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US offers SL debt management support

Apr 16 (DM) US has offered SL support to manage its debt and find a more sustainable path forward. US Ambassador to SL, Alaina B. Teplitz told journalists at a media roundtable that the SL Govt must look at its debt burden realistically, practically and think about sustainability going forward. “It is not necessarily a problem for a govt to be carrying debt but it’s got to be able to pay for that debt in a way that doesn’t then exclude its more..

212 persons test positive for COVID-19

Apr 16 (FT) SL’s total COVID-19 patient count yesterday rose to 95,949 with 212 persons testing positive for the virus. The patients detected yesterday include 153 associates of the Peliyagoda cluster and 14 persons from the Prisons cluster. Divulapitiya, Peliyagoda, and Prisons clusters have risen to 90,693. In addition to the triple clusters, 3,044 returnees from abroad, 950 Navy personnel and their close contacts, 651 persons linked to the Kandakadu cluster and 253 foreigners more..

Port City will be a Chinese colony claims monk linked to ruling party

Apr 16 (EN) An influential Buddhist monk who has close links to the ruling SLPP of Prez Rajapaksa has added his voice in opposing a law to govern Colombo Port City, slamming it as an attempt to build a ‘Chinese Colony’. “We are not opposed to the Port City. We are not opposed to investments,” Muruththetuwe Ananda Thero from Colombo’s Abayaramaya Temple said. “This is being made into a Chinese colony. We are not ready to allow the Port City to be made into a Chinese colony. more..

SL urgently requests India for 1 million AstraZeneca vaccines for round two

Apr 16 (DM) SL is yet to set a date as to when it will begin the second round of COVID-19 vaccinations as India is yet to confirm if it can cater to the SL Govt's urgent request to export one million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. Serum Institute in India, which manufactures the AstraZeneca vaccine is unable to continue supplying to SL's Health Ministry at least for the next one or two months with a sudden spike of infections more..

4 more covid-19 deaths raise fatalities to 608

Apr 16 (FT) Health authorities yesterday confirmed four more Covid-19 deaths and the country’s COVID-19 death toll has risen to 608. A 78-year-old individual from Kapuliyadda was transferred from the Marassana District Hospital to the Kandy National Hospital, where he died yesterday. The cause of death is cited as COVID-pneumonia, heart disease and high-blood pressure. An individual from Deniyaya tested positive for COVID-19 at the Maharagama Apeksha Hospital and more..

Indian Navy ship Ranvijay arrives in Colombo

Apr 16 (SLN) Indian Naval Ship (INS) Ranvijay arrived at the port of Colombo on a 3-day visit on 14th April. INS Ranvijay is a destroyer serving in the Indian Navy and this 146.2m long platform is manned by a crew of 425. Meanwhile, the Commanding Officer of the ship, Captain N Hariharan today (15) called on Commander Western Naval Area, Rear Admiral Meril Sudarshana. The subsequent discussion between them focused on several important matters of mutual interests. more..

New twist in UNP national list saga

Apr 16 (EN) Speculation is intensifying on who will fill the vacant national list seat of UNP, with party officials saying there is agreement to nominate ex-PM Ranil Wickremesinghe though he has reportedly declined the offer, leading to other names being suggested. A UNP source said that some younger members of the party had discussed the possibility of naming incarcerated SJB former MP Ranjan Ramanayake more..

Over 107,000 saplings planted in four months

Apr 16 (DN) Over 107,000 saplings have been planted with the introduction of the Husma Dena Thuru National Tree Planting Programme in the last four months, said Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweera. National Tree Planting programme is now very popular and many parties have extended their support for it and have even initiated their own programmes. Minister was speaking while participating in a tree planting programme held in the Angunakolapelessa area he also distributed more..

SriLankan has no interest in long-range narrow-body planes

Apr 16 (SF) Being an island nation, SL’s national airline has an international focus. SriLankan Airlines’ destinations range across the Asia-Pacific region, Europe, and the Middle East. But despite the airline casting its eye over a range of new planes, it has no interest in acquiring any of the new generation long-range narrowbody aircraft to fly these routes. SriLankan Airlines CEO, Vipula Gunatilleka, was questioned about SriLankan’s fleet’s future direction at an online CAPA Live event on Wednesday. more..

