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Cabinet sets a limit on the number of Ministers in proposed 20A

Oct 20 (EN) Cabinet has approved three changes to the proposed 20th Amendment to be presented at the committee stage apart from changes to be done based on the determination of the Supreme Court. Co-Cabinet Spokesman Udaya Gammanpila said that the govt has decided to limit the number of Cabinet Ministers to 30 and state ministers to 40 as originally enacted in the 19A. He said that it was also decided to retain more..

86 quarantine curfew violators arrested in 24 hours: Police

Oct 20 (DM) Total of 388 individuals have been arrested so far for violating the quarantine curfew in the nineteen police areas in Gampaha district. 86 persons were arrested during the past 24-hours for violating the quarantine curfew. Meanwhile, a total of 58 vehicles including 40 motorcycles and 12 three-wheelers were taken into custody for violating the quarantine curfew until this morning. Long-distance buses will be allowed to pass through the curfew areas however, they will not be allowed to more..

Total recoveries from Covid-19 reach 3,457

Oct 20 (AD) Seventeen more patients who were under treatment for the Covid-19 were discharged today as they have made complete recoveries. According to the Epidemiology Unit’s situation report, 07 at IDH, 05 at Welikanda Base Hospital, 02 at Hambantota District General Hospital and 01 each from Colombo East Base Hospital, Theldeniya Base Hospital and Galgamuwa Base Hospital have to health. The new development has brought the total number of Covid-19 recoveries to 3,457. more..

Video: SC decision on 20A presented to parliament

Oct 20 (AD) The secret decision of the Supreme Court regarding the constitutionality of the draft bill of the 20th Amendment to the Constitution was presented to the Parliament a short while ago. The decision was presented to the House by Speaker of the Parliament Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena. It was referred to the Speaker on the 10th of October. As per the decision of the Supreme Court, the draft bill is in accordance with more..

Reconciliation cannot be achieved at the expense of the majority community: GL

Oct 20 (Island) Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris recently said that reconciliation could never be achieved without accommodating the interests of the majority community. The one-time External Affairs Minister said that the previous govt’s (2015-2019) reconciliation efforts failed primarily because the sentiments of the majority community were conveniently ignored. The SLPP Chairman said so addressing the 13th Int'l Research Conference, KDU. Commenting on what he called more..

Validity period of expired driving licences extended

Oct 20 (DM) Transport Minister Gamini Lokuge has instructed the Department of Motor Traffic to extend the validity period of driving licences by three months due to Covid-19 pandemic situation. While issuing an Extraordinary Gazette notification, Motor Traffic Department advised extending the validity period of all driving licence until Dec 31. According to the Gazette notification, Motor Traffic (Temporary Extension of the Validity Period of Driving License) Regulation No. 03 of 2020 more..

Due to borrowing policy of rulers: Sri Lanka has become servant of others: Tilvin

Oct 20 (CT) General Secretary of the JVP, Tilvin Silva, said Sri Lanka has become a servant of other countries, due to the borrowing policy followed by the rulers of the country and the Rajapaksas, who kneel before China and America, and claim on stages that they are patriotic. He said this at a JVP Media briefing held on 18 Oct. “Our country is falling into the hands of several economic powers in this region and in the world. more..

Korean & Lankan PMs discusses education, investment & tourism in phone call

Oct 20 (AD) PM of South Korea Chung Sye-kyun has called PM Mahinda Rajapaksa this morning, and the two leaders discussed a number of areas of mutual bilateral interest while expressing the desire to further enhance relations between the two countries. While congratulating Prime Minister Rajapaksa on the victory at the recently-concluded General Election, PM Chung said he looks forward to continue working with Sri Lanka to further strengthen bilateral relations, more..

20A perhaps result in adverse effects on society: Vedda Chief

Oct 20 (DM) The proposed 20th Amendment would perhaps result in adverse effects on the society under a future President, Vedda Chief Vanaspathi Uruwarigelage Vannila Ettho said. He said that it should be passed in consultation with the Mahasanhga and the scholars who had been expressing diverse views on the issue. During a meeting with General Secretary of the Ceylon Mercantile and Industrial General Workers Union Sylvester Jayakody and more..

