Rio Games when Dinesh Herath came third in the F-46 Javelin Throw event. NPCSL is confident seven or eight athletes will qualify for the Tokyo Games. more..

Brawl at heritage hotel: Lawyers argued, but management officials cited the law

Apr 4 (ST) A night brawl erupted between lawyers and hotel management official at a well-known hotel in Kandy, leaving many injured and property damaged. The incident took place when the lawyers were having a get-together to mark the end of their term. The brawl had erupted in the midnight hours when some hotel management officials and the lawyers engaged in an argument. The lawyers argued their case, but more..

JVP activities in 1987-89 ruined economy: Prof. Ranjith Bandara

Apr 4 (SO) State Minister Shehan Semasinghe said the outcome of the recent Geneva vote amply demonstrates to the people who genuinely love the motherland and those who are willing to betray it for money and power. He said after the recent Geneva vote it was possible for the people to identify the group that gives priority to the country’s well-being and the other group that will go to any lengths to protect their existence based on money and power hungry politics, even by destroying more..

An Easter break, a time to weigh your options?

Apr 4 (ST) My dear Ravi, I thought of writing to you when I heard that you were released on bail after spending time in remand, charged with the bond scam when you were in charge of the nation’s purse strings. You must be happy that you get to spend time with your family at Easter. These must be difficult days for you, Ravi. The Green Party that you spent most of your political life with is now in tatters and not even a miracle will resurrect it. They can’t even send someone to Parliament for more..

රතු ඉර කාලීන දේශපාලන සංවාදය

A tough road ahead for military regimes

Apr 4 (CT) This may appear to be a bold title just two months after the 1 February a coup in Burma but it’s true. For starters the Burmese junta is in a tight spot – the army opened fire in 40 locations on Saturday; Rangoon saw dozens of deaths and killings were recorded from Kachin in the north to the far south; more than 400 protesters have been killed by army since the coup and there is no sign that the surge of public anger will subside. There is no question that the junta has to be overthrown and more..

Ruining the natural beauty of Emerald Isle

Apr 4 (ST) While most eyes were on Geneva last week awaiting the inevitable outcome of the vote against SL at the UNHRC, a remark by a very senior Cabinet Minister caught the attention of locals immersed in an ongoing battle to protect the country’s endangered environment. The remark, coinciding with World Water Day, was a proposal to raid the Sinharaja Natural Forest reserve once again–this time to start a water project inside this UNESCO world heritage site with more..

‘Politicians will always use religion to further their agenda’

Apr 4 (TM) The six-member Parliamentary Committee appointed to study the report of the PCoI into the Easter Sunday terror attacks has finished its study and compiled its findings. SJB MP Harin Fernando has been vocal in his criticism of the PCoI’s report, its findings, and recommendations on how to prevent a further attack and bring justice to the victims. The Morning spoke to Fernando on what he believes is lacking in the report and more..

Bishop Rayappu Joseph: The true disciple of Jesus Christ

Apr 4 (CT) This tribute is written on Good Friday of 2021, a day that is significant for all Christians and especially for us who have been bereaved by the passing on of our dear friend and colleague Rayappu Joseph, the true and undoubtedly the genuine disciple of Jesus Christ. As we commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, my mind goes back to what Jesus quoted from the Hebrew Scriptures, before he began his public ministry. From the book of the prophet Isaiah more..

Rural women demand relief from the vicious cycle of debt

Apr 4 (GV) Saumya, mother of 2 from Polonnaruwa who has taken a loan of Rs. 200,000 from a well-established microfinance company in the region to start a small apparel business to make ends meet. She had already paid over 75% of agreed amount, including the interest. Then recently she was told by the company to pay another Rs. 120,000 as a default amount before legal action is taken against her. Confused and terrified, with no support from anyone, Saumya narrated her story. more..

'Opposition’s attempt to topple Govt, a day dream'

Apr 4 (SO) State Minister Anuradha Jayaratne said the Opposition’s attempt to topple the Govt would only be a daydream as the Govt led by Prez Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has a farsighted vision and plan for each and every Ministry and Department until 2025. When the people see the results, the Opposition won’t be able to manipulate issues like this and further carry out their false propaganda campaign against the Govt. more..

Private education regulation finally

Apr 4 (TM) Everything changes with time, and the failure to adapt to these changes can not only cause social and economic regression, but also hinder future progress. Among many sectors that are changing rapidly is the education sector, which forms the foundation of a country’s development in numerous ways. The UGC recently stated that it was planning to introduce regulations through a new Act for private sector higher education institutions, in a bid to ensure quality of education provided more..

Vaccine passports: A timely idea

Apr 4 (SO) All sectors of the global economy suffered heavily as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, but there is no doubt that the biggest setback was caused to tourism and travel industries. The global travel and tourism sector suffered a loss of almost US$ 4.5 trillion in 2020 due to the impact of Covid-19. Altogether, the sector’s contribution to the global GDP plummeted to US$ 4.7 T in 2020 from nearly US$ 9.2 T the previous year. Almost half the global population travelled in 2019, more..

Rising obesity rates catch children, women

Apr 3 (ST) Child obesity has risen since COVID shutdowns began, adding to a nutritional triple burden of under-nutrition, high levels of obesity and vitamin and mineral deficiencies, studies show. While malnutrition is decreasing, obesity is taking its place in the nutrition crisis, the President of the SL Medical Nutrition Association, Dr. Renuka Jayatissa, said. The level of obesity among children under the age of five has increased more..