Chinese $ 500 million loan received but rupee dips further

Apr 16 (FT) SL yesterday took receipt of the $ 500 million worth loan from the China Development Bank but the rupee’s slide persisted to a new record-low. US Dollar selling rate was quoted at Rs. 204.628 per dollar against the previous high of Rs. 203.73 at Monday’s trade. Wealth Trust Securities said yesterday the Rupee was seen appreciating as its USD/LKR spot contract closed the day at Rs. 199.75/200.00 against more..

Mendis and Babar; careers that have taken different routes

Apr 16 (Island) During the 2018 Asia Cup in Abu Dhabi, a group of us SL journalists were discussing how good Babar Azam was. Former Pakistan captain Waqar Younis, who was one of the commentators was behind us. He heard the conversation and interrupted us. ‘You guys have no idea what talent is. If you want to look at real talent and pure class just take a look at that guy,’ he said so pointing his finger at the SL team. They were warming up and Kusal Mendis was getting more..

Sebs’ cricket stalwart Cooray retires after more than three decades of service

Apr 16 (Island) Franklyn Cooray, the former SL Schools Cricket Association official, retired as the Master in Charge of Cricket of St. Sebastian’s College, Moratuwa after completing more than three and half decades of yeoman service recently. Franklyn Cooray who was popular in cricket circles as Frank Cooray, was the longest serving team official at the time of his retirement. During his 37 year association with schools cricket, Cooray witnessed the evolution of First XI cricket more..

SL women wrongfully detained in Saudi Arabia due to abusive kafala system: AI

Apr 16 (AI) At least 41 SL women, the majority of whom are migrant domestic workers, have spent months on end arbitrarily detained at a deportation center in Saudi Arabia, awaiting repatriation to their home country. The women have been held at a Deportation Detention (Tarheel) Centre in Riyadh for periods ranging from eight to 18 months. At least three of them have young children detained with them, and one woman is in more..

Sri Lankan Foreign Secretary responds to Western criticism on China

Apr 16 (CGTN) China and Sri Lanka have enjoyed a close relationship for decades. With the pandemic still raging around the world, China is donating vaccines to Sri Lanka. 600,000 doses have recently arrived in the country. Top officials from both countries also vow to advance relations. To discuss China-Sri Lanka cooperation in the post-pandemic era and the West's skepticism in this regard, CGTN anchor Zou Yue sat down with Sri Lankan Foreign Secretary, Admiral Jayanath Colombage. more..

Newly developed Sathosa Motors Service Complex to service all vehicle brands

Apr 16 (Island) Sathosa Motors PLC and its new state-of-the-art vehicle service complex, is now serving not just Isuzu but also any brand of vehicle. Pioneering automotive specialist, Sathosa Motors is the sole authorized agent for the world-renowned Isuzu brand, but the newly developed service complex will now undertake all kinds of services required for any brand of vehicle. The internationally trained specialists are ready to serve you at the Sathosa Motors Service Complex now on more..

Sooka pushing UK for punitive action against Army Commander

Apr 16 (Island) An outfit, led by Yasmin Sooka, a member of the UNSG Panel of Experts’ (PoE), has urged the UK to take punitive measures against the Commander of the Army, General Shavendra Silva, who is also the CDS. Army headquarters said that the matter had been brought to the notice of the relevant authorities. It said that it was all part of the ongoing well-funded campaign against the SL military. more..

ÀNI Sri Lanka: SL’s post-pandemic haven

Apr 16 (Spears) ÀNI Sri Lanka, a stunning 15-suite private resort, combines the privacy of an exclusive villa with five-star resort amenities on an all-inclusive basis, including a resort general manager, a team of butlers and concierges, internationally-trained executive chefs, an Ayurvedic spa manager and therapists, kids activity coordinators, a personal trainer and tennis coach. ÀNI Sri Lanka is perfect for extended family getaways, small conferences, destination weddings and more..