බ්‍රැන්ඩික්ස් පොකුරේ පළමු ආසාදිතයා...

Solar: Most promising renewable energy source for Sri Lanka

Oct 30 (FT) SL does not have a credible reputation when it comes to reliable supply of electricity to the masses. The most notable drawback has been the very frequent planned power cuts and intermittent supply failures that have been happening year after year during the last several decades. The other issue is the high cost of electricity compared to the general cost of living. Citizens have been faced with an unreliable electricity supply system at a very unaffordable price for far too long. more..

Demutualisation of the Colombo Stock Exchange

Oct 30 (FT) With the extinction of the coffee plantation and the introduction of tea to SL, the need arose for British planters, who put in all their funds into the coffee plantation, to look at a better risk-free model to fund the newly introduced tea plantation in SL. With that came the birth of the Companies Act and the requirement for companies to have access to capital, and as a result, the origins of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) in 1896. Until the introduction of a regulated market place in more..

Video: Makandure Madush shot dead

Oct 20 (AD) Notorious underworld figure and drug kingpin Makandure Madush has been shot dead in a crossfire between police and other suspected underworld figures at Maligawatte Housing Complex. After uncovering information regarding a stock of 22 kg of heroin hidden at the Maligawatte Housing Complex, officers of the CCD had visited that location along with Makandure Madush. more..

Prez will make three changes to 20A: Wimal

Oct 20 (Island) Govt had decided to introduce three changes to the proposed 20th amendment, Minister Wimal Weerawansa said. “During Monday’s Cabinet meeting, Prez Rajapaksa himself had proposed these changes to the 20A, based on the suggestions made by the Maha Sangha. One of them was not to change clauses regarding auditing in the 19th Amendment,” he said. The Cabinet had also decided that emergency bills be moved only in the case of natural disasters and national security issues. more..

PHU disagrees with four clauses

Oct 20 (CT) The PHU, in a letter to Prez Rajapaksa, has said the Party does not agree with four clauses included in the 20th Amendment Bill, including the provision which enables dual citizens to hold Presidential and Ministerial portfolios. The letter signed by the PHU General Secretary, Upul Wijesekara, stated: “Even in Australia, where about 97% of its population consists of immigrants, dual citizens cannot hold political posts. Many countries also adhere to that principle. more..

Rishad remanded

Oct 20 (CT) ACMC Leader and MP, Rishad Bathiudeen, who was arrested by the CID, and six other suspects, who were produced in Court, were ordered to be remanded till 27 Oct by Fort Chief Magistrate Priyantha Liyanage, yesterday. The Fort Chief Magistrate stated his decision on the bail application submitted to him by the suspect MP will also be announced at the next hearing. Deputy Solicitor General Dileepa Peiris stated that more..

Yoshitha Rajapaksa confirms he has resigned from navy

Oct 20 (DM) Yoshitha Rajapaksa, who last week assumed duties as PM Mahinda Rajapaksa's Chief of Staff, yesterday said he had resigned from the Navy on Oct. 10 after his resignation was accepted by the Ministry of Defense and he had taken on his new position on the request of the Prime Minister. Yoshitha told Daily Mirror that he had made an application to resign from the navy eight months ago after serving for 14 years and his application was accepted on Oct 10. more..

Govt provides Rs. 39 m to strengthen safety measures in examination centres

Oct 20 (FT) Govt announced that a sum of Rs. 39 million has been allocated to strengthen safety measures implemented in G.C.E A/L examination centres to ensure students sitting for the exams are protected from COVID-19. Department of Govt Information in a statement said School Development Societies of schools that are being used as examination centres, will each receive Rs. 15,000 for these measures. There are 2,648 centres allocated for the examination in the country. more..