UDA & SLTDA to implement cable car project

Apr 3 (CT) Urban Development Authority (UDA) and the SL Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) have taken steps to implement a 23-tower cable car project from Nanu Oya Railway Station to Gregory Lake in Nuwara Eliya. This is a multi-strategic infrastructure development project, aimed at enhancing tourism in Nuwara Eliya, especially around Gregory Lake, and its development, ownership, and assignment are under a private investor. Funded by Outdoor Engineers AG more..

PM Modi first Indian PM to visit Jaffna after bombarding on houses, says Nadda in TN

Apr 3 (HT) Days before polling in Tamil Nadu, BJP president JP Nadda on Saturday said PM Narendra Modi is the first PM to visit Jaffna in Sri Lanka where houses were bombarded and got them reconstructed. The Jaffna area has a majority Tamil population. The area witnessed a brutal civil war between the LTTE and Sri Lankan forces that continued for several years and led to the loss of lives of thousands of people. "Modi Ji is the first PM to visit Jaffna in Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka to give police protection for churches on Easter bombing anniversary

Apr 3 (EN) SL’s police and military will give protection to 1,944 churches around the country on the second anniversary of an Islamist suicide bombing attack, DIG Ajith Rohana said. “A special protection will be given to 1,944 churches island wide with more than 12,040 armed forces personnel providing security for the general public that comes for the prayers,” DIG Ajith Rohana said. Islamist bombers hit several churches and hotel in more..

Protect forest canopies: Ven Rathana Thera

Apr 3 (CT) Our Power of People Party (OPPP) National List MP Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera has made a request to the Prez calling for a Commission to be swiftly set up to protect the country’s forest reserves. The Thera said protecting these valuable lands with forest canopies should be a national policy. He said a special tree planting programme was held at the sacred Temple of the Tooth in Kandy on 2 April. He said the programme was organised in collaboration with 100 int'l organisations. more..

Bank of Ceylon plans Rs10bn venture fund

Apr 3 (EN) Sri Lanka’s state-run Bank of Ceylon is planning a 10 billion rupees venture capital fund after seeing high balance sheet growth in 2020, with group gross assets growing 22.8% to 3 trillion rupees, officials said. Bank of Ceylon Chairman Kanchana Ratwatte said a 10 billion rupee venture capital fund is being planned which will target start-ups, export oriented companies, import substitution companies and IT sector businesses. It was still under an approval process. more..

Legal action against 8,957 motorcyclists over traffic offences

Apr 3 (DM) A total of 8,957 individuals who have committed various motor traffic offences have been detected in an island-wide operation to minimize motorcycle accidents. DIG Ajith Rohana said the operation was carried out from the 31st of March to the 1st of April. According to him, 295 motorcycles were taken into custody by the police for not being in an apt condition for riding. Meanwhile, 264 motorcyclists were more..

Blame me if people’s issues aren’t resolved during my tenure, says President

Apr 3 (DM) President Gotabaya Rajapaksa today called on the people to blame him if he was not able to resolve people's issues during his tenure as Prez. He said he has managed to develop the economy, which was crippled when he came to power, as a domestic green economy despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Prez expressed these views while participating at the Gama Samaga Pilisandara programme in Vavunia District today. "I always say it is not Gotabaya Rajapaksa who is important, more..

Four more COVID deaths confirmed on Friday

Apr 3 (AD) Four new COVID-related deaths have been confirmed in Sri Lanka on Friday (2), says the Director-General of Health Services. This brings the country’s death toll from the pandemic to 575. Details of the deceased are as follows: 01. An 86-year-old woman from Ikiriya area has passed away on Thursday (1) due to COVID pneumonia. She was transferred to Kandy National Hospital after testing positive novel coronavirus while receiving treatment at Rikillagaskada District Hospital. more..

Bar Association concerned about police brutality, says will intervene if necessary

Apr 3 (EN) The Bar Association of SL (BASL) will observe action being taken to curb what it calls a disturbing trend of police brutality in the country and stands ready to intervene where necessary, the BASL said yesterday. In a statement signed by BASL Secretary Rajeev Amarasuriya, the association said a failure to hold errant police officers to account would ultimately lead to erosion in the rule of law and the confidence the public more..

Seylan Bank partners WNPS for Up-Cycled Waste Items Competition

Apr 3 (FT) Seylan Tikiri, the pioneer children’s savings account in Sri Lanka, together with the Wildlife and Nature Protection Authority (WNPS) initiated the Up-Cycled Waste Items Competition to teach children about the importance of recycling and their responsibility towards nature. The digital competition is designed to educate young children on the importance of protecting nature while allowing them to bring out their creativity. Tikiri by Seylan Bank is always on the lookout for innovative more..

BOC partners with FITIS as Platinum Sponsor for Sri Lanka Internet Day

Apr 3 (FT) As the Federation of Information Technology Industry Sri Lanka (FITIS) is geared to unveil Sri Lanka Internet Day 2021, a first-time occurrence in the country, the Bank of Ceylon is collaborating as the Platinum Sponsor for the event. The event will span two full days and bring IT industry experts, startup entrepreneurs, top delegates, and business decision makers from across the globe together. The bank’s Chairman Kanchana Ratwatte handed over more..