Dilshan to captain Australian Club

Apr 16 (CT) Australia’s Mulgrave Cricket Club have announced the signing of former SL skipper Thilakarathne Dilshan as the captain of the Mulgrave Cricket Club for the 2020/21 season. Mulgrave Cricket Club plays in A Turf, or Division 3, of Victoria’s Eastern Cricket Association. “Tillakaratne played for the club last season during its T20 campaign, helping us to the Grand Final, and has been one of the finest players that SL has ever produced, averaging over 40 in Test cricket, more..

Reading into palms: a bleak future

Apr 16 (TM) The Sinhala and Tamil New Year is just around the corner, and Sri Lankans are getting ready to celebrate the occasion after two years. The 2019 New Year was a dull affair, due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the related travel restrictions that prevented any gatherings. This year’s celebrations too will have to adhere to safety guidelines, limiting festivities to family gatherings and simple New Year meals. more..

Dichotomy of an urban-suburban New Year

Apr 16 (Island) Ushered in by the coo-ee of the Koel and the swaying of Erabadu bunches, the Sinhala and Tamil New Year will dawn in the wee hours of April 14. With houses to clean, preparation of sweetmeats and last-minute shopping, times are hectic…. and the streets congested. It is believed that New Year traditions predated the advent of Buddhism in the 3rd century BC. But Buddhism resulted in a re-interpretation of the existing New Year activities in a Buddhist light. more..

Bridging the generational divide to prevent future conflict

Apr 16 (GV) The youth of a country are the forerunners of social progress; notwithstanding this historical fact, we cannot underestimate the role other social strata play in the social development of a nation. Youth are the generation that mostly accepts and accommodates change in a society. So they become pioneers of social change. Yet, the expectation of the elder generation is for the new generation to function within the confines of the socio-economic and cultural framework more..

Sanath Jayasuriya

Editorial: Free-market and socialism

Apr 16 (Island) Former Finance Minister and newsmaker, Ronnie de Mel, has attracted media attention, again, at the age of 96. He is reported to have said, during a recent conversation with Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa, that the SL economy should be repositioned with a tilt towards socialism. He has also stressed the need for equitable growth, and other such pro-poor measures in keeping with the tenets of Buddhism. It is being argued in some quarters that de Mel, more..

Covid 19 nights have their Edvard Munch feel

Apr 16 (DM) I got into the habit of travelling to work at night during the pandemic. Much of the past year seems to have been spent in lockdown. But there were sporadic periods of going to the office. The nights were always hot and sultry, but infinitely better than the days. "It’s never been a fair playing field. Instead of reducing inequalities, the pandemic has only widened them. But cycling through an apocalyptically silent and empty city at night has its rewards, bringing you face to face with more..

Rajapaksa govt tables bombshell resolution in parliament to end trials against its cronies

Apr 16 (CT) Gotabaya Rajapaksa Govt continues to turn justice on its head, moving Parliament to directly interfere in matters before the judiciary after efforts to convince the Attorney General to drop the cases have proved futile. Last Friday under the cover of the Avurudu holiday season PM tabled a resolution in Parliament that seeks legislative approval to end trials against several family members indicted for corruption more..

May the New Year bring Peace, Joy & Good Health

Apr 16 (DM) Sri Lankans – mainly Sinhalese and Tamils celebrated New Year on Wednesday in a more relaxed manner this year when compared with last year, with the COVID-19 pandemic compelling the authorities to place restrictions on travelling from one Province to another, gathering in large numbers at shopping centres, temples and Kovils and the need to strictly adhere to health guidelines. Not that these restrictions have been removed or diluted but that over a period of time people tend to more..

Hitler’s dark shadow

Apr 16 (CT) Herr Hitler is back in the news. At a press briefing, in response to a journalist’s query, a Minister of State has suggested that the people expect decisive governance as that of a Hitler. It seems that, in the public psyche of this land like no other, Herr Hitler is perceived as a magically mysterious super-efficient good Shepard. Not surprisingly, German envoy in Colombo has responded. “Adolf Hitler, responsible for human suffering and despair beyond imagination more..