Video: Nearly 15,000 must have known of foreign intel on Easter attacks: Ex-SIS Chief

Oct 20 (AD) Former Director of the State Intelligence Service (SIS) Nilantha Jayawardena believes that the forewarning given to him by a foreign intelligence agency ahead of the Easter Sunday attacks might not have been so secretive a mere week later. Testifying before the PCoI probing the 2019 Easter Sunday terror attacks, Jaywardena was insistent that around 15,000 people should have been aware of the intelligence more..

Govt to move new amendments to 20A at committee stage

Oct 20 (FT) Amidst growing opposition to the 20th Amendment, the govt has decided to introduce several amendments to address concerns raised about the Bill. One of the clauses that had come in for criticism was one which sought to remove state institutions from the oversight of the Auditor General – the AG’s powers will now be retained. Changes will also be made to the introduction of Urgent Bills, which are to be limited to security and disaster management/public emergency matters. more..

12 Colombo Dockyard workers test positive for COVID-19

Oct 20 (EN) Health officials detected another 12 COVID-19 infection cases in the Colombo Dockyard, a Sri Lankan shipbuilding unit of Japan’s Onomichi Dockyard today (19), NOCPOC reports said. Out of the 12, six stay at the dockyard housing scheme in Bloemendhal Colombo 13, and are residents of Ragama, Matugama, Wananupuwa, Galle,Negambo and Mulatiyana Matara. Another 20 first-contacts found from the housing scheme were also sent to a quarantine facility in Jaffna, NOCPOC said. more..

Handing over appointment letters under 100,000 jobs programme begins

Oct 20 (PMD) Handing over letters of appointment to the trainees selected from families of the lowest income category in the society under the programme to recruit 100,000 individuals for employment commenced today (19). 34,818 have been selected under the first phase. Appointees will receive a 06-moth formal training in 25 identified areas according to their skills and preferences. more..

Sprinting with giants yet feeling dwarfish

Oct 20 (Island) Sprinter Shehan Ambepitiya had the privilege of being trained by probably the best sprint coach in Sri Lanka. He had bagged several coveted international medals by the time he turned 20. By 2010 he was just three milliseconds behind the Olympic qualifying mark for 100 metres (judging by the 2008 qualifying standards) when the highly excited National Olympic Committee provided him with an IOC scholarship to be trained by Glean Mills alongside world record holder Usain Bolt. more..

Unemployment down to 5.4% in Q2

Oct 20 (CT) SL’s unemployment rated contracted to 5.4% during the second quarter (Q2) of this year from 5.7% recorded during the first quarter of this year, though the rate was higher than 4.9% recorded during the same period of last year. During the second quarter of this year the total numbers of unemployed individuals were 458,359. The total number of economically active population during the quarter under review stood at 8.43 million, of which 4.62 million were working as employees, more..

National Movement for Social Justice urges Prez, PM to put 20A on hold

Oct 20 (FT) National Movement for Social Justice (NMSJ) and Joint Opposition leaders signed an electronic petition addressed to Prez, PM, party leaders and MPs, urging them not to proceed with the proposed 20th Amendment. The petition also called on them to adopt a new Constitution that reflects the aspirations of all Sri Lankans, after broad public consultations, as outlined in the prez election manifesto. more..

Govt agreeable to allow FR cases against the Prez: Prof Peiris

Oct 20 (EN) Minister Prof G.L. Peiris says that the govt is ready to bring in a clause to the 20th amendment at the committee stage permitting citizens to go to courts against the President for fundamental rights violations, retaining what was already in 19th amendment. Peiris, who is the chair of the ruling SLPP, said even though they will bring this change to the 20th amendment at the committee stage they are confident that Prez Rajapaksa will not do anything illegal during his term. more..

LOLC expands international footprint with entry into Zambia

Oct 20 (FT) The LOLC Group has commenced its operations in Zambia recently with the official launch of its inaugural branch located in Lusaka. The company, which will operate as LOLC Finance Zambia Ltd., is a deposit-taking non-banking financial institution and will provide finance products such as home loans, motor vehicle finance, business loans, and consumer loans, among other products, thus helping to narrow the access to financial services gap in Zambia. more..

Divulapitiya cluster grows with 127 new COVID cases

Oct 20 (FT) The Divulapitiya COVID-19 cluster expanded to 2,183, with the identification of 127 persons who tested positive for the virus yesterday. 42 of yesterday’s cases were employees of the garment manufacturing facility in Minuwangoda who were at quarantine centres at the time of testing positive. The remaining 85 cases are other contacts. This brings the total number of confirmed cases identified in SL to 5,665, more..

To lock down or not?

Oct 20 (TM) With the new cluster of Covid-19 patients coming to light and positive cases being identified all over the island, everyone is living with fear and uncertainty. In this new normal, Sunday Morning spoke to a cross-section of the general public to inquire if they think whether a lockdown should be imposed and how a lockdown would in turn affect our economy. M.F.M Fiham – undergrad at Uni of Peradeniya: The only way to contain the virus is with a lockdown, more..

Chess: SL men’s team off to flying start

Oct 20 (ST) The opening weekend of the Asians Nations Online Cup 2020, organised by the Asian Chess Federation, concluded on Oct 10 (men’s) and 11 (women’s) via the online platform. The preliminary stage of the tournament was held in a 9-round Swiss system with a 15min+5sec time control from which eight teams from each section will qualify to the quarter-final. The men’s team got off to a flying start at the event from 26th position out of a total of 38 teams, but more..

Unsung World Cup hero Upul Chandana lays emphasis on fielding

Oct 20 (ST) World Cup winning all-rounder Upul Chandana, one of the finest fielders Sri Lanka ever produced, underscored the importance of sharpening the skills of national cricketers on the field to lift the fortunes of the team at international level firmly believing in the adage catches win matches. “I believe fielding is the most important aspect in cricket,” said Chandana who was appointed as the fielding coach of more..

Women-led SMEs more likely to borrow informally than from banks

Oct 20 (TM) Women-owned small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in SL were least likely to have taken a loan from a financial institution and are far more likely to have borrowed from family and friends to meet financial obligations during Covid-19, according to a new report. The report, titled Gendered Impacts of Covid-19 on Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, was compiled by Women in Work, a partnership between IFC and the Australian Govt. more..

Investor focus shifts to plantations as CSE manages to close positive

Oct 20 (FT) Investor focus for the first time in recent months shifted to the under-performing plantations stocks yesterday, as the Colombo Bourse began a fresh and important week positive though less convincing. The benchmark All Share Price Index (ASPI) ended the day almost flat, whilst the more active S&P SL20 index gained by 12 points. Turnover was lower by 29% (Rs. 2.5 billion) from Friday which capped a stellar week. The Food, Beverage and Tobacco sector was the most more..

Road map needed for targeted COVID-19 recovery: IPS

Oct 20 (IPS) The SL economy is likely to face a contraction in 2020 as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic but there is potential for this to be followed by a sharp V-shaped economic recovery. The means of navigating such a recovery path were discussed at a webinar panel discussion held last Thursday (15) to mark the release of the Institute of Policy Studies of SL’s (IPS) flagship report Sri Lanka: State of the Economy 2020. more..

Dadella Stadium to be elevated as a top sports venue: Sports Minister

Oct 20 (DN) The Dadella Sports Complex in Galle, would be soon upgraded to an international beach volleyball and beach football centre, under the directions of Minister Namal Rajapaksa. In fact, the Minister has already decided to hand over the Dadella Sports Complex to the Sri Lanka Volleyball Federation (SLVF). The Minister also headed a strong delegation to inspect the refurbishment work being carried out at the Dadella Sports Complex in Galle on Saturday (17). more..

A review: Arumuga Navalar and heritage history deconstructed

Oct 20 (GV) Professor Ratnajeevan H. Hoole’s book on Jaffna Heritage Histories is a fascinating critique of several strands of invented recent histories of Sri Lanka’s Jaffna Tamil society. The central narrative of invented history which he subjects to extensive critical scrutiny is the claim that Arumuga Navalar translated the Bible into Tamil. Arumuga Navalar is to Sri Lanka’s Tamil Hindus what Anagararika Dharmapala is to SL’s Buddhists. Both were pioneers in the cultural nationalist resurgence more..