'Govt. should stick to mandate'

Apr 16 (DM) Minister Udaya Gammanpila takes questions on internal squabbles of the govt and his criticism of certain actions. Q: Recently at a function in Avissawella, you said the govt was deviating from the mandate. How seriously did you view it? A: If we were to stick to the mandate, the govt shouldn’t have brought the 20th Amendment in its original form and it shouldn’t have attempted to sell East Container Terminal more..

National disaster turned into political football

Apr 16 (DM) The govt seems to be in a fix in meeting the ultimatum thrown by the Archbishop of Colombo, His Eminence Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith to bring the perpetrators of the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks to justice before April 21. The Archbishop who had expressed satisfaction over the investigation into the terrorist attacks on churches and tourist hotels carried out on April 21, 2019, after the new govt led by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa assumed office in Nov 2019. more..

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

Apr 16 (CT) Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II and the longest-lived British Royal Consort, of over 69 years from 6 Feb 1952 to 9 April 2021, died at the age of 99 years on 9 April 2021, two months before his 100th birthday. He was also the longest-lived male member of the British Royal family. Philip was born into the Greek and Danish Royal families. He was born in Greece but his family was exiled from the country more..

Avurudu auspicious times (Nekath)

Apr 13 (CT) The auspicious times for the upcoming Sinhala-Tamil New Year are as follows: Dawn of New Year: The Sinhala-Tamil New Year will dawn on Wednesday, 14 April at 02:33 a.m. Punya Kalaya: Punya Kalaya (inauspicious time) is from Tuesday 13 April from 08:09 p.m. to Wednesday 14 April 08.57 a.m. Lighting the Hearth: Light the hearth at 06:17 a.m. on Wed 14 April, clad in green (palawan) attire and facing East, more..

PC polls unlikely this year

Apr 13 (TM) The long-delayed provincial council (PC) elections are unlikely to be held within this year, with the passage of an essential legal amendment still pending. Minister Udaya Gammanpila said that since the amendment to the Provincial Councils Elections Act No. 2 of 1988 is yet to be passed, the elections would most likely be held in 2022. “We hope to reach a final decision soon. The next party leaders’ meeting will be held on 19 April where this would be discussed,” more..

PM intervenes to iron out differences among coalition partners

Apr 13 (Island) PM Rajapaksa said that he was confident that differences among the constituents of the SLPP coalition as regards the May Day celebrations and the next PC elections could be ironed out soon. Leaders of all SLPP allied parties have been invited to a special meeting to be held at Temple Trees with the PM presiding on April 19. PM said it was natural for members of a political alliance to have their own standpoints and views on matters of national importance. more..

Video: Coconut oil to be sold at control price of Rs 450 per bottle: Bandula

Apr 13 (AD) Necessary steps have been taken to provide a bottle of quality, local coconut oil at a control price of Rs. 450, said Minister of Trade Bandula Gunawardena. He said, “No matter what changes take place, a bottle of locally produced pure coconut oil, suitable for human consumption, will be sold for Rs. 450 through Sathosa and Cooperatives, until the end of this year. We can come to such an agreement. more..

Prez's Sinhala & Tamil New Year Message

Apr 13 (DN) Welcoming the dawn of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year with fresh hopes and renewed determination to materialize them is a valuable tradition deeply rooted in our culture, states President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in his Sinhala and Tamil New Year message. The message: “Although adverse health conditions prevented us from celebrating last year’s Sinhala and Tamil New Year, this year all of us together have made it possible to enjoy the New Year festivities, duly observing more..

PM's Sinhala & Tamil New Year Message

Apr 13 (DN) It is time to embark on a new path towards a prosperous country, facing all the challenges with a new mindset and with fresh aspirations in this Sinhala and Tamil New Year, PM Mahinda Rajapaksa said. The message adds: “It is with great pleasure that I greet the dawn of the Sinhala - Tamil New Year that fulfils the fresh hopes of all Sri Lankans. The people of our country have been participating in this great cultural festival since time immemorial, giving priority to customs